SPIDERS on their annual hunt for a mate have sparked a flurry of calls to pest control operators, it was revealed today.
The amorous arachnids have caused a spike in the number of terrified householders calling experts for help.
One Tayside-based pest control firm alone said it had received 42 calls in the last three weeks about the eight legged creepy-crawlies - and they said the cause was the annual hunt for a mate.
A spokeswoman for Andy Law Pest Control said that they receive at lease one or two calls from petrified members of the public every day.
She added that often it is just a case of reassuring people and giving advice.
The spokeswoman said today: “Spiders are only a seasonal problem, but they are a very unpleasant one.
“Last week we removed six or seven from a flat in Perth.
“They seemed to be coming from the bathroom and were all in one room.”
Both male and female spiders live in homes all year round, but rarely leave their seperate webs and tend to stay out of sight.
In September and October, however, male spiders can be seen scurrying across floors in search of females.
This autumn, larger than usual spiders have been sighted, as the warm summer led to an increase in insects that the spiders prey on.
The domestic spider - Tengenaria domestica - is not aggressive or poisonous and rarely bites.
The spokeswoman said: “We get calls from people who are extremely scared.
“They have a phobia of spiders, rather than worries about hygiene.
“We reassure them and advise them to use glue boards, which work very well, but we rarely go out to put chemicals down.
“Chemical’s need to cover a large part of the spider’s body to be effective and, usually, only their legs touch surfaces, so there isn’t much point.
“In cities like Dundee and Perth there are lots of tenement blocks where there are lots of gaps and spaces between walls, so spiders have free rein.
“They look worse than they are and can be extremely alarming for some people.”
The company recommends sealing gaps on doors, including entry doors in tenements, to stop spiders walking in.