An insect expert has denied spiders are invading the UK after reports there would be more eight-legged critters around for mating season this year.
Professor Adam Hart, an entomologist from the University of Gloucestershire, reassured arachnophobes there was nothing to worry about and said the number of spiders currently in Britain was normal.
It had been reported his team felt there could be more spiders around after analysing social media data but he said this was not true.
He told Yahoo News UK: “It’s not an invasion.
“Everybody needs to calm down. This is just Autumn, it happens every year.
“Our research suggests it doesn’t last past mid-October. They’ll disappear in three weeks.”
Professor Hart said his team did not monitor the change in spider numbers in any meaningful way so it was hard to determine if there would be more this year.
There had been claims the warm and wet summer would lead to an invasion of spiders because there would be a greater number of smaller insects to eat due to the “lush, green” environment.
Professor Hart stressed spiders were great for the environment.
He added: “Spiders are great pest controllers and predators. They’re pretty harmless.”
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If you’re still worried you may be attacked by a creepy crawly in the next few weeks there are some precautions you can take.
Mr Hart said keeping your house tidy could help.
He told the Telegraph: “The reality is that house spiders are there already and there’s not that much you can do about them.
“But they love mess, such as piles of clothes, to try to keep things tidy.”