How to tackle the in­va­sion of the spi­ders

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS - By FIONNULA HAINEY News Re­porter

YOU may have no­ticed an in­crease of spi­ders in your home in the last few weeks, and we now know why.

New re­search sug­gests it’s all to do with mat­ing sea­son.

The eight-legged creepy-crawlies are of­ten spot­ted in­vad­ing homes at this time of year.

Pro­fes­sor Adam Hart, from the Univer­sity of Glouces­ter­shire’s School of Nat­u­ral and So­cial Sci­ences, car­ried out re­search into how the sea­sons af­fect spi­ders’ be­hav­iour pat­terns along­side other pro­fes­sion­als in the area.

Prof Hart helped to com­pile a re­port re­lat­ing to the is­sue af­ter re­search­ing the oc­cur­rence of house spi­ders in the UK.

The ab­stract to the re­port reads: “82% of records were males, sup­port­ing pre­vi­ous stud­ies that showed house spi­der surges in au­tumn are pre­dom­i­nantly males seek­ing mates.

“Sight­ings peaked in mid-Septem­ber with a sig­nif­i­cant north­west pro­gres­sion across the UK as au­tumn pro­gressed.”

Spi­ders usu­ally start to take over peo­ple’s homes while they search for a dry place to mate from Septem­ber through un­til Oc­to­ber.

This means by the first week of Oc­to­ber you should start to spot them a lot less fre­quently.

House spi­ders are prob­a­bly the ones that’ll make you jump a lit­tle.

They are ac­tu­ally the big­gest of Bri­tain’s spi­ders with some hav­ing the po­ten­tial to reach a whoop­ing 12cm in size.

The creepy-crawlies are known for mak­ing big webs that can last for years.

Money spi­ders can usu­ally be iden­ti­fied from their small bod­ies they usu­ally mea­sure no more than 5mm but their legs can be rather long.

They of­ten hang up­side down un­der a sheet web and their webs can nor­mally be spot­ted in bushes or shrubs.

Dur­ing mat­ing sea­son, you may also see them mak­ing them­selves com­fort­able in the cor­ners of homes but they’re harm­less lit­tle things.

Cel­lar spi­ders or more com­monly known as Daddy Long Legs spi­ders in the US - not to be con­fused with daddy long legs crane flies here in the UK - are large and a bit off-putting as they can grow up to 45mm.

You may not know this but you don’t of­ten see them out­side.

They much pre­fer to hang out in their webs in warm cor­ners of cup­boards and ceil­ings.

Like most com­mon spi­ders they’re harm­less but they’re known for eat­ing many other spi­ders along the way.

Peo­ple are known to mis­take lace web spi­der for false wi­dow spi­ders but they’re a bit dif­fer­ent.

They have longer bod­ies and also have shorter and thicker legs.

They’re known for mak­ing their way in­doors dur­ing the au­tumn to look for a mate - es­pe­cially if there’s been a lot of rain and they’ve lost their home as a con­se­quence of wet weather.

Al­though they’re small the lit­tle spi­ders also have the po­ten­tial to bite, but they’re not thought to be ag­gres­sive.

The false wi­dow is noc­tur­nal and gen­er­ally spends the day­time sleep­ing in­side a crack or hole near its web.

They like en­vi­ron­ments that are dry and warm as they don’t like be­ing dis­turbed, which is of­ten what at­tracts them to peo­ple’s homes.

Even though they are more likely to be spot­ted out­side, they also like to perch them­selves un­der toi­lets, fridges and wash­ing ma­chines.

The spi­ders have been known to bite peo­ple in the past and some aw­ful hor­ror sto­ries have emerged, but they are usu­ally not known to at­tack un­less you sit on one or one gets trapped within your clothes.

There are many ways you can pre­vent spi­ders from pay­ing a visit to your home.

The­o­ries in­clude putting cit­rus fruit and even gar­lic in the cracks and gaps around your house to try and de­ter them.

But some of the more ef­fec­tive ways of keep­ing the eight-legged crea­tures out are thought to be the more ba­sic pre­ven­tion meth­ods.

The first one is, per­haps, the most log­i­cal.

Keep them out­side - it’s a lot harder for them to get in if there is no ac­cess to the prop­erty.

One of the best things to do is to dou­ble-check any open­ings and cracks in the walls and fill in any gaps.

It’s also a good idea to fix any bro­ken cover vents or chim­neys.

Spi­ders are known for hang­ing around in dark cor­ners and ar­eas that are neglected. Left­over food will also at­tract them.

It’s also not a bad idea to get the rub­ber gloves on. Giv­ing your home a good clean will pre­vent the lit­tle crit­ters from mak­ing them­selves too com­fort­able.

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