'˜Conkers don't keep spiders from homes'
As conkers start to fall and spiders make an appearance in our homes, many fearful people collect the horse chestnut seeds in abundance to put on window ledges and under their beds to deter spiders from taking shelter in their home.
However, Drusillas’ spider expert Angela Hale explains it won’t keep the creepy crawlies away.
With no scientific evidence to show that spiders are scared of conkers, Angela, explains how this is an old wives’ tale and how the myth came to be.
She said, “In the olden days, when sanitation wasn’t so good, there would be lots of flies living in family homes.
“They would attract spiders on the lookout for food.
“In the autumn, conkers would begin to fall and children would bring them inside to play with.
“At the same time, the temperature would start to drop and spiders would start to slow down and hide in dark corners for the winter, seeming to disappear.”
Angela also explained why there is an increase in spiders in our homes around this time of year.
She said, “Spiders don’t hibernate as such but in the winter there is less food for them so they tend to find a dark place to hide and rest.
“There is no scientific evidence to show spiders are scared of conkers, it’s just a coincidence that they hide away at the same time of year as conkers fall – there are even species of spider that live in conker trees.”
But for those who are truly terrified of spiders, Angela said, “If believing that conkers in the corner of a room makes a difference works for you, I say do it!”
On October 13, Drusillas will be hosting a Spider Saturday where more spider myth busting will take place.
Spider experts from the British Tarantula Society will be displaying some of their most commonly feared animals in the Discovery Centre.
The aim of the day is to try and overcome visitors’ phobias, as well as being fun and informative.
To find out more visit www.drusillas.co.uk.