Monday 17 December 2018

Fear of spiders? Don't be home at 7.35pm...

Householders are likely to see more creepy crawlies in the coming weeks during peak spider mating season, which runs until the first week of October. Stock Image: Getty Images
Householders are likely to see more creepy crawlies in the coming weeks during peak spider mating season, which runs until the first week of October. Stock Image: Getty Images

Sarah Knapton in London

Arachnophobes should stay out of the house at 7.35pm because that is the time spiders are most likely to be scuttling around, a new study suggests.

Householders are likely to see more creepy crawlies in the coming weeks during peak spider mating season, which runs until the first week of October.

And because females tend to spin their webs on door and window frames, males come inside to track down a prospective partner.

Prof Adam Hart, an entomologist at the University of Gloucestershire in England, collected more than 10,000 records from more than 250 locations in Britain to find out when spiders are most likely to be seen.

He found that peak sightings happen at 7.35pm.

There was also a slight peak in sightings at 6-8am which could reflect morning observations of spiders trapped in sinks or baths overnight, said the researchers.

"We think that while people are more likely to be sat down and able to view spiders at 7.30pm, the pattern of sightings in rooms other than living rooms suggests that it is not just people driving the pattern - so we think it probably does reflect some spider ecology too," said Prof Hart.

The research, in the journal 'Arachnology', also found that around 80pc of spiders seen are males hunting for females.

Irish Independent

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