| 7.6°C Dublin

Spiders top wasps in new phobia list

SPIDERS are the most feared pest, although people increasingly have phobias about hornets, rats and wasps, a new study has revealed.

Spiders topped a "fear index", with two-thirds of those questioned saying they were spooked by them, a survey of 2,000 adults by home emergency firm HomeServe found.

Hornets and rats were closely behind, with foxes sneaking into the top 10 ahead of mice, fleas, slugs and snails, while moths, flies and ants were the least feared.

Most of those polled believed there had been an explosion in the rat population in their areas over the past decade.

Cath Rees, of HomeServe, said: "Homeowners are rightly becoming more concerned about wasp and hornet nests on their property than harmless house spiders.

"Dealing with stinging insects can be very dangerous, especially if you have to destroy a nest."