This is why huge sex-crazed spiders are invading UK homes - and how you can keep them out
Arachnophobes could be in for a nerve-jangling few weeks, as millions of spiders look to seek refuge in UK homes.
The arrival of autumn marks the official start of spider mating season, meaning the eight-legged creatures will be leaving their webs this month in search of a nice dry place to copulate.
Spider mating season
Spiders typically start their invasion of homes from September through to October each year.
Thankfully, those who are afraid of the creatures won't have to put up with the unwelcome intruders for long, as they tend to be spotted less often indoors by the first week of October.
In the UK, there are more than 650 different species of spider - and all of them can bite, although only 12 can cause any harm to humans. House, money, cellar and lace web spiders can be expected to be seen a lot more over the next few weeks, as well as false widow spiders, which can grow to around 20mm.
How to keep spiders out of your house
If you are keen to keep the eight-legged creatures out of your home, there are a few things you can try to help prevent them creeping inside.
Spiders love seeking refuge in dark, damp and cluttered places, so ensuring your house is kept clean can keep them away.
Be sure to vacuum and dust regularly, and store things away on plastic lidded boxes, rather than cardboard, to prevent the critters gaining access.
Let the natural light in
Avoid leaving the blinds or curtains closed during the day, or for prolonged periods when you're away from home, as spiders love the dark.
Strong scents can deter spiders from leaving their nooks and crannies (Photo: Shutterstock)
Use essential oils
Spiders 'smell' with their legs, so strong scents will deter them from leaving their nooks and crannies.
Tea tree, rose, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, citronella, lavender and eucalyptus are good oils to try - make sure you spray corners, window sills and skirting boards, and replenish regularly.
Draw some chalk lines
Spiders taste with their feet - and they don't like chalk, so drawing a line around windowsills, your bed, or doorways, will deter them from crossing.
The pest control product is designed to kill ants, but it also works with spiders.
Sprinkle it in corners and along door frames to prevent webs.
Seal any cracks
Seal up any little cracks in walls, floors and ceilings that spiders could use for access.
Keep foliage away from your house
Avoid allowing plants next to your home to creep too close, as spiders will hide away in them.
Leaf litter and accumulating woodpiles also make for great spider hiding places, so be sure to keep your outdoor space tidy.
Don't use conkers
There is no evidence that conkers are effective at keeping spiders out, and other strong aromas are likely to work better, such as garlic or vinegar.