PHOTOS: The biggest spiders you found in Leeds homes - but how can you stop them coming in?

Photos of huge spiders spotted in Leeds houses have been flooding into our newsroom in the past few days.

Thursday, 16th August 2018, 6:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th August 2018, 7:05 pm
People have been sending photos of their horrific spiders in Leeds and Yorkshire

Readers have been sharing these hair-raising snaps of the biggest eight-legged beasts in Leeds.

-> Spider season starts early as huge sex crazed arachnids invade homesNicci McCulloch said: "I've had had three gigantor ones already!!!

"One was at the sink trying to drink the washing up liquid and last night one ran up the curtains in the bedroom just as I was going to sleep.....made the curtains move!"

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People have been sending photos of their horrific spiders in Leeds and Yorkshire

Amanda Hallard added (rather harshly, we think): "I don’t need to see that! I always assume these stories are crap, but seeing your picture proves they’re not! "

Why are spiders coming into your house now?

Huge spiders have been spotted inside homes across Yorkshire - and they're looking for mates.

-> Dog dumped in Leeds cemetery 'took weeks to starve to death'This year, the season is beginning EARLY - thanks to the unseasonable heatwave driving them out of their garden hiding places and into homes.

A spider from reader Sean Magee

House spiders will remain in their webs in sheds, garages and wood piles during the summer, until going on the hunt for a mate in autumn.

That means they'll be moving into your house in the hope of getting some action.

Despite their fearsome looks, house spiders aren't dangerous - and can be safely taken back to the garden with a glass and a bit of paper (but you might want to close your windows).

Spiders also play an important role in your home's ecosystem - they eat flies, aphids, ants, moths and other pests that can clutter up your home. In many ways, a spider is the best critter you can keep on hand (but they aren't to everyone's tastes).

A spider photo from reader Daniel Scott

How can you keep spiders out of your house?

-Close all doors and windows

-Seal gaps around windows and doors, make sure there are no gaps in skirting boards or in plaster joins. You can use a bit of filler from a DIY store to put into cracks or gaps

-Draw a chalk line around your bed or across doorways. Spiders taste with their feet - they don't like crossing chalk. Lemon juice also works, but this may attract flies instead...

A spider photo from Christina Brooks

-Peppermint oil - spiders hate the taste and the smell. Spray this along windowsills and door frames.

-Conkers DON'T work. It's a myth!

-> £300,000 makeover for pubA spider's typical life, according to the British Arachnological Association

The powder-blue young emerge from their egg sacs, together with 70 or so siblings, in late spring.

After a few weeks they disperse, build their own miniature webs and start to feed. The young of the year moult two or three times before overwintering as halfgrown juveniles.

Growth resumes the following spring and the spiders reach maturity later that year - males in August or September and females a couple of weeks later.

A spider photo from Pam Clulow

The newly-mature males leave their webs and search for the more sedentary females. This is the time of year when large house spiders are often seen running across carpets or become trapped in baths and sinks.

When a male finds a female that is soon to moult to maturity he moves into her retreat and stays close by, guarding her until she is adult. Repeated bouts of mating then occur with the male often lingering for the next few weeks to prevent the female mating with other partners.

When cold weather comes the male dies – he’s then about 18 months old. The female overwinters within her retreat and in spring, when temperatures and food supplies increase, she begins to build a series of egg sacs.

These are hung close to the web and are about the size of a ring-finger nail.

They are made of white silk and often decorated externally with the remains of past meals such as fly carcasses. The mother plays no further role in the lives of her offspring and usually dies before the next winter, when she’s about 30 months old.