AS SUMMER comes to an end, cooler weather, browning leaves, or the return to school isn't the main thought on the minds of some people – it's spider season.

With September fast approaching, it's time for the eight-legged creepy crawlies to start their home invasion, and some people have already spotted spiders as big as their PALM inside the home.

Dozens of social media users have reported sightings of the giant arachnids, with some posting pictures of their new house guests.

Down south, 41-year-old recruitment consultant Martin, from Surrey, described his encounter with an unwelcome invader.

He said: “I was catching up on A League Of Their Own after my wife had gone to bed, I saw this thing come out from under the TV cabinet and scuttle past our sleeping greyhound.

“Luckily the dog stayed asleep and the wife and kids were asleep. I’m not scared of spiders but you wouldn’t want to meet this thing in a dark alley.

“It was in the lounge and probably three times the size of a very large house spider.”

According to The Wildlife Trusts, the giant house spider – identified by its dark hairy body and long legs – typically has a leg span of up to 7.5cm and can run up to half a metre per second.

It can often be found living behind the fireplace, under the sofa, or in the bath.

The Bolton News:

These harmless spiders can look quite monstrous in size, but it turns out that most of the invading arachnids are males looking for love.

Professor Adam Hart, an entomologist at the University of Gloucestershire, said a 2018 study showed 82 per cent of spiders spotted indoors at this time of year are males.

He said: “They get quite wandery, going around looking for females, which they can be quite determined about.

“Houses are just another habitat to wander around, the females are quite sedentary and stay in places like sheds and underneath windowsills.

“If we are not used to seeing them around, they do appear quite big.

“There are a couple of male spiders in those species that are quite formidable-looking, but the reality is they’re quite harmless.”

If they're successful in their quest to find love, the pair will stay together for a few weeks, mating "numerous times" until the male dies, and is eaten by their mate.

Spider season will not last long, with arachnophobes able to look forward to the start of October, when the season will be over.

An old wives’ tale encourages people to place conkers at windowsills to keep spiders at bay, but the best thing to do to keep the eight-legged monsters out is to keep windows and doors shut.

As more people are spending their evenings indoors, Prof Hart said 7.35pm was the peak time of when spiders are spotted lurking around the house.

He continued: “There’s nearly always a way to get in the house, they can also come in through things like towels that are left outside.

“Keeping your house tidy and keeping clothes off the floor may reduce places for them to hide, but it’s very difficult to keep them out.”

Simple ways to avoid spotting any unexpected visitors include: 

  • Fill in any large gaps of spaces around windows or cables with caulk or consider using fine mesh screens around vents in your home.
  • Keep your home tidy to avoid species of spider which thrive in dark corners.
  • Turn off outside lights. These might not attract spiders but they will bring in insects and other pests which can become food sources for the arachnids.
  • Avoid leaving curtains closed and use sprays to keep the house smelling fresh. Spiders prefer the dark and are often deterred by strong scents.
  • There are also some pest control items such as Borax which are made to stop insects.