Thousands of Scots could be living in fear from this month because a change in the weather will force massive spiders indoors - and into our bedrooms.

Spiders as big as mice are set to take up residence in our homes from this week, because the end of summer marks the start of their mating season, bringing misery to arachnophobic Scots.

But thankfully experts have revealed the top ways to avoid unwanted creepy crawlies, which can grow up to four inches long, including using orange peel to deter the eight-legged freaks.

The oddest ways of avoiding arachnophobia involves spraying the house with peppermint, or leaving lemon or lime peel lying around - because spiders hate the smell.

Spider expert Rory Dimond from charity Buglife said: "Most of the big hairy spiders you see this time of year are male house spiders.

"They have just matured in the autumn. They're running about looking for a mate.

"They're very active so if you put them outside near you're house it's likely they will find a way back in again.

"If you're okay with some spiders but not the big hairy ones there are spiders known as daddy long legs spiders that specialise in catching and eating the big spiders."

Some people reckon that spiders hate cedar wood, and advise arachnophobes to change all the furniture, windowsills, windowframes and doors for the pungent wood.

Rory added: "You'll never keep spiders out of your house completely but you can make sure it's an environment where they don't want to settle.

"In terms of removing a spider that you find the glass-and-card method is the best. Make sure you remove them humanely.

"Chemicals are false advertising. They don't deter spiders. There's an idea that spiders are deterred by peppermint oil and citrus peel. There's a gram of truth in it.

"There are some insects that do use a chemical similar to peppermint oil as a defence against spiders.

"They spray it directly on the spider.

"Just spraying peppermint oil around the room won't have the same effect.

"It's also a myth that they don't like cedar wood. There's no evidence for that."

Spiders will emerge from their cosy outdoor hiding spots and set up camp in the open in the hope of finding a mate.

Experts reckon one of the best ways of avoiding spiders is by regular dusting and hoovering up any webs and egg sacs - because spiders are less likely to return to a spot if they know their home has been destroyed.

However, they have also warned to clean the hoover bag regularly, otherwise thousands of tiny spiders may hatch out of a vacuumed sac.

They also advice covering up any gaps and cracks in floorboards, windows and doors so they can't get in - and even covering holes or air vents with mesh can keep out the bigger beasts.

Rory said: "Basically keep your house nice and clean and tidy.

"Spiders like to make their webs in undisturbed corners. If you keep cleaning up the webs the spiders will move along.

"Nooks and crannies are the refuges that spiders nest in. Use fillers and silicone sealant to fill in gaps. It's better to seal them than just cover them up with something.

"Spiders are good at getting through small spaces but it really depends on the size of the spider."

One of our best lines of defence against massive spiders are cats and dogs - who love nothing more than catching and killing them.

Spider boffins also advise keeping windows closed and lights turned off - so spiders don't get a good feed from any moths or other flying bugs that might come in.