Homes are seeing an increase in large spiders after a mild end to the summer, as males go on the hunt for a mate, experts say.
Fine weather throughout the summer is expected to result in a “good year” for residents to encounter large house spiders.
Spiders remain in their webs - commonly in sheds, gardens and wood piles - until the autumn, when males become nomadic to search for a mate.
This leads to an influx of male spiders indoors between mid-September to mid-October, while females remain in their webs.
Adam Hart , professor of science communication at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “We’ve been running a survey of house spiders for a couple of years and mid-September through to mid-October is the height of ‘spider season’.
“We’ve had another good summer which means we might be in for another good year for large spiders (or a bad year if you aren’t a fan).”
Here are eight ways to keep them at bay:
1. If you have a garden, position as close as possible to the house plants that will attract ladybirds. They will help keep spiders away from the perimeter of your home.
2. Make your own natural spider spray and apply it to favourite haunts for eight-legged invaders, such as the bathroom, as well as spraying outside along windows and doors so spiders do not want to enter. To make the spray, mix a cup of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of oil, a handful of ground pepper and a teaspoon of washing up liquid. Use a spray bottle to apply, and always respray outside after rain.
3. Spiders hate peppermint oil, so dilute some in water and spray it as above. Make sure you keep it away from pets and people.
4. Keep your home as free from clutter as possible. Spiders love a heap in which to form a home out of sight. So dust regular and put all boxes and packages away quickly to prevent spiders from spinning a web. You should also immediately sweep away any cobwebs you find.
5. Get a pet. Most pets - and cats in particular - will chase anything that moves. But beware if you have particularly venomous spiders in your home - they can harm animals too.
6. Clean around the exterior of your home. Spiders love things like piles of wood, old flower ports, and debris. If they form a home there, they are one step away from ‘upgrading’ to a new pad in your home itself. Make sure any necessary pile of material in the garden is as far away from the home as possible.
7. Perfume your home with cedar - it’s a great natural smell but spiders hate it.
8. Eat oranges and lemons. Spiders don’t like citrus smells, so having these in the home can be a deterrent, as are essential oils in citrus scents.