If recent reports are anything to be believed, the so-called ‘spider season’ is coming to the UK early this year. Spider season usually begins around September/October, when the males start looking for a mate – which often leads them indoors. But is there any merit behind the age-old myth that conkers (or horse chestnuts) stop spiders from invading your home? If not, then what can you do about spiders?
There’s no real evidence to suggest spiders are scared of conkers
Surprisingly, the only ‘research’ into the subject comes from a bunch of schoolchildren from Cornwall. You can see the video of their experiment below, but the conclusion is that spiders are pretty much indifferent towards conkers.
Who knows where the myth originated from – perhaps an 18th-century market trader used it as a ploy to sell more conkers…
Why are we so scared of spiders?
When you think about it, it makes no real sense to be scared of spiders here in the UK, considering our lack of venomous species – and no, that myth about daddy-long legs being venomous but unable to transmit their poison is completely false.
Arachnophobia is more understandable in tropical climates where you can encounter deadly species, but even then the fear is still somewhat unjustified – did you know that cows are responsible for more human deaths every year than spiders are? When was the last time you met someone with cattle-phobia?
Some experts believe that fear of spiders is an innate genetic trait which stems back thousands of years. Early humans who were afraid of – and therefore actively avoided spiders and snakes – were more likely to survive. That does seem like a logical explanation…
So how can you keep spiders away?
The real question is, why would you want to? Spiders eat pests such as roaches, moths, mosquitos, flies, and household mites, and pose no real threat here in the UK. In fact, spiders have a lot more to fear from us than we do from them – after all, we are ENORMOUS predators in their (eight) eyes.