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So Are Spiders Really Scared Of Conkers?

October 8th 2014
By: Melanie

Autumn is always a big spider time of year but apparently there is a bit of folklore that suggests leaving conkers on your window ledges or by your doors will keep spiders away.

To test this hypothesis the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is offering £300 to anyone who can back the claims with 'persuasive evidence'. The RSC has 46,000-members with origins dating back to 1841, has many biologists and insect and spider experts in its membership who are also being asked to see if they can shed any light on this theory.

John Edwards, of the RSC, said: 'We have been told by external contacts that conkers do prevent invasion by spiders. 'Apparently they have to be fairly fresh to have their deterrent effect. But there are claims on the web, pardon the pun, that spiders don't like them at all and steer clear - which to those suffering arachnophobia is great news.'

Stuart Hine, at the Natural History Museum, said as far as he knew there was no scientific evidence supporting the theory. 'Conkers does rhyme with bonkers and I know of no science behind this idea,' but he said. 'Chestnuts originate from abroad and it may be that insects and spiders in this country do not like the taste.'

Members of the public are invited to send photographic or video evidence, or supported written accounts, to the RSC at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, by October 31.