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'No no no' and other things you're saying about spiders potentially invading the North East; Experts are warning a mild autumn could see an increase in the eight-legged insects over the coming weeks and months.

Byline: Keiran Southern

The news that giant spiders are set to invade North East homes didn't go down well with our readers.

Experts are warning that this year's mild weather - which should continue through September and beyond - could spark a bumper season for spiders.

That includes rare but venomous species like the false widow, it is thought.

And you had your say on our Facebook page.

We had some wise words from Carol Ancrum, who spoke for a lot of people when she said: "Please no no no."

Jean Readshaw Canning said: "I was bitten by one a few months ago just like a pin going into my finger. Very wary of them now."

And let's hope Debbie Morris is ok, after an unwanted house guest invaded her dining room.

She said: "I've got a huge one in my dining room watching its every move."

But not everyone is rolling up a newspaper in preparation for their arrival.

Andy Wardle believes spiders are friends, not foes.

He said: "Spiders are ok. They keep bugs away. Flies. Ants etc. Bugs that can really make you ill. Leave them. Let them live in your house. As long as they have webs they'll not come near you. True. Spiders are our friends."

He was joined by Amy Leigh Laverick, who said: "Spiders are cute."

The venomous false widow spider is one of the spiders whose numbers could grow due to the weather.

Pest management consultant Clive Boase says conditions are ideal for a spike in numbers of the species - whose bite is comparable to a bee sting - in the autumn.

But a North East pest expert said there was no need for arachnaphobes here to panic, as there has not been a significant increase in reports of venomous spiders in this region.

Mr Boase said: "We've had a reasonably warm year with very few cold snaps and no particularly extended periods of either dry or wet weather.

"That has led to more invertebrates, such as flies, to feed on and means false widows, as well as many other species of spiders, have been able to continue their development throughout the summer.

"Sightings of spiders often peak from September as males of many species reach adulthood and venture into homes in search of a mate, but we could be seeing a lot more of them than normal over the next month or two."

False widow spiders were introduced to Britain more than 100 years ago, according to the Natural History Museum.

The species first established itself on the south coast, particularly in Dorset, Hampshire and Devon, but there have been sightings as far north as Scotland.

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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Sep 15, 2015
Words:442
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