Spiders big enough to set off burglar alarm's are giving Burton, Uttoxeter and South Derbyshire homeowners the jitters as male spiders are on the hunt for a female mate in our homes.
The arachnids are likely to be making more of an appearance in the coming weeks as spider season gets under way, and once they are in, they may never leave.
A female spider can stay in one home for its whole seven-year life span and a common house spider can have the leg span of up to 12cm – that's almost five inches in old money. However, many of the spiders which are found in homes are believed to be males who are in search of a mate.
But it is their female mate that is the largest of the two and can carry up to 100 offspring at once. She is often seen lurking about looking for somewhere to lay her eggs and is often attracted to warm places.
So if you are not too fond of creepy crawlies, here is a list of tricks of the trade that people have been using to try to win the war against the many-legged monsters. Though we can't promise they will work.
Keep your house clean
If you keep your home clean and wipe up bits of leftover food you will be less likely to attract insects and pests, who in turn bring the spiders. Wipe and clean your surfaces along with vacuuming any spider webs or egg sacs (which will be ball shaped and often hidden in the web) waiting to hatch.
Additionally make sure you don’t miss those neglected nooks or crannies because dark, undisturbed spaces are inviting to spiders.
A tidy home is also important when trying to keep spiders away. Store things in airtight containers rather than cardboard boxes so spiders can't get into them.
Stock up on things spiders 'don’t like'
Even though spiders are known to have a very poor sense of smell, some people believe spiders dislike anything with citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint and vinegar.
You can see if this works by placing them on your window sills, on top of bookcases, or in any other small spaces that may be appealing to the creepy crawlies. Replace these every three or four days so the peels don’t dry out and lose their natural fragrance.
It's also thought that spiders hate conkers and walnuts – but there is no evidence to prove it.
Turn the lights off
Keep any lights outside your house switched off. The type of insects that spiders feast on will be attracted to the light and therefore will bring your home under the unwanted attention of spiders.
Keep plants to a minimum
Keep vegetation and flowers to the side of your house to a minimum. Spiders love to hide in piles of wood and compost. However, when the weather cools down they will try to keep warm by getting inside your house.
Mind the gaps
Cracks, crevices and gaps naturally open up around doors and windows – especially in kitchens, bathrooms or anywhere in the house that’s moist.
These spaces are where most spiders will gain access to your house, so spray corners and cracks with pesticide to keep the crawlers at bay.
Invest in cedar wood furniture
Another fool's errand, perhaps, but some serious arachnophobes believe spiders hate the smell of cedar wood. They are known to put cedar-wood blocks in their garden and around possible ‘spider entrances’.
However, arachnid expert Paul Finnegan, who runs the Bug House at Liverpool’s World Museum, believes that there is no way to stop the spiders from getting in.
He told the Burton Mail's sister title, the Liverpool Echo: "I have heard them all, from rubbing your windowsill with lemon to putting conkers around your home, but none of them work. Spiders have very poor eyesight and a poor sense of smell, that is not going to stop them trying to find shelter.
"Spiders are actually very good to have in our homes and if it wasn’t for them the human race would have been wiped out because they eat all the bugs and flies that carry disease."