Why you should be a spider sparer:

Now, let me begin by stating I’m terrified of spiders to the point of hysteria. It is a regular occurrence for me to leap out of bed in the middle of the night because the dog’s tail brushed my foot and my sleep-saturated brain was convinced an eight-legged monster was about to bite my leg off.

However I never deliberately kill spiders (unfortunately I have been known to accidentally squash them because they made me jump and I dropped what I was holding on top of them….), instead I bravely grab my handy spider kit (a glass and a postcard) and evict the creepy creatures (or if they’re really big my partner has to be a manly spider-warrior).

It turns out this is the correct thing to do if you really can’t ignore them. And here are some reasons why:

There is nothing a spider won’t eat… apart from humans. Most spiders in the UK don’t bite, and those that do are very unlikely to cross your path or do much damage. However there are dozens of bugs hanging around your house that are kept under control by the spiders that you never see (yes, sorry, they’re everywhere). Research suggests these include bed bugs, fleas, woodworm, Mosquitos, midges and of course flies. So essentially your home is healthier because of spiders.

They protect your plants, not only from the bugs that want to eat the plants but also by supporting the ecosystem.

On a larger scale, spiders have helped make advances in medicine, materials and industries such as fishing. Their silk has revealed better ways of making fishing nets, parachutes and bullet proof vests and certain spider venoms show great promise in the fight against some diseases.

They make great food for other animals. Sorry, spiders, but I do like to hear the birds singing in the morning despite it indicating a demise for some of your species.

But if you really don’t want spiders in your room…. An old tale says to put conkers/ horse chestnuts around the place. I’ve put them on my windowsill, shelves and above my door for the last three years and so far, so good. I’ve also heard lemons are good, although obviously harder to keep fresh.

Kathy Clements
Kathy Clements
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