These are the biggest spiders spotted in Sheffield houses - but this is how to stop them

Photos of huge spiders in houses across Sheffield are being shared online as spider-season begins.

Friday, 17th August 2018, 11:35 am
Updated Friday, 17th August 2018, 11:40 am
Spiders in Sheffield homes

Readers have been sharing these hair-raising snaps of the biggest eight-legged beasts from Sheffield and across Yorkshire.

People afraid of spiders always dread the beginning of September when spider-season begins in earnest.

Picture: Karen Armitage

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But, it seems the season is beginning early this year as the warm weather drives them out of their garden hiding places and into homes.

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.

A spider's typical life, according to the British Arachnological Association

Picture: Amy May Hulse

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.

Picture: Stefan Evans

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.

Picture: Jennifer Osborne

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

How can you keep spiders out of your house?

Picture: Amy May Hulse

The Yorkshire Post have made this handy guide of how to keep the spiders out of your home.

-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...

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

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

Picture: Thomas Hardwick
Picture: Pam Clucow