This is the worst time of the year for arachnophobes.
Every year as autumn approaches, increasing numbers of spiders are found scuttling around inside our homes trying to find shelter from the cold.
To make matters worse, scientists have warned that this year the creepy crawlies have grown larger than ever.
Our mild summer has caused them to increase in size and with temperatures set to fall over the coming weeks they will try to make their homes indoors.
“This year has been seemingly a good one for the invertebrates which spiders feed on, and it’s quite mild out there,” said Professor Adam Hart, from the University of Gloucestershire, who has created an app to help us identify and understand common house spiders.
We’ve put together nine tips, ranging from the obvious to the bizarre, to help stop the eight-legged intruders.
1. Clean it up
Leaving crumbs or bits of food out will attract other pests which will in turn attract spiders. Keep surfaces clean and vacuum regularly to prevent spiders wanting to come inside. Also keep your home clutter free so they will have nowhere to hide.
2. Turn out the lights
Spiders aren’t attracted to light but their prey is. Spiders lurk near lights to catch other pests that serve as tasty meals. Turn off outdoor lights and use blinds to block indoor light.
3. Citrus does the trick
Spiders apparently aren’t fans of strong citrus smells like lemon, orange and lime. Leave small bowls of lemon juice in places where you think spiders are likely to lurk and it will discourage them from setting up home.
4. Seal up your home
Keep an eye out for any cracks, gaps or holes that spiders may be able to slip in through and seal them up so they can’t get in.
5. Buy a plug-in deterrent
You can buy a plug in spider deterrent that emits high pitched sounds that apparently make things uncomfortable for spiders. Once they hear it they’ll likely rush outdoors again.
Spiders apparently hate tobacco as much as they hate lemons. Try sprinkling small bits of tobacco where spiders are likely to appear.
7. Enlist the help of a furry friend
Cats are great spider detterents. They are natural hunters and will not let a spider crawl across the floor without going after it. Many cats enjoy batting spiders around the place before eventually eating them.
8. Remove plants from the side of your home
During the mild summer months, spiders are happy to live in vegetation because it serves as a ideal hiding spot. However as temperatures drop they’ll seek out warmer places to live and crawl towards your home.
While there's no scientific proof to back this up, it’s an old wives tale that spiders have a morbid fear of conkers and chestnuts. Try placing some in corners or in places where you frequently run across spiders.
10. Spray peppermint, tea-tree or eucalyptus oil
Peppermint, tea-tree and eucalyptus oil are more smells that spiders hate. Try leaving bowls of the oil around popular spider-lurking spots or spray some at window and door cracks to prevent spiders entering your home.