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Army of spiders on the march in UK homes thanks to warmer weather


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Army of spiders on the march in UK homes thanks to warmer weather



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 4:56 PM on 25th September 2009



If you're not a fan of our eight-legged friends, look away now - it's the news that will have arachnaphobics quaking with fear.

We may not have seen the promised 'barbecue summer', but the past year's weather could make this a bumper season for some of the creepy crawly residents of our homes and gardens, conservationists said today.

Wildlife charity Buglife is hopeful that spiders and crane flies - also known as daddy long legs - will have benefited from the more temperate weather than in recent years when insects were hit by cold rainy summers.


Enlarge article-1216056-06959E23000005DC-814_468x296.jpg A magnified house spider (Tegenaria gigantea). A reasonably warm year, with no cold snaps or extended periods of dry or wet weather, had allowed for a sharp rise in the spider population


And while sharing your home with a host of creepy crawlies may not be your ideal living arrangement, Buglife says a buoyed spider population can be good for the environment.

The charity's director Matt Shardlow said a reasonably warm year, with no cold snaps or extended periods of dry or wet weather, had allowed for the continuous development of our eight-legged friends through the summer.

He said there could be a good population maturing and people would see 'lots of fantastic spiders in houses and gardens' at the moment.

With the mating season under way, we'll be seeing more spiders than earlier in the year as males venture out in search of females, he added.

While there may be more bugs crawling around than usual, householders fearing an invasion by giant arachnids need not be concerned - Buglife says the warmer weather doesn't mean our friendly neighbourhood insects are going to get any bigger.



article-1216056-06562A18000005DC-423_468x286.jpg Washout: Recent colder, wetter summers have been catastrophic for the butterfly.


But it is not just spiders which will have benefited from the weather in the past year.

'Last autumn was very temperate and not too cold, which should have been good for crane fly larvae which are very sensitive to drying out,' said Mr Shardlow.

While many of us may not relish the prospect of coming face-to-face with a daddy long legs in the bathtub, Mr Shardlow is looking forward to a possible boost in the creepy crawly population.


'It's been a few years since a very good crane fly year so there weren't many adults around, but we're hoping they laid enough eggs to see a boom in crane flies,' he said.

The dreary summers of recent years have been bad news for insects, with 2007 being 'probably the worst year for butterflies and moths in living memory', Mr Shardlow said.








'We're really hopeful in this year - the last year before the international deadline for the target to halt biodiversity loss which most world governments signed up to - we have a little boost to some invertebrate species.'

Buglife is urging people to join in with its annual Spider Hunt, asking householders to poke around in their sheds and garages and in dark corners and under furniture in their homes to see if they can spot ten species over this weekend or the first weekend in October.

'They are predators, so they are a very good indicator of the health of an ecosystem, and healthy ecosystems are what we need to be passing onto our children,' said Mr Shardlow.


'They are a key part of the ecosystem and control a number of other things.'


And for those who are not big fans of the insect world, it's not all bad news.


Mr Shardlow pointed out that a spider in your living room would probably eat around 20 flies over the summer.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216056/Population-explosion-spiders-set-invade-UK-homes-thanks-warmer-weather.html#ixzz0S9M3ssJg

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