The air is heavy with the smell of sex and death. It is spiders’ mating season out in both my front and back garden. Soon after breeding the male of the species will be given its last rites. Staying behind, the female brown house spider will sit quietly for hours on its tangled and sticky web.

A wet summer, a damp autumn, unusually warm temperatures. All these factors have led to an increase of eight-legged creatures on my doorstep. And inside the house. Especially in the bathtub, on the off-white walls, or scurrying from one corner of the kitchen to another (usually the male)…