Thousands of sex-starved spiders “the size of your hand” are set to enter homes across Britain as mating season begins.

Usually a reclusive species, these amorous arachnids will stray from their nooks and crannies in search of a mate.

Spider season usually begins in the first two weeks of September and ends at the beginning of October.

Ecology lecturer Dr Chris Terrell-Nield said the type of spider that comes into our homes at this time of year is the house spider - one of Britain’s biggest spiders.

“The males are up to 10cm across the leg span and can be the size of your hand - that is the top range but it can be two thirds of that size. The size is down to how much they have eaten,” he told Nottinghamshire Live.

He added: “They are not dangerous but they can give you a nip. They have biting fangs. These things have been breeding and started their life span in the spring.”

It’s usually the males you’ll see scuttling across your floors and walls as they attempt to court female spiders.

Males can be distinguished from females by their sex organs which resemble a tiny “pair of boxing gloves”, according to the Natural History Museum.

Although attracted to our homes because of warmth and dryness, you can banish these beasties by spraying natural repellents such as eucalyptus and tea-tree oil around doors and windows.

If you’re brave enough to attempt to evict a spider yourself, you can buy humane ‘spider catchers’ that gently scoop up your eight-legged friend for careful relocation outdoors. You could also use a glass and a piece of paper.

Or, if you’ve ever needed a good excuse to adopt a cat, now is your time.

Whatever you do - don’t attempt to solve your creepy crawly woes with a blowtorch.

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