Spalding and Bourne experts look at how to cope with spider season – as Weston Hills arachnophobic offers their take on how they’re affected
As the nights start to draw in and the temperatures begin to drop, many of us will have noticed an eight legged creature – or likely several - making themselves comfortable in our homes.
These uninvited tenants have already been causing havoc for many home owners this autumn, but are we just misunderstanding them? And what should we do if ‘spider season’ makes us afraid?
Between the start of September and mid October male spiders will often venture into our homes to look for a mating partner. Many of them are also just looking for a place to keep warm and shelter during the colder weather – and you do have the added bonus of removing insects from your home.
This year seems to have seen more than ever – with many readers remarking on the number and size of the spiders in their home.
For many people, spiders can cause a large amount of fear and in some cases it can create an overwhelming feeling that leads to anxiety and distress - this is also known as arachnophobia.
Weston Hills’ Joff Mitchell (19) is someone who struggles with the anxiety disorder.
They said: “I don't remember a time when I didn't have arachnophobia. I would assume I was probably born with it as no one else in my family has a fear of spiders.
“Throughout my day-to- day life I have to shake my shoes upside down before putting them on and peek inside every bowl or mug I use if it is from a high shelf. I won’t move my furniture around my room without someone else being there to check for spiders. For me it is just routine, just like tying your laces.
“For me the feeling is like a sharp intense fear and I am always on high alert. I get sensational hallucinations - which is were I see a spider and for the rest of the day, or a few hours after, I will ‘feel’ the spider crawling on me and running around on my skin.
“Previously if I have noticed one above my bed, I have slept on the floor or in a chair to avoid it – it can keep me up at night.”
Vic Paterson is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist at Fantastic Day Hypnotherapy in Spalding, which helps people with their phobias.
She said: “I do see more spider phobias around this time of year as they come into peoples’ houses.
“Some clients would have had a horrible experience with a spider as a child, leaving them with a lasting fear or trauma. For me it is a life changing moment when you take that phobia away from someone.
“I always say to my clients that we will aim for them to go into a room with a spider and be able to put a glass or cup over it with a piece of paper underneath, so they can take it outside.
“A lot of the fear comes from what people see. The spider’s erratic movement can often scare people too.
“I think there is also a misunderstanding, they are not going to hurt you, the spiders are just trying to come into warmth - just like us.”
Christine Beardwood uses focused hypnotherapy on her clients in our area at the Bourne-based The Beardwood Practice. She said: “None of us particularly like spiders – you are never going to get rid of that but you’re going to get rid of the fear, panic and anxiety that is driven by the phobia.
“Once people have got a fear, it’s quite in depth and it does take time to get over - it’s not a quick fix.”
A debate on the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Facebook page has seen readers sharing their tops tips for coping with spider season.
Karen Tyler wrote: “My dogs are my spider catchers. Just say the word ‘spider’ and they are on it – I don’t mind the small ones but I cannot tolerate the big ones.”
Sylvia Davies said: “We have a spider removal kit, comprising a small clear plastic dome-shaped tub, and a piece of white cardboard - in the bathroom cupboard in the middle of our bungalow - easy, quick access, and the spiders live to see another day.”
Nikki Moldjord offered her tip: “Lavender all over the house! Plus a hubby and son who kindly dispose of any - I truly can’t cope with eight legged freaks.”
Steve Vickers, Linda Fenn and Robert Lewis were all united in their recommendation of conkers. Steve summed it up by saying: “You need a conker in every corner of your room, the spiders hate them.”
Joy Chapman spoke for those with a little more abrupt solution, saying: “They get hit with a size 9 shoe.”
Mark Spiller also added: “Hoover them up - job done.”
Kayleigh Farmer, meanwhile, gave a different solution. She said: “It’s simple really, get a few chickens and when you have an eight legged freak, go grab the chicken, bring them in, show them the spider and, boom, spiders dispatched in seconds.”
Other solutions included hairspray and carnivorous plants.
What do you think? Do you have a top tip for handling spiders in your home? Write to the address on page two or email firstname.lastname@example.org