Monster spiders in Ireland send shiver throughout the nation

The Tegenaria

It's mating season in Ireland for spiders and the species people are noticing the most at the moment are the big ones.

The Tegenaria, a giant house spider, is one of 400 spider species in Ireland. And while the eight-legged creatures may look scary, they are all harmless.

Keith Day, Emeritus Professor of Terrestrial Ecology at the University of Ulster, told the Irish Independent that the Tegenaria is "a very large spider with a leg span of several centimeters and a body size of a fingernail."

“They can move fairly quickly and scuttle off when disturbed.”

Professor Day said spiders are only looking for a place to call home during the winter months.

However... "They don’t seek warm, dry houses,” said Day.

“What they are really looking for are outhouses and cellars, because they like dark, damp, cool places, but they will come into houses too.”

Because of its size, the Tegenaria can cause alarm said Professor of Animal Behavior at Queen’s University, Bob Elwood.

“They are the ones that tend to cause people to run squealing out of rooms,” he said.

“In my household, it’s when I am called.

“People noticing them at this time of year has a lot to do with mating. Males are moving around seeking females at the moment.”

Since the Tegenaria is a funnel web spider, you can often see their webs in the bases of walls and outhouses.