SPIDER season has arrived in the UK and the eight-legged arachnids are invading British homes.
We take a look at how long spider season in the UK lasts, what to expect and how to keep them out...
Spider season in the UK starts in SeptemberCredit: Alamy
How long is spider season in the UK?
Spider season isn't very long - which is good news for those who suffer from arachnophobia.
It begins in the first or second week of September and ends by the first week of October.
Spiders come indoors as the weather begins to cool so they can mate.
Prof Adam Hart, an entomologist at the University of Gloucestershire, told the BBC that at least "80 per cent of the spiders people see are males".
They come inside to hunt for the females that "stay put" indoors.
Females are typically seen in the garage or windowsill in their webs.
The Noble False Widow, whose scientific name is Steatoda nobilis, is spreading out of control across the UKCredit: Alamy
How can you protect your home against spiders?
Prof Hart said not to believe old wive's tales using peppermint spray.
He suggests keeping a tidy home to eliminate places the eight-legged creatures can hide.
Ways to spider-proof your home are:
- Vacuum regularly – high and low
- Remove any webs you see
- Fill gaps between walls, pipes, doors, etc
- Remove anything that can be shelter like firewood piles, garden bags and compost heaps
Should you be worried about spiders?
Out of the 650 spider species in the UK, only 12 can be harmful to humans.
False widow spider, also known as Steatoda nobilis or the Noble false widow, numbers are reportedly increasing as milder winters have allowed them to survive and breed in more places around Britain, with terrifying sightings logged everywhere from Cornwall to Orkney.
What makes them so dangerous is they are one of the very few species in the UK that can bite humans, and inject them with powerful venom.
While most people will feel the painful bite and see some redness and swelling around the puncture marks, false widows don't normally do lasting damage.
But in some cases, the bite can trigger a severe allergic reaction or the wound can become infected — which can have potentially lethal consequences.
HOW TO DETER FALSE WIDOWS
Despite their fearsome reputations, you can take simple steps to deter them from creeping into your home.
Brits should look out for untidy false widow webs, which are normally far messier than garden spiders'.
And you can also brush away cobwebs from the outside of your building to stop them coming inside.
Be on the lookout in places where false widows normally build their webs: cracks in walls, inside drainpipes and triangular frames inside houses.
In your garden, false widows are most likely found in sheds or on trellises, so make sure these are well tended to.
If you repeatedly destroy their webs they're more likely to move elsewhere.
And because these are venomous spiders, it's advisable to keep your distance by cleaning the cobwebs away with a broom.