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Spiders 'as big as mice' to invade Irish homes

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House spider, Tegenaria gigantea, detail of face and hairy legs, front view.

House spider, Tegenaria gigantea, detail of face and hairy legs, front view.

House spider, Tegenaria gigantea, detail of face and hairy legs, front view.

Experts say that spiders 'as big as mice' may be trying to invade Irish homes.

Trevor Hayden of Complete Pest Control told the Star that spiders up to 12cm long are possible in Ireland these days. It comes after reports in the UK of spiders 'as big as mice' were reported.

'Amazingly they can get that big,' he said. However, this super-sized spider is nothing to worry about.

"While they can bite, they are not dangerous," he added, though that won't put those terrified of creepy crawlies at ease.

Thanks to a wet spring and a relatively warm summer the numbers of house spiders in Ireland this year has risen sharply, and when you learn that they can have 60 spiderlings at any one time, it is no surprise that there seems to be a spider epidemic.

An abundance of food for spiders to eat, chiefly other insects, has also led to the larger-than-normal eight-legged creatures.

But the good news is that of the 420 different species of spider in Ireland, only one, the infamous false widow, is a danger to humans.

A number of people last year had strong reactions to the spider's venom after getting bitten but house spider venom is harmless to humans.

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