HOMES in the Vale will be seeing an influx of spiders in the weeks to come as their mating season begins.

September will see a large quantity of males leaving their hiding places to seek a mate. Their bite can penetrate human skin but its stinging venom is harmless to humans.

And with bodies that can measure up to three inches long, there's every chance you will see it first.

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However, it only gets worse for arachnophobes, as these speedy creatures scurry at 1.18mph and once held the Guinness Book of Records top spider speed.

So good luck to budding exterminators, you are about to make some new friends this autumn, but here are some tips for keeping spiders away from the house.

Limit spider food - Clear away any dead flies, or other small crawling insects.

Vacuum regularly - Always vacuum high and low, and make sure you target sheltered spots beneath worktops and behind cupboards and sofas.

Remove webs - Do this regularly, and remember to check the corners of the ceiling and in corners of picture frames and mirrors.

Fill gaps - Make sure you fill the gaps between walls, pipework and under doors where possible.

Reposition sheltering sites - Spiders will look to tuck themselves away in firewood piles, garden bags and compost heaps, so put them at the bottom of the garden.

Limit lighting - Insects are drawn to light, and flies and moths are ideal spider prey, so turn any outside lights off if you can.

Put them off the scent - Spiders don't like the smell of citrus fruits like lemon, plus eucalyptus, tea-tree and peppermint oils. Try rubbing lemon peel around windows and doors, or spray the other scents around them. 

Feline foe - A cat will try to catch a spider if it sees it - although owning a moggy won't stop spiders coming indoors in the first place.

Coconut oil - mix some with water and spritz it around. Not only will the house smell nice but spiders don't like it.

Conkers? - An old wives tale says spiders don't like conkers and placing them around the house will keep spiders at bay. While there's no real evidence to back this up, it won't hurt to try.