As this summer (if you can call it that) draws to a definite halt, the next few months will bring hostile weather and worst of all, spider nesting season.
Giant house spiders are set to invade the UK’s homes, with around 150 million Eratigena atrica currently nesting in the dusty corners of your house.
The spiders measure up to 7.5cm and are usually a dark orange-brown colour. The warm summer produced more flies for the spiders to feed on and with this, the spider population dramatically increased this year.
Simon Garrett, head of conservation learning at Bristol Zoological Society, said:
Spiders don’t specifically want to enter your home, in fact, they’d rather stay away as there’s less food and it’s too dry and clean.
It is the need to mate that changes their behaviour.
Spider babies are born after months of fertilisation so when a male finds a female’s web, he remains there for weeks, repeatedly mating with her.
The female then stores his sperm over winter which allows her to produce more than 10 egg sacks each containing up to 60 eggs.
There are more than 35,000 different species of spiders in the world, 650 of which are found in the UK.
Although they have an unsettling appearance, they do help protect our homes and gardens by keeping them pest free.
Pest controllers recommend sealing cracks in doors and removing plants around the house which will attract them. Plants outside the house will encourage the critters to take shelter near your house and find cracks in your walls.
Other advice includes always cleaning up after yourself because crumbs and dirt attracts the insects that the spiders love to eat.
Pet felines can also be very helpful when trying to fend off spiders as they eat them, as is the circle of life.
If you have an essential oil diffuser, now is the time to finally take it out of its dusty box because apparently spiders aren’t keen on aromatherapy, particularly eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, rose, and cinnamon.
I’m not sure whether this revelation makes spiders more or less scary, but they were recently discovered to have tiny little paws, which is always good to know.
Well technically it’s not really a paw, it’s actually a tarsus, one of eight bits making up a spider’s leg and it’s got claws like a dog, cat or bear’s paw.
Interestingly, according to Nify Mag, since spiders don’t have antenna, they use their legs as their ears and nose to pick up scents and sounds.
Here are some close-up photos of their no-so-adorable paws…
There are about 25 million homes in the UK, so if the 150 million prediction is right, there will be about six of these giants per household.
But then again we were warned of a ‘killer hornet’ invasion earlier this year and I’ve barely even seen a wasp (that’s not a request).
Sounds like it’s time for a massive autumn clean to avoid the arachnids.
Check the airing cupboard, shower corners, and behind the sofa.