Giant spiders are heading into Leeds homes this week looking for mates - how do you keep spiders out of your house and do conkers work against spiders
People afraid of spiders (isn't that all of us?) dread the beginning of September, the official start of Spider Season™.
Spider season is starting now thanks to the recent warm weather with reports of the leggy arachnids inside homes coming in from various parts of Leeds.
Spiders head inside houses as the weather starts to turn colder and wetter, looking for a mate in a warm dry home ahead of the winter.
But what can you do to keep eight-legged friends out of sight?
How to keep spiders out of your house
Keep your house clean and airy
Spiders love dark, damp, cluttered places. Vacuum and dust regularly, and don't allow clutter to build up. Store things in plastic lidded boxes rather than cardboard ones to prevent spiders gaining access.
Keep your house filled with natural light
Never leave blinds or curtains closed during the day or for prolonged periods of time if you're away from home.
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 can all work - make sure you spray corners, window sills and skirting boards, and replenish regularly.
This 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.
Grab your caulking gun and seal up spider access points in walls, floors and ceilings.
Keep foliage away from your house Don't allow plants next to your home to creep too close, as spiders will hide in them.
Similarly, don't allow leaf litter, woodpiles etc to accumulate, as they make great spider hiding places.
Get a cat
A feline will fearlessly chase spiders - although you can't always guarantee a successful outcome!
-> Leeds Live news blog on Thursday, August 27Do conkers repel spiders and keep them out?
But don't use conkers!
There's no evidence that they're effective. Other strong aromas are likely to work better, such as garlic or vinegar.
Try Chalk. Spiders taste with their feet - and they don't like chalk. Draw a chalk line around windowsills, your bed, or doorways, and many of them won't want to cross it.
Should you kill spiders in your house?
Here are some of the main reasons we should be welcoming spiders with open arms:
1: Spiders are known to eat pests such as flies, moths and other variations.
If left to their own devices, they will happily feats on most of the pests in a house.
2: Spiders kill other spiders. They have wars, fights, one-on-one combat that usually last until the death, when the winner will gauge on the loser's corpse.
3: Spiders can help curtail disease, by mopping up pests that enter the house carrying harmful virus'.
4: Spiders in this country aren't harmful, on the whole. The majority will not bite you and even if they do, the would is very unlikely to become serious. It is said that the biggest harm would be the wound getting a secondary infection, but that's down to the person who has been bitten not cleaning it properly.
5: Species of spiders, globally, are on the decrease. Habitats are being destroyed and people keep killing them in the house, meaning numbers are dwindling, making it a good deed to welcome them into your home, as well as a healthy one.
So the next time you see a spider in your home, maybe you'll think twice about the misunderstood 'monsters'.