Those of us scared of spiders are in for an uncomfortable few weeks as thousands of sex-crazed spiders are set to invade our homes.
The arrival of autumn marks the start of spider mating season.
Eight-legged creepy crawlies will leave their webs to seek refuge indoors in search of a mate.
What is spider mating season?
Spiders usually start to come out in early September, with their presence noticeable in homes until around mid-October. After this, they tend to be spotted indoors less often.
Female spiders are known to stay in one place for all of their lives, but males are always on the move.
During spider mating season, the males will go searching for females and often find them inside homes, which is why you may notice more of them over the next couple of months.
In the UK, there are more than 650 different species of spider and while all of them can bite, only 12 can cause harm to humans.
Money, cellar and lace web spiders will likely be seen more frequently over the coming weeks, as well as house spiders, which is one of the UK’s biggest spiders.
The males of this species can grow up to a terrifying 10cm across the leg span, although this is the top end of the scale, with their size depending on how much they have eaten.
After mating, the female will lay eggs and the male will usually die.
How to keep spiders out of your home
Jess Steele, heating technology expert at designer radiator specialists BestHeating, has revealed the cheap product that is available in supermarkets, as well as what else should be done to keep spiders away from your home during winter.
The product is a simple peppermint oil, which can be bought for just £1.45 in Asda, or a couple of pounds from Amazon.
Jess reveals why this works well: “Peppermint oil provides a strong smell and spiders are sensitive to them which makes it an effective yet cheap method of taking away the worry of finding creepy crawlies all over the home, without causing harm to them.”
Spiders appear a lot more around homes during the autumn months due to mating season, so males are often seeking a partner. As the weather cools this means they are doing so inside homes as the conditions are drier than outdoors.
To help reduce the risk of spiders entering a home, Jess recommends combining the oil with water to make a spray and spritzing it onto the inside of curtains, windowsills and in the corners of carpets, using it as a diffuser to deter spiders from the most used rooms, and soaking items such as cotton buds then placing them in areas where the spiders commonly appear.
Despite many believing that spiders come inside for the heat, Jess says that isn’t the case and explains why those with underfloor heating are less likely to spot them: “A major myth with spiders is there are more inside during the colder months due to the temperature.
“They don’t like to be too warm as they are cold-blooded, so there is no need to think they would be located near radiators, fires or other home heat sources.
“For those with extreme fears, underfloor heating is a great solution to make your home spider-free as the air close to the ground makes it uncomfortable for them.”