Although it’s not spider mating season yet, you may be horrified to hear there will still be plenty of the often-dreaded eight-legged critters hiding in your home.

But don’t worry, having spiders in your home is a good thing. Honestly.

“While many people fear these eight-legged beasts, they are beneficial to have around,” insists Paul Blackhurst, head of the technical academy at Rentokil Pest Control. “Flies and other insects are a source of food for spiders, which means they provide a natural form of pest control.”

Spiders in homes will commonly be found in rooms with a water source because they need water and so does their prey.

“You’re most likely to find spiders in your bathroom or kitchen because their food is attracted to dark, moist areas”, explains Alex Woods from Victorian Plumbing.

“Spiders are attracted to the warmth of a home, particularly when the weather is cold or wet. Female spiders tend to stay in the same position for their whole lives, so it may be that there are still spiders in your home who have been hiding away.”

But although they might be great mini-pest controllers, most people would rather not house-share with spiders. So what can you do to get rid of them, or stop them from coming into your home in the first place?

1. Vacuum regularly

Typically, spiders can be found in dark, quiet, secluded areas in homes and gardens, says Blackhurst, and most of the spiders in this country produce webs, which is of course a key way to identify if they’re living in your home.

“Vacuum regularly, high and low,” he advises, “including hidden spots like under furniture, particularly sheltered spots such as beneath worktops, backs of cupboards, and under or behind large furniture. Remove spider webs, especially in corners and on ceilings.”

2. Seal cracks and openings around windows and doors

Seal gaps in walls, pipes, and doors to discourage entry, advises Blackhurst, and Woods adds: “Spiders have to get in our homes some way, so starting by sealing any cracks or openings around your windows and doors will reduce the chances of an initial invasion.”

3. Reduce outdoor lighting

Outdoor lights can attract insects that may become spider prey, warns Blackhurst.

4. Make a natural spider-repellent using essential oils

Home-made spider repellent may help keep spiders away, says Woods. “A drop of essential oil is enough to deter a spider,” she promises.

She suggests mixing around 20 drops of essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, peppermint, citrus, or cinnamon with water in a spray bottle. “Spray corners of your bathroom or any moist areas that are likely to attract the insects,” she advises.

5. Use spider-repellent scents

As well as using the repellent to target specific spider-prone areas, you can use an air freshener or a candle that contains citronella to target the whole room, Woods suggests.

6. Rub lemon peel over the windowsills

“This is a favourite trick of mine,” says Woods. “Rub lemon peels all over the windowsills or anywhere spiders may try and perch like behind the toilet or cabinets. The citrus will repel them and will give your room a nice scent.”

7. Add spider-repelling plants to your rooms

Woods says plants like mint, lemongrass or eucalyptus will not only make your rooms look nicer “but they will help warn off spiders as they hate these kinds of aromas.”

8. Reduce spider food sources

Keep firewood, garden bags, and compost heaps away from the home, as they’ll attract insects and spiders, says Blackhurst. “The most effective way to control spiders is to limit their food source,” he explains. “This should include clearing away dead flies, woodlice, millipedes, centipedes, and other crawling insects.”