As summer comes to an end, giant mature spiders are getting set to invade Irish homes in the coming weeks.
Irish arachnologist Myles Nolan told the Irish Independent that large male spiders will invade homes in greater numbers as they go on the hunt for adequate breeding partners throughout the late summer and autumn months.
“Giant might be too strong a word to use for these spiders but they certainly are large. They can have a leg span of up to 3cm which might be intimidating to those who are fearful of them.
“The spiders mature throughout the summer and in late August and autumn they are mature and go wandering to look for females to mate with.
“Female spiders might also be more prominent in homes as they are wandering around in search of a suitable place to lay their egg sacks where they won’t be disturbed," he said.
Nolan says that despite their size, the spiders are not a threat to humans.
“Spiders aren’t dirty so they do not pose a risk that way and they are not dangerous. Unless they are disturbed they won’t bite and if they do so it will because they are doing so defensively,” he said.
However, Nolan said it is also breeding season for False Widow Spiders, whose venom can cause a nasty reaction.
Recently a woman from Northern Ireland, Aideen Hynes, suffered a severe reaction to what she believes was a bite from a False Widow.
“The small False Widow spider is quite common in Ireland but it is largely harmless. The larger one has a particularly nasty vemon that can cause a reaction if bitten."
Unfortunately for arachnophobes, there isn’t much one can do to deter the eight-legged creatures from entering a home.
“There is really no such thing as a spiderless house. Spiders enter homes through open windows and doors, holes in pipes and wall cavities. Things like ivy and railings would also provide access points to spiders.
“While it might be a bit unfair on the spiders, I can understand why people might be freaked out by them,” said Nolan.