WIGAN may be bracing itself for an invasion of Britain’s most venomous spiders ... but the borough is more than ready to bite back!
Our sister paper, the Wigan Observer, revealed last week how experts were warning mild weather could trigger an invasion of false widows.
The UK population of the species, whose bite is typically as painful as a bee sting, has soared into the millions in recent years and is thought to be growing all the time.
But Wiganers have more than a few crafty tricks up their sleeve to keep out the creepy critters.
Readers responded to an appeal on our Facebook page for tried and tested tips to keep the eight-legged beasties out of the home.
Many reckon a couple of strategically-placed conkers around the house will be enough to ward off unwanted arachnid visitors.
However, Kathleen Fairhurst came up with an unusual but, she claims, highly effective method.
“Pepermint oil,” she wrote, “dilute in to a squezy bottle, spray round all windows and doors. They hate it.”
Amanda Davies added: “Big spiders always come in more at this time of year. Can’t remember the reason ... always thought it was due to the weather getting colder.”
Chad Wilson told how he was dealing with an invasion at his Wigan home. “Literally moving two a day out of mine,” he said. “Some are like they’ve been on steroids. Caught one making itself a brew the other day it was that big.”
Gillian Shawcross suggests a swifter, if somewhat intolerant, approach to spider-human relations. “Argos catalogue does the trick,” she says.
Pest management consultant Clive Boase says conditions are ideal for a significant spike in numbers in the autumn.
He said: “We’ve had a reasonably warm year with very few cold snaps and no particularly extended periods of either dry or wet weather.”
Mr Boase says climate change and the warmer conditions has been a major factor in the growth of the species.