Welcome to spider season: Why you should never catch and kill


Flic Everett
 and Hannah Millington

Wed, 21 September 2022 at 2:22 pm

Spider season. (Getty Images)
Refrain from swatting that spider in your home. (Getty Images)

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Spider season is here, with daddy long legs and house species popping up in homes throughout September and October.

Invertebrate charity Buglife revealed that as many as 200 billion spiders could be making themselves comfortable across the UK at the moment, which sounds far less than ideal.

This of course means that arachnophobia season is also in full swing, because no matter how remarkable the eight-legged scuttlers may be, for those who live in fear, every new piece of information just adds to the alarm.

For instance, there are 38,000 species of spider in the world, and many more to be discovered. They’re also found on every continent ‘except Antarctica’, and in one acre of land, there are around one million of them. The list could go on.

A Giant House Spider Near A Plughole
Unfortunately, your bathroom is the perfect home for daddy long legs. (Getty Images)

Why you shouldn’t catch and kill spiders

The arachnophobes out there (over 6% of the global population have ‘an intense fear of spiders’) will know all too well the screaming dread of seeing that dark shape whisk by across the floor, noiseless and seemingly directionless.

Fortunately, for much of the year, spiders lurk unseen, or outdoors, busy building their webs between plants, being part of the eco-system, and causing no trouble.

But come autumn – mating season – the weather turns chilly and the spider population wants to be warm and cosy, find somewhere to settle down and raise their many eight-eyed kids.

Understandably there is the urge to charge at them with a heavy hardback or the desire to leap onto a chair, and stay there until we finally feel we are ‘safe’ again.

Read more: Man burns his house down after trying to kill spiders with a blowtorch

Arachnophobia starts young.... (Getty Images)
Arachnophobia starts young…. (Getty Images)

There are, however, good reasons not to do this. For a start, spiders are the Henry Hoovers of the ‘minibeast’ world, catching and eating all the annoying flies, bluebottles, midges and mosquitoes in your home. Say what you like about spiders, but are probably far more noisy and irritating disturbances you could have to deal with at night.

They also keep crops safe, by gobbling up pests that threaten the harvest, and protect plants by eating more insects than birds and bats combined. They have a vital place in the ecosystem – and they themselves provide nutritious food for birds, which won’t work if they’re smeared all over your heaviest encyclopaedia.

In fact…shudder alert… it has been estimated that spiders eat more insects than ‘the weight of the human population’ every year. As long as they don’t come for us next.


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How to safely get rid of spiders

However, while they may be essential to maintaining bio-diversity and balancing the entire eco-system on their eight little legs, many of us don’t want them shacking up in our houses. So how do we gently persuade them out?

You could try conkers, which are said to contain saponin, a substance spiders hate to smell. Though while you might put them in every corner if your home, just in case, there is no evidence to prove this works.

And if you don’t have a partner/child/parent/flatmate who’s willing to gently carry them outside while you breathe into a paper bag, there’s only one solution: The spider catcher. Luckily, it’s brilliant. Suck up Mr Spider, seal the tube, carry outside and release.

Then walk away and don’t look back.

Published by anthonyhayble

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