In Autumn male spiders visit our homes in search of female mates who await for suitors in their webs. They are most likely to wander into our homes—at least in Britain—between August and December. The bad news is that entomologist and ecologist Prof Adam Hard from the University of Gloucestershire has reported that this season is going to be specially bad for aracnophobes due to the mild weather.
In collaboration with scientists from the Society of Biology he has been involved in the development of an app called Spider in Da House after conducting an extensive survey to determine the living patterns of these little animals. The app helps users identify through pictures and descriptions 12 of the most common spiders found in British homes (there are in total around 660 spider species in the UK). These spiders include garden spiders, hairy spiders and long legged spiders. The scientists discovered wandering spiders in our houses are more frequently found in living rooms. With this app you can now put names to faces and get to know better these uninvited visitors.
Spiders are not particularly dangerous in the UK, but I dare to say most of us get shivers down our spines when we see one, whether it's in real life or on telly. While it is common to dislike these arachnids around 5% of the population (3.5 million cases in the UK and 350 million globally) suffer from aracnophobia in a severe degree. In this case, would it be really useful for them to carry around an app that shows them pictures of spiders and tells them they will find them anytime wandering their houses? My guess is they would get the creeps just thinking about it!
In this case we recommend people suffering from aracnophobia to any degree to check the Phobia Free app first this Autumn and learn how to stay calm and deal with these little creatures before they see the real thing at home! After that Prof Hard's will probably come in really handy as recovering arachnophobes will be able to reassure themselves their unexpected visitors are totally harmless.