Huge numbers of giant spiders are creeping into homes across the Portsmouth area in search of a mate.
Experts have warned that across the country this year there could be a record number of the eight-legged creatures - which can measure up to 12cm (almost 5in) in length - because the summer has been wetter than usual, and mild.
Stuart Hine, a spider specialist from the Natural History Museum said: “This is mating season. The males when they are mature will leave their webs in search of a female spider, so off they go on their little trek to find love.
“In doing so they stop feeding so they don’t actually live that long as an adult and they’re just sort of roaming around.
“They can give you a nip if you pick them up, but they are not harmful to humans.”
Six top tips on how to remove the eight-legged beasts from your home
Don’t fear. Here are some top tips for removing the critters from your house, without harming yourself or the spider:
1. Stay calm. If you are on edge, it will be harder to catch the spider.
2. Use a clear glass or cup and a rigid piece of paper or card to trap the spider.
3. Alternatively, you can gently sweep the creature into a dustpan.
4. If removing a spider from a bath, drape a towel over the side of the bath for the spider to crawl out, then shake off outside.
5. If the spider is up high, use something sturdy to stand on.
6. One you have caught the spider, take it outside and release back into the wild.
We’re in search of the biggest house spider in the Portsmouth area.
Send your pictures of your resident house spiders to firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, address and telephone number and a brief description of how you found the spider or share via @portsmouthnews or on our Facebook page and we’ll publish the biggest and baddest.