Not insects but arachnids, spiders come in many sizes but all have eight long legs (not six, like insects), a roundish body and a pair of “palps” on the head. Most of them spin some sort of web.

All are carnivorous and the females are not above devouring their mates. Eggs are laid in a silken sac and the young emerge as mini-spiders, or spiderlings, which are able to run fast and soon disperse in a building or on air currents, supported by gossamer threads.

The household cobweb is the sign of one of the commonest species – which is usually the one found in the bath because it falls in and cannot climb smooth surfaces. Spiders in the house are actually beneficial as they feed on flies and other insects. None in Britain is poisonous to man but the large brown Tegenaria species often cause feelings of revulsion by their ugly appearance.

REMEDY: To remove a spider without killing it, invert a small carton over it and slide a piece of card between the opening and the surface on which the spider rests.