October is the month that all arachnophobes dread.
Spider mating season gets underway and that means that over the next few weeks homes across Huddersfield will be invaded by the eight-legged creatures.
And it gets worse - this autumn there are concerns that there could be more than ever.
Giant house spiders particularly love this time of year, and the Chronicle reports that experts think that because a mild summer has produced more flies - their favourite food - there's more of them than ever.
Right now the male giant house spiders are looking for females to mate with and that's when they become more visible, especially behind fireplaces, under sofas or in the bath.
And here’s a fact to make your skin crawl: there are over 650 different species of spiders in the UK - and they ALL bite.
Thankfully, though, only 12 of these species have enough venom that can cause harm to a human.
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the most common spiders you’re likely to find around the house in the coming months, and most importantly - whether they’ll cause you any danger.
1. Missing sector orb web spider
Also known as Zygiella x-notata, this spider is named because it spins an orb web with one full sector missing.
With a size of up to 15mm, this arachnid is relatively small and is common around Britain’s houses and gardens.
The spider, which is not harmful to humans, can be distinguished by its pale body and legs, with silvery-grey markings on its abdomen.
Usually seen indoors in the autumn and winter months, this spider prefers warmth and is most common in areas around Leicestershire and Rutland.
How big are they? Up to 15mm
Are they harmful? No, not at all
2. Giant house spider
Measuring a size of 120mm, this critter is most common in the autumn months when the males leave their webs in search of females.
Often the spider you’re likely to find in the bath, they can run extremely fast, but only for a limited length of time before they have to stop to recover from their exhaustion.
These large spiders build sheet like webs and may be found in garages, sheds, attics and cavity walls where they are less likely to be disturbed.
Giant house spiders do possess a potent venom and can bite, but they do not usually pose a threat to humans.
How big are they? Big - 120mm
Are they harmful? Potentially, yes - but they’re not at all aggressive
3. Daddy long legs spider
Unlike the hairy giant house spiders, these creepy crawlies have small grey bodies and long, thin legs.
Although they can vary in size, the pholcus phalangioides (to give them their scientific name) can potentially measure up to 45mm.
Urban myths exist that suggest the daddy long legs spider contains the most potent venom but that their fangs aren’t strong enough to penetrate human skin.
Reports on research into this theory suggests that the spiders can bite - but the venom will only deliver a brief mild burning sensation, if anything at all.
How big are they? Up to 45mm
Are they harmful? No, not really
4. Lace web spider
Usually found on outdoor walls and fencing, these spiders will retreat inside in the autumn months to find a mate.
Heavy rainfall can also force these spiders into the house, usually because they have been flooded out of their own home.
They generally grow to a size of around 20mm and are brown with yellow markings on the abdomen.
Be on your guard when you see one of these spiders, as they have been known to bite people in recent years.
Bites are reported to be painful but the symptoms usually just consist of localised swelling for around 12 hours.
How big are they? 20mm
Are they harmful? Yes - if they bite, you’ll know about it
5. Zebra jumping spider
These eight-legged creatures are small, reaching a size of just 8mm.
Recognisable from their distinctive white and black markings, the move in a jerky ‘stop, start’ motion.
These spiders are usually seen from spring through to autumn and can be found on external walls, as well as indoors where they will enter through open doors and windows.
They are more likely to flee from humans than attack them, but they can bite - although the venom is not considered medically threatening.
How big are they? Small - just 8mm
Are they harmful? No
6. False widow spider
Cited as Britain’s most venomous spider the false widow already has a bad reputation.
The species, also known as steatoda nobilis, usually has an overall size of 20mm and is characterised by a dark brown colour and a bulbous abdomen.
Adult female false widow spiders are known to have bitten humans, although they are not usually aggressive and attacks on people are rare and there are no reported UK deaths.
These seemingly harmless bugs will eat your ENTIRE lawn and there is nothing you can do about it
Symptoms of a bite can range from a numb sensation to severe swelling and discomfort.
In serious cases there can be various levels of burning or chest pains, which will depend on the amount of venom injected.
How big are they? 20mm
Are they harmful? In a word, yes
7. Cardinal spider
The cardinal spider is the largest spider in the UK, growing to an overall length of 14cm in some cases.
Also known as tegenaria parietina, it is known as the cardinal spider in Britain because of the legend that Cardinal Thomas Woolsey was terrified by this species at Hampton Court back in the 16th century.
Although they are mainly thought to be harmless to humans, these arachnids get a bad reputation because of their huge size, incredible speed and their nocturnal habits.
Bites from these spiders are rare, and painless.
How big are they? Very - 14cm
Are they harmful? No, they look much scarier than they actually are
8. Money spider
From the Britain’s biggest to the smallest, money spiders grow no more than 5mm long, with their leg span just 2mm.
They get their name from an old superstition that if one got stuck in your hair, it would bring you good luck and increased wealth.
The money spider weaves hammock shaped webs and bites its prey to paralyse it - before wrapping it in silk and eating it.
The fangs on this spider are not anywhere near big enough to penetrate human skin.
How big are they? Tiny - 2mm
Are they harmful? No, not at all
9. Tube web spider
As you might expect, this spider is aptly named because of the tube-shaped web it spins to catch its prey.
They are often found in cracks in buildings which they will cover with silk lines while they wait in the entrance.
Originally a species from the Mediterranean regions, it can now be found in British towns including Bristol, Cornwall, Gloucester, Dover, Southampton and Sheffield, amongst others.
This spider does bite and the pain has been compared to a deep injection with the sensation lasting for several hours. Despite this, the bites do not appear to have any lasting effects.
How big are they? Up to 22mm
Are they harmful? Kind of - their bite might hurt, but the pain won’t last
10. Cupboard spider
Closely related to the false black widow, the steatoda grossa is often mistaken because of its dark colour and similarly bulbous abdomen.
It usually grows to approximately 10mm in length and its appearance can vary slightly from purple to brown to black.
The female can lay egg sacs at least three times a year which typically contain between 40 - 100 eggs.
They have been known to bite humans, but are not usually aggressive.
Although injuries are minor, symptoms can include blistering and generally feeling unwell - which can last a couple of days.
How big are they? Up to 12mm
Are they harmful? A bit - they don’t bite often, but when they do it hurts
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