It’s that time of year when the weather is getting cooler, leaves are falling, kids are back at school after the long summer break and spiders are trying to invade your home.
Every year, where we live, in September and October as the summer leaves us and autumn arrives, so it seems, so the spiders.
They were around all along but as it gets cooler they seem to be more obvious and I see some rather big ones scuttling across my living room floor, or I find them hanging around on the wall, or even in my bath.
They can be rather large as spiders go for the U.K. but they are harmless and they have come inside to find a warm place for the winter and our houses are a convenient spot for that. Lots of nooks and crannies to curl up in during the colder weather. Most of them are male, and they want to find a female, to make spider babies, and continue their life cycle.
If you don’t like spiders this can be a bit of a problem but actually, most British spiders are harmless and won’t hurt you and if you can bear it you should leave them be. They may look fierce but they are not really out to get us and actually can be helpful keeping flies and other bugs at bay.
If I find one in the bath, I use a wineglass to scoop it out (they can’t climb the sides) and deposit it gently outside. If I happen to notice one on the floor or walls of hour house I leave them alone. We can’t stop them coming in, and they aren’t dangerous so I figure living with them is the best way to be.
I struggled with arachnophobia for years, but have managed to most conquer my fear of spiders and now can live with them, or at least not be freaked out by them.
There are old wives tales about using conkers to ward them off, scattering them around the house apparently prevents the spiders from coming in, and some people use essential oils or even toxic sprays to deal with them but spiders are part of nature and are just doing their spidery thing.
The most common spider you may see trying to become a tenant is the house spider. They can be rather large, I’ve had a couple almost as big as my hand but they are not venomous and are actually very timid. You may find the odd false widow spider but they usually like damp and dark places so if your home is not damp and you don’t have an old cellar or basement they are likely to be outside. They can leave a nasty bite but again, it’s rare.
If you can cope, leave the spiders who’ve come to stay, be. If you can’t bear the thought of them around you may just have to learn to scoop them up and evict them outside.
If you can, please don’t kill them. They are part of the natural ecosystem and really, although they might look fearsome, they aren’t out to get you, we promise…