- Recent wet weather has caused ‘spider season’ to start weeks earlier with huge arachnids seen across UK
- They are seeking shelter earlier than normal and their prey is getting stuck to their webs by the raindrops
- Many spiders coming into our homes are males in search of a mate and can be attracted by the warmth
- Have you seen a giant spider in your home in recent days? Please email: email@example.com
If you decide to stay indoors this Bank Holiday weekend, you might be sharing your home with a few more eight-legged friends looking for a mate.
For the recent wet weather has caused ‘spider season’ to start a few weeks earlier than normal, as these horrifying photographs sent in by MailOnline readers reveal today.
The arachnids usually start to seek shelter in September but they are moving in earlier this year because of the washout summer. There are also more of them because their prey is getting stuck to their webs by the raindrops.
Many of the spiders that come into our homes are males in search of a mate and are also thought to be attracted by the warmth. One family home was invaded by giant spiders so big that they set off their burglar alarm.
And MailOnline readers have today been sending in photographs of huge spiders spotted in their homes around in the country, with one of the biggest seen inside a vacuum cleaner, and others trapped underneath bowls.
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MailOnline reader Rizy Ali sent in this photo of a huge spider in a vacuum cleaner at his home on Wednesday in Barking, Essex
Katie Flowers said she caught two big spiders in her flat in Brixton, South London, this week – one of them is pictured above
Basil Parylo captured this huge spider using a glass and a magazine after it walked across his floor in Bingley, West Yorkshire
Hayley Saunders was greeted by the sight of this huge spider as she arrived home yesterday in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire
MailOnline reader Sharon Evans spotted this spider measuring three inches across on her bed mattress in North Wales
Artisan chutney maker Maria Williams spotted these huge spiders crawling around her home in Oxfordshire earlier this week
MailOnline reader Sam Gamble spotted this huge spider in his home in Barnstaple, Devon, and had to be quick to capture it on camera
The spiders usually begin their hunt for a mate in late September before scuttling into houses with their babies to spend a winter of warmth and cosiness, but this summer’s wet weather is seeing them invade our homes earlier.
Ironically, if there is rain over the bank holiday, it will boost the spider population. Raindrops trap flies and other prey in cobwebs – with them getting ‘glued’ to the strands without being able to escape.
Andrew Taylor thought his house in Heywood, Manchester, was being raided when he heard his intruder alarm sound – but when he jumped out of bed, he found in fact a cluster of huge spiders had set it off.
His wife managed to safely evict them from the house, which he said has since been ‘spiderproofed’ with peppermint spray, but not before he took a series of chilling photographs of the home invaders.
And some of the spiders invading our homes are venomous false widows, with Michael Barton, of New Romney, Kent, posting a photograph of one, adding: ‘I found it on my gate – I will keep well away from it.’
The bite of a false widow usually only has a mild effect on humans and normally results in symptoms similar to a bee or wasp sting. But the female bites are more severe than the males, and could set off a fever in their victim.
This is the other of the two spiders caught by Ms Flowers in Brixton. She’d only seen one spider there in the previous five years
Sue Connolly spotted this enormous spider this week on her kitchen floor in Weybridge, Surrey
Jennifer Beattie said she heard a spider’s footsteps crawl on a magazine on her floor in Essex before squashing it
A giant spider found by Rachel Trumper at her home in Bromley, Kent, which was trapped under an upturned glass
Christine Hawkins said she’s had two big spiders in her home in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, over the past week – with this one seen on Monday. She said: ‘It’s lucky it didn’t make it past the front door as my cat Philomena is quite the keen spider hunter’
Why do spiders come inside?
Many of the spiders that come into our homes are males in search of a mate and are also thought to be attracted by the warmth.
They usually start the hunt at the start of September but this summer’s wet weather is seeing them invade our homes earlier than normal.
Experts say spiders are actually inside our homes at other times of the year but are normally hidden away – for example under the floor or in the attic.
However, from now until mid-October the males become nomadic as they search for a mate – while the females remain in their webs.
According to the Royal Society of Biology there are around 600 species of spider in the UK.
The best way to keep them out is to limit their food source – this means clearing away dead flies or any other small crawling insects.
Experts say the species are not normally aggressive towards humans and that bites are rare – however, the spiders may attack if they are caught in clothing, prodded or squashed.
Giant house spiders, pictured this week by horrified residents in Hawkinge and Canterbury, are not only huge, but they are also bolder than the smaller and more common ‘ordinary’ house spiders.
Scientifically known as the Eratigena atrica, they are now in their breeding time until October and are on the lookout for the best place to lay eggs, so it’s not good news for those arachnophobes.
Stacey Pearson from West Derby, Liverpool, found two huge spiders ‘as big as a hand’ in her home last week. The mother said she and her three children were ‘traumatised’ after the monsters appeared in their home.
She took a video of one after catching it in a glass when it crawled out of her sink, saying: ‘I had my hand in the sink to do the dishes and the next minute it just came from nowhere.
‘It must have come up the drain but honestly I have no idea how it fitted through that plug hole.’ She pictured the spider the second after it was caught crawling up her seven-year-old son’s bedroom wall.
Emily Newport found this spider scurrying her living room floor in Bristol two days ago. She said: ‘He was really quick’
Andrew Bugg spotted this scary looking spider on his patio in Colchester, Essex, yesterday
A giant house spider found this week in Hawkinge, Kent, as Britain prepares for a rush of arachnids this Bank Holiday weekend
A giant house spider found in Canterbury this week (left) and a suspected false widow spider in New Romney, Kent (right)
Andrew Taylor thought his house in Heywood, Manchester, was being raided when he heard his intruder alarm sound – but when he jumped out of bed, he found in fact a cluster of huge spiders had set it off
Earlier this month father Richard Cousins had a horrifying close encounter with a false widow in the shower.He shrieked as one Britain’s most poisonous spiders emerged and crawled inches from his bare flesh.
At least a wet summer means a pretty autumn!
There might be one positive Britons can draw from the decidedly damp summer.
The Forestry Commission claims the wet weather has speeded up trees’ sugar production – the process which colours leaves.
This should create a fantastic display of vibrant autumn leaves lasting well into winter, the experts say.
The 50-year-old from Cambourne, Cambridgshire, was having his usual evening shower when terror stalked in. He thought at first it was a harmless house spider and was about to pick it up to put it out of the window.
He said: ‘I am used to the big ones but this one just looked dodgy, so I put it in the sink and thought I’d better take a picture and share it. I looked it up online and it’s definitely a false widow.
‘We were talking about them the other day because we know someone who ended up in hospital when they were bitten by one – then I find one in the shower. I have never heard of one here in Cambridgeshire.’
Last month another false widow ‘attacked’ Karla Watkins, of Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire, who was heading for a family day-out. She shuddered and screamed as a false widow spider dangled in front of her.
Her boyfriend, Ian Thompson, 40, ordered her four-year-old son Charlie to stand clear with his nine-year-old son while the couple swept the spider out of the car.
But self-confessed arachnophobe Karla was horrified to see the spider – believed to be the same one – hanging from the same spot in her car two days later.
Jessica Ha said this was the second spider she has seen at her home in Southampton in the past week, adding: ‘The first one was similar and when it ran across the kitchen floor I thought it was a mouse!’
Tracy Morton from London found this huge spider waiting for her in her bath this morning. She told MailOnline: ‘Eeek!’
Alicia Trela got a nasty surprise when she found these two spiders in her bath in Chesham, Buckinghamshire
Hayley Footitt and her husband had to deal with this spider at the top of their high ceiling in Bristol, going up the stairs
Charlotte Matthews spotted this huge spider crawling up her staircase in Chippenham, Wiltshire, on Friday morning
‘I opened the car door and there it was sitting on the hinge – I have a phobia of spiders so I did panic a bit,’ said Ms Watkins. The second time, she made sure it would not return.
‘Armed with spider repellent spray, I just soaked it completely before knocking it over with a straw and stamping on it. I think it was trying to make a home in my car but I thought ‘no, you are being evicted now’.’
How can you rid your home of spiders?
Pest control experts Rentokil provide the following advice on their website:
1) Vacuum regularly, high and low – particularly sheltered spots such as beneath worktops, backs of cupboards or under/behind large furniture.
2) Remove noticeable webs – on a regular basis.
3) Fill in gaps – in walls, around pipework and under doors to deter entry.
4) Remove sheltering sites – like firewood piles, garden bags, compost piles and general clutter from near your property.
5) Deter all insects – use lighting in a way that is less attractive to the insects (flies) that spiders feed on.
Then of course there are the other options, such as using conkers or horse chestnuts to deter spiders.
It’s believed that they give off some form of chemical that repels the eight-legged creatures, so it’s worth popping a few in the corners of the room just incase.
Peppermint oil, tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil is another suggestion.
Simply mix 15-20 drops with water in a standard spray bottle, then spray down the corners, cracks and entrances to your home.
Again it’s thought that spiders hate the smell and will run away from it.
In April mother-of-five Gemma Hunter said she could lose her foot after she was bitten by a false widow spider. The attack left her with a 1.2in-deep hole from the spider’s fangs in her foot, which is now infected with cellulitis.
Ms Hunter, 41, of Rossendale, Lancashire, said her children were calling her ‘zombie foot’ because of the wound and she has lost her job, is being evicted and is now considering amputation to end her ordeal.
Ms Hunter claimed the spider came in through an open window and bit her as shedozed at the bedside of her 16-year-old son, who was poorly and was in hospital.
She said: ‘I woke up at 3.45am, I had seen the spider before but didn’t think anything of it, and saw it on the top of my foot. It looked like a garden spider, it had a pattern on it and its two front legs were longer than the rest.
‘I just lightly shook my foot and it didn’t come off so I reached to brush it off with my left hand which is when doctors think it bit me because I probably aggravated it – it bit me twice in a vein.’
Her foot swelled up days after the bite, which left a hole that became infected with cellulitis – a disease linked to meningitis. The infection became so bad that she ended up hallucinating and she had get it redressed daily.
Pest management consultant Clive Boase said the weather conditions are ideal for a spiders, adding: ‘We’ve had a reasonably warm year with very few cold snaps and that has led to more invertebrates, such as flies, to feed on.
‘It means false widows, as well as many other species of spiders, can continue their development throughout the summer.’
He added: ‘Sightings of spiders often peak from September as males of many species reach adulthood and venture into homes in search of a mate, but we could be seeing a lot more of them than normal over the next month or two.’
False widows – so called because of their resemblance to deadly black widows – have shiny, black, bulbous bodies and often have markings resembling skulls on their abdomens.
Rob Simpson, manager of pest controllers register Basis Prompt, said simple precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of false widows.
Keeping homes clean and tidy, sealing up cracks or holes in doors and windows and removing plants or debris from the outside of houses will help.
‘Spiders will have fewer places to hide if you keep clutter to a minimum, so I would say keep your house tidy and vacuum regularly,’ he said.
‘You can spray dark corners of the home with pesticides and there’s an old wives’ tale about placing conkers on window sills, but I’m not sure that works.’
** Have you seen a giant spider in your home in recent days? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org **
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online