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Invasion of giant house spiders in Northern Ireland but fear not they're harmless

By Staff Reporter

With autumn on the way, giant spiders are invading homes across Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph journalist Kirsten Elder caught one eight-legged creature at her Newtownards home this week.

She wrote: "Found this in the kitchen sink and set him free.   Bigfoot could still be in garden."

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Twitter has also been filled with Northern Ireland users sharing their terrifying tales of late night encounters with mega arachnids.

One person in Londonderry said: "Heard my sister scream in her room, ran in and there was a huge spider on the wall so I ran out and downstairs."

And another commented: "If I see ONE more spider in my house I'm actually moving out." The end of August usually sees an increase in large house spiders as they start to look for a place to live over winter, and as it is mating season, male spiders are also on the hunt for females.

It is thought that there are around 400 spider species in Ireland - but thankfully all of them are harmless.

Paul Hetherington from Buglife, an organisation aimed at "saving the small things that run the planet", previously told the Belfast Telegraph that people should do the decent thing and remove arachnids from their homes humanely, rather than killing them.

Mr Hetherington explained that people had nothing to fear, and he gave advice on how best to escort the creepy-crawlies from their homes or workplaces.

"There are no spiders that are venomous or capable of biting through human skin in Northern Ireland, so there is no reason to be fearful of these excellent catchers of flies and other less useful animals," he said.

"I would urge those who feel compelled to remove spiders to do so humanely, and to release them into an outside environment.

"A glass and a sheet of paper is a long tried-and-tested way to remove unwanted arachnids."

He added that spiders did not necessarily seek out warm, dry houses. In fact, they prefer damp, cool outhouses and cellars.

Experts say arachnids play an important ecological and environmental role.

And, of course, without them there would be more flies around to bug us.

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