As the seasons change, you might have noticed a few more spiders climbing out of the plughole, scuttling across the floor or hiding in corners. They’re more frequent in early autumn because it’s their breeding season, and males are looking for a female to mate with.

There are around 650 species of spider in the UK but don’t worry if you’re a bit of an arachnophobe, most of those species live outside, not under your bed!

How long do spiders live?

Most UK spiders live for around a year, but the females of some species can live for up to two or three years, especially if they live indoors away from predators. The oldest recorded spider in the world was an Australian trapdoor spider which lived to the ripe old age of 43 before being killed by a wasp.

How do spiders make webs?

A spider produces strands of sticky silk from glands inside its abdomen and released through organs called spinnerets at the rear of its abdomen. When the strands come into contact with the air, they harden into strong and stretchy threads called gossamer, which the spider uses to spin its web.

How big can spiders grow?

The giant house spider can have a body up to 1.8cm long, and harvestmen can have legs as long as 5cm. That might sound pretty beefy, but that's nothing compared to the world's biggest spider, the giant birdeater tarantula. Thankfully it's only found in the rainforests of South America as it can grow to the size of a dinner plate!

How many eyes do spiders have?

Many types of spider have eight eyes – a main pair at the front and three other pairs of secondary eyes. Despite having so many eyes, spiders don’t have great sight and rely more on touch and taste to find their way around.

Where do spiders live?

Indoor spiders like to live in dusty corners, cupboards and other cosy spots. Outdoor spiders live in all sorts of places – gardens, woods, holes in walls and fences, even in water.

How do spiders reproduce?

Males visit female's webs to try and attract them. If the male is successful, they will mate on the web, and the male will die during the winter. The female will produce her eggs, which are contained in silky sacs in the spring. The spiderlings hatch after about a month. Different species of spider take different amounts of time to mature, with some reaching adulthood in two weeks, and some around two years.

Do spiders bite?

All spiders have fangs, but don't worry; the fangs of most UK spiders aren't strong enough to break the skin. A few might bite, but only if they feel threatened. The bites themselves are not dangerous and will only be red and itchy for a day or two at most.

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