PICTURE SPECIAL: Giant spiders are creeping into Northampton homes in search of a mate

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Huge numbers of giant spiders are creeping into homes across the county in search of a mate.

Experts have warned that this year there could be a record number of the eight-legged beasts - which can measure up to 12cm in length – due to the fact that the summer has been wetter than usual, and mild.

Dozens of people in Northampton reacted to the story by sending in pictures of spiders they have found in their homes over the last few weeks.

Stuart Hine, a spider specialist from the Natural History Museum, said a number of factors are contributing to their size and prevelance.

“This is mating season,” Mr Hine said.

“The males when they are mature will leave their webs in search of a female spider, so off they go on their little trek to find love.

“In doing so they stop feeding so they don’t actually live that long as an adult and they’re just sort of roaming around.

“They can give you a nip if you pick them up, but they are not harmful to humans.”

6 top tips on how to remove the eight-legged beasts from your home

Don’t fear. Here are some top tips for removing the critters from your house, without harming yourself or the spider:

1. Stay calm. If you are on edge, it will be harder to catch the spider.

2. Use a clear glass or cup and a rigid piece of paper or card to trap the spider.

3. Alternatively, you can gently sweep the creature into a dustpan.

4. If removing a spider from a bath, drape a towel over the side of the bath for the spider to crawl out, then shake off outside.

5. If the spider is up high, use something sturdy to stand on.

6. One you have caught the spider, take it outside and release back into the wild