Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

Sex-hungry spiders 'as big as your hand' are invading people's homes

Huge spiders ‘as big as your hand’ have started their annual mating season, meaning they will be increasingly coming indoors in search of warm places to live. 

The sex-hungry house spiders can have a leg span of up to 10cm each and are hunting out partners in homes, sheds and garages during August and September. 

Several have already been spotted around the country, giving arachnophobes a fright. 

But leading ecologist Dr Chris Terrell-Nield from Nottingham Trent University says they are more afraid of us, than we are of them. 

He told Nottinghamshire Live the creatures can ‘do zero to 60 in one second’ and instantly disappear if you look away for a second. They also have biting fangs and can give you a nip but aren’t dangerous. 

He said: ‘The spider that is coming into houses at the moment is the house spider and it is one of Britain’s biggest spiders. 

‘These things have been breeding and started their life span in the spring. 

‘This time of the year, August and September, the male spiders have the urge to mate and start wandering and looking for females. 

‘When they find them they mate and she lays eggs and the male usually dies.’

Dr Terrell-Nield said people can also expect to find more daddy long leg spiders and cross spiders in their homes and gardens at this time of year.

He’s also encouraging people to look out for the ‘missing sector spider’ in woodlands, named because they have a slight section of their web missing.

It creates what is called ‘a signal line’ and waits on it until there is a vibration in the grass. It then strikes, pulling the insect into their web.

Dr Terrell-Nield said: ‘Spiders do an incredible service for us because they eat vast quantities of flies.

‘The reason people are frightened of them is because the way they move. They will be still and not do anything and then you look away and they have gone.

‘They can do zero to 60 in one second and people lose track of where they have gone. They are rather alien and we do not have a connection with them. They look imposing.

“It is the same reaction when people see a mouse. But we are far more dangerous to them than they are to us.’

Those still unconvinced of the benefits should note that there are many actions people can take to discourage spiders from getting into their homes. 

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