Eight Legged heart stoppers!
‘Arachnophoibia’!!! It’s probably the most common phobia we all know because millions of us suffer from it – THE FEAR OF SPIDERS! We fear spiders more than any other species on this planet, which is strange because the majority of them are not harmful, especially in the UK. Arachnophobia is very common and scientists believe the fear of spiders could be caused by either their legginess appearance, or it could even be part of our genetic makeup passed on from our family members. Whatever it is we don’t seem to like them, which is a shame because they are of some use to us humans.
Why are they invading my home though?
Cue millions of us lining up the old glass and cardboard combo, or the tissue on the end of a broom handle – or quite frankly, anything or anyone who can get rid of it! As the weather starts to turn cooler and wetter in the autumn months, these giant house spiders, which can grow up to 12cm long, will emerge as they hunt for female partners. Spiders don’t specifically want to enter your home; in fact they’d rather stay away as there’s less food and it’s too dry and clean.
Most species of spider prefer to stay outside all the time and never come in houses. However, in the autumn, mature male house spiders start to move around in search of some female attention. Although most remain outside, some will move into a house if there is an entry point for them. It is this need to mate that changes their behaviour, so it seems as though they suddenly come from nowhere at certain times.
The facts about Giant house spiders!
First and foremost there has never been a single recorded death related to a spider bite in the UK. Phew! There are no inherently deadly species of spider found in the UK in fact as their venom is designed for killing much smaller, simpler creatures for food, such as insects. While the females rarely leave their nests, and only then to feed, the males are often spotted from August until October wandering around looking for a mate. The females can lay hundreds of eggs and in each egg sac there can be up to 60 ‘spiderlings’.
Where are they getting in?
Many spiders seek out corners to build their webs, so you’ll spot them between boxes in lofts or basements, behind cupboards, near window openings and in other spots where they’re relatively undisturbed. If they come across any small opening, they can easily get in. The best you can do is make sure there aren’t any leaky pipes or openings. But the good news is, these giants prefer to run away than attack humans – and their bites aren’t harmful, although they can sting a little if they manage to pierce the skin. Very few species of spider will bite people and of those that try, only a small number can even break our skin.
Top 10 Spider Facts.
- Spiders are arthropods, like insects – they have an exoskeleton that is on the outside of their body instead of the inside (unlike humans).
- There are around 40,000 known species of spiders.
- There are a few main differences between spiders and insects, and one of these is the number of legs – all spiders have eight legs.
- Spider bodies are made up of two main parts – the cephalothorax and the abdomen.
- Spiders create silk from spinneret glands in their abdomen. It takes a spider about an hour to build a web, and they usually build a new one every day
- Spider silk is extremely strong, and has a number of different uses which scientists are trying to utilise and mimic.
- The largest spiders are tarantulas, and the largest tarantula is the Goliath tarantula.
- Even though spiders have eight eyes, most of them can’t see very well – they rely on what they feel in order to know when they’ve caught prey in their webs
- Not all spiders catch their food in webs. For instance, the wolf spider makes a hole in the ground, and waits inside for prey to come near before catching them.
- Spiders lay eggs, and store them in an egg sac to keep them safe.