Daddy Long-Legs Spiders

picture of a daddy long legs spider

Daddy Long-Legs Control: Protect Your Home

Appearance

What Do Daddy Long-Legs Look Like?
Size: The bodies of daddy long-legs are typically less than 1/2 an inch long, with disproportionately long legs bringing them at least 1 inch off the ground.

Color: Harvestmen coloration ranges from gray and brown to white, red, and yellow. Some species have black or brown markings such as stripes.

Characteristics: Daddy long-legs have one small body segment, eight long, spindly legs, one pair of eyes, no venom, and no ability to spin silk. They congregate in large numbers, sometimes up to 100 or more insects, in order to preserve moisture.

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Facts

  • Species: Although they appear to be spiders and are a type of arachnid, daddy long-legs, or harvestmen, are actually more closely related to scorpions.
  • Myths: Urban legends perpetuate the idea that harvestmen are incredibly poisonous, but they actually lack the capability to break human skin with their weak jaws and do not possess venom glands.
  • Beneficial: Daddy long-legs can be beneficial to humans as they eat insect pests and decaying animal and plant matter.

Food

What Do Daddy Long-Legs Eat?
Small insects are staples in daddy long-legs diets, as well as:

  • Aphids
  • Decaying matter like dung and carrion
  • Fungus

Biology

Mating
Male and female daddy long-legs mate through copulation.

Eggs
In most species, the responsibility of guarding the eggs is delegated to the male. Eggs hatch after a period of roughly three weeks, and the young molt several times as they grow into maturity.

Detection

  • Hiding: May notice adults crawling around in dark, damp passages unfrequented by humans.
  • Odor: Be alert for the noxious odor harvestmen exude when threatened.
  • Accumulations: Look for accumulations of individuals on trees or under overhangs that appear to be writhing dark clusters of spindly legs.

Problems Caused by Daddy Long-Legs

Beneficial Pests
Daddy long-legs do not cause any serious problems. In fact, their presence can be regarded as favorable because they eat a number of pest insects.

Nuisances
However, their association with spiders and the pervasive notion that they are extremely venomous instills fear in people. As such, infestations of harvestmen can cause psychological distress.

Signs of Infestation

  • Clusters: Seeing huddled masses of daddy long-legs in homes or yards is a sure sign of large populations of the arachnid.
  • Pests: Sighting a large number of them can also be an indication of other pest infestations, since the arachnids prey upon numerous small insects.
  • Odorous: The presence of unpleasant odors, particularly concentrated where harvestmen are found in homes, can indicate infestation.

Prevention Tips

Cleanliness
Keeping homes sanitary, especially basements, crawlspaces, and other areas harvestmen are likely to occupy, is one of the best ways to reduce the possibility of infestation.

Food Sources
Removing food sources that draw daddy long-legs is also helpful. Finally, seal vents and small gaps along exterior walls to prevent the pest from coming inside.

Tips for Removal from Home

Vacuum
A vacuum or broom is often sufficient to remove individuals or small gatherings of adults.

Call the Professionals
For large infestations, homeowners should contact pest removal professionals. Specialists have the proper training and knowledge to rid homes of infestations efficiently and safely.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857