SPIDER mating season is about to begin and people are already starting to spot the giant eight-legged creatures in their houses.

In the first or second week of September it is likely we will see a peak in the number of large, male spiders crawling through our houses

The male giant house spider also know as Eratigena Atrica will be on the hunt for a female to mate with.

The females tend to lurk in neglected corners of the house and are commonly found in places such as under the sofa in garages or by the fireplace.

Basingstoke Gazette:

They are also regularly spotted in baths or showers first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night as they seek out sources of water and become stuck.

These humongous spiders have a leg span of up to 7.5 cm, so its no wonder with legs this long that the Giant House Spider held the Guinness Book of World Records title for top spider speed until 1987.

They are one of the fastest invertebrates in Hampshire and can run up to half a metre per second.

Once the males find a mate they will stay with their chosen female for some weeks and mating numerous times.

Eventually they die and are then are eaten by their female mate.

Professor Adam Hart, entomologist at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “I am sure arachnophobia will be pleased to hear it doesn’t last forever, it usually dies off by the middle of October."

He is urging people not to kill them.

"They are harmless and aren't aggressive we are definitly more of a threat to them than they are to us that's for sure.

“They are great predators and natural pest controllers, they play their part in the great ecology out there.

“The best way to get rid of them is the old cup and card trick.

“You need to be careful if you pick them up to get rid of them because they can give you a bit of a nip and you can also damage them of course.”

In the UK, there are more than 650 different species of spider - and all of them can bite, although only 12 can cause any harm to humans. 

The British Arachnological Society say if you are bitten, don't panic.

They advise that very few species of spider in Britain have been known to bite and cause any problem.

As these 8-legged creepy crawlies love neglected areas of the house the best way to keep them out is to regularly clean and keep windows close.