Spider season is here, with our multi-legged 'friends' scurrying into homes throughout September and October.
There are around 650 species of spider in the UK, ranging from those with a leg span of just a couple of millimetres, to the less than ideal 12cm leg span of the cardinal spider.
When is spider season?
According to the British Arachnological Society (BAS) there are certain times of the year when spiders are more likely to be spotted in the home, particularly during autumn.
While there isn't necessarily an increase in the number of spiders at this time of the year, we tend to see them more because some come in from the outside during these months.
They tend to enter through windows, doors, drain pipes, over-flow pipes, air-bricks, chimneys and in items brought into the house.
But noticing more of the eight-legged scuttlers can be tricky for those who aren't fans of our spidery pals, particularly for those suffering from arachnophobia, who get paralysed with fear at the thought of dealing with a bath tub invader.
Thankfully there are some simple ways to be able to survive this year's spider season.
Read more: How to get rid of spiders: The cheap and cruelty-free gadget every arachnophobe needs (Yahoo Life UK, 2-min read)
Why you shouldn't catch and kill spiders
The arachnophobes out there (over 6% of the global population have 'an intense fear of spiders') will know all too well the screaming dread of seeing that dark shape scurry across the floor, noiseless and seemingly directionless.
Fortunately, for much of the year, spiders lurk unseen, or outdoors, busy building their webs between plants, being part of the eco-system, and causing no trouble.
But come autumn – mating season – the weather turns chilly and the spider population wants to be warm and cosy, find somewhere to settle down and raise their many eight-eyed kids.
Understandably there is the urge to charge at them with a heavy hardback or the desire to leap onto a chair, and stay there until we finally feel we are 'safe' again.
There are, however, good reasons not to do this. For a start, spiders are the Henry Hoovers of the 'minibeast' world, catching and eating all the annoying flies, bluebottles, midges and mosquitoes in your home.
Say what you like about spiders, but there are probably far more noisy and irritating disturbances you could have to deal with at night.
They also keep crops safe, by gobbling up pests that threaten the harvest, and protect plants by eating more insects than birds and bats combined.
They have a vital place in the ecosystem – and they themselves provide nutritious food for birds, which won't work if the poor things are smeared all over your weightiest coffee table book.
How to safely get rid of spiders
However, while they may be essential to maintaining bio-diversity and balancing the entire eco-system on their eight little legs, many of us don't want them plotting up in our houses. So how do we gently persuade them out?
You could try conkers, which are said to contain saponin, a substance spiders hate to smell. Though while you might put them in every corner if your home, just in case, there is no evidence to prove this works.
If you have a spider in your bath the BAS suggests placing a plastic cup or glass tumbler over the spider and sliding a postcard between the surface and the container, before releasing it elsewhere. Interestingly, spiders don't actually climb up the plug holes, but typically fall into the bath while out hunting at night and then cannot then climb up the slippery sides so get trapped. The BAS suggest leaving a towel over the edge of the bath at night even if a spider is not in it just in case one should fall in.
If you want a spider gone but can't cope with picking it up yourself then a good solution is to invest in a humane spider catcher - three top options are listed below.