Why you are seeing more spiders in your home this year

Natalie Cornish
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From Country Living

Arachnophobes look away now because spider season is back – and this year's warm, wet summer means more of the eight-legged animals will be turning up in our homes.

Heavy rain and record-breaking temperatures over the last few months have created the perfect conditions for the smaller insects that spiders love to eat, according to scientists at the University of Gloucester. That means the well-fed arachnids are now heading indoors to look for a mate.

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Entomologists at the university trawled Twitter to plot a map of spider season so far. They found people were tweeting about spotting spiders earlier than last year, and seeing more of them in their homes.

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“It certainly looks as if people are getting quite excited by it quite early this year,” Professor Adam Hart told The Telegraph. “People are saying that they are seeing more than they normally do.”

He also told the BBC that "about 80% of the spiders people see are males".

This is because they are on the lookout for a female mate, who are found indoors in our homes, sheds and garages. The males wander around looking for the females and so are easier to spot.

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Researchers say there's no evidence that spiders are bigger than normal this year.

"People always forget that we have some quite large spiders in Britain which it isn’t unusual to see at this time of year, so they tend to post comments saying spiders are getting bigger," Dr Hart told the newspaper.

However, being bitten by a spider is not something Brits should worry about according to the arachnid expert, who said: "Worrying about that in this country is like worrying about ghosts. It's not going to happen."

Though the influx of spiders might seem scary to some, it’s important to remember that the creatures play a crucial role for the environment. They help control insect populations across the globe and are also an important food source for a wide range of animals, from birds to lizards.

So if you want to get rid of spiders from your home, do it in a natural way which causes no harm to the creature. Keeping your house clean and making sure windows and doors are closed will help deter these unwelcome visitors.

And it turns out that peppermint oil will put spiders off from coming into your home as arachnids are repelled by strong scents. Changing the oil that you use regularly can help to ensure that the remedy continues to be effective.

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But those of us who suffer from arachnophobia will be pleased to hear that spider season is over pretty quickly: it usually runs from the first or second week of September to early October.

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