Giant house spiders moving indoors after wet UK summer

House spider
Image caption House spiders can nip, even draw blood, but they are not venomous

The number of giant house spiders creeping into UK homes is set to rise after the hot wet summer weather, experts say.

The spiders, which can grow up to 12cm in length, are heading indoors to find a dry place to mate.

Despite the name, house spiders more commonly live in sheds and gardens.

Stuart Hine, insect specialist at the Natural History Museum said "they can give you a nip if you pick them up" but they are not harmful to humans.

He said: "This is mating season. The males when they are mature will leave their webs in search of a female spider, so off they go on their little trek to find love.

"In doing so they stop feeding so they actually don't live that long as an adult and they're just sort of roaming around."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Despite their name, house spiders are usually found in sheds and gardens

The spiders enter homes through open doors and windows.

Mr Hine said: "When we get this type of weather we see a lot more of them but it doesn't necessarily mean there are a lot more of them. That said, they do well in years when there is plenty of food."

He said despite the name house spiders more commonly live in garages, sheds and under shrubs in the garden.

"They can give you a bit of a nip if you pick them up by the leg, saying 'please let go of me' in the politest way they know," he added.

"They can even draw a bit of blood, but they don't have venom that can have any effect on us."

What's the best way to catch a spider?

Image copyright Thinkstock

Many people are frightened of spiders but don't panic - there are many ways to get rid of the eight-legged crawlers without killing them.

  • Trap the spider under a glass or jar and slide a piece of cardboard underneath before releasing it outside
  • Stuck in the bath? Drape a towel over the edge so the spider can crawl out and then shake it off outside
  • Gently sweep into a dustpan and lightly tap the pan to stop the spider from moving while you take it outside
  • Coax the spider onto a long stick or ruler and take outside. Vacuum up old webs

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