Are Daddy Long Legs Poisonous
Daddy Long Legs are an extremely common household pest, and I’ve often heard that these insects can be poisonous but wasn’t sure if this was true or not, the more I saw them around the house, so I did some research on daddy long legs, and this is what I found.
Are daddy long legs poisonous?
Daddy long legs are not poisonous to humans or animals. Although cellar spiders, which are sometimes referred to as daddy long legs have venom glands and fangs, these are too small to harm humans or animals. They have a jaw which is are fused together, which doesn’t allow their fangs enough space to bite through human or animal skin ineffective.
Even though daddy long legs are not poisonous to humans, many people wonder if daddy long legs are even spiders, dangerous to other animals around the house or even how to get rid of them. Well, when I was researching if daddy long legs are poisonous, I found the answers to many of these questions.
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What are Daddy Long legs?
There is more than one answer to this question as there are different references to what a daddy long legs are and the answer ultimately depends on what country you live in.
In America, the term “daddy long legs” is used to describe two types of species of arachnids. One of them is an actual spider, while the other isn’t.
One of these pests is the long-legged Harvestman or harvesters. They are actually Opiliones, which are an order of arachnids species and not spiders despite what people may think.
Harvestmen are arachnids and not spiders as they have one body section (spiders have two body sections), two eyes (spiders have eight eyes), a segmented abdomen (spiders have an unsegmented abdomen), they don’t spin webs (spiders spin webs), and many other differences. If you want to learn more, check out our other post on are daddy long legs are spiders.
The other type of insect in America that is reffered to as a “daddy long legs” is is a cellar spider.
Cellar spiders are also arachnids and are noticeably yellow to light brown and have long thin legs with a small body. Their extremely long legs make these spiders appear much larger.
They build loose, irregular, tangled webs in corners, unlike the harvestman, and can be found hanging upside down on the underside of there webs. Their webs look visably messy as they produce extensive webbing rather than clean their webs like most household spiders.
In Britain and Ireland, the term “daddy long legs” is used to describe the long-legged Crane fly, which is actually a fly and not a spider.
An adult crane fly is about an inch-long gangly-legged insect that generally resembles an oversized mosquito, with a slender body and long stilt-like legs that easily detach from the body.
A noticeable trait of crane flies are that while being nocturnal insects they are attracted to light and can often be seen flying and moving towards lamps and light bulbs. You won’t see harvestmen or cellar spiders doing this.
Below we have outlined some key differences for you to check what type of daddy long legs you may have in your house.
Are Daddy Long legs Dangerous?
You’ve probably heard of the myth that daddy longlegs are the most poisonous insects in the world. Luckily, there is no scientific evidence that confirms this being true as well as that there is no evidence that the venom of either the cellar spider or harvestman is poisonous to humans.
So, Are daddy long legs dangerous? No, these insects are not dangerous to humans. They are only dangerous to other insects that they prey on. So if you see a Cellar spider or harvestman, don’t worry as these insects feed only on smaller insects. If you’re concerned about the danger of crane flies, don’t worry, as they only feed at there larvae stage on roots and crops. Adult crane flies hardly eat.
More importantly, Craneflies, Cellar Spiders and Harvestman are not poisonous and don’t pose any threat to humans.
You may be concerned when you see harvestmen as they can get very large, but the fact is that they do not have fangs like a regular spider. They also have no venom glands, so there is no need to worry about them being dangerous.
Cellar spiders, on the other hand, do have small fangs and venom glands. Fortunately, their fangs are too small to bite humans. Their venom is very weak, and is not dangerous to humans, only to other insects.
Their jaw bases are fused together, giving the fangs a narrow gape that would make attempts to bite through human skin ineffective. However, Cellar Spiders can kill and eat other spiders, including Redback Spiders whose venom can be fatal to humans.
If you have spotted a Crane Fly then there is no concern here either as they don’t do not have mouths or any type of mouthparts at all. They are unable to feed so there is no concern in them biting you or being in any way dangerous to you or your family. These flies are more of a nuisance than a danger in our homes.
Do Daddy Long Legs have Venom
This really depends on what you think is a daddy long legs, as all over the world people refer to different types of insects as daddy long legs, specifically harvestman, cellar spiders and crane flies.
So, do daddy long legs have venom? Crane flies and harvestmen are not venomous at all, they dont have venom glands and don’t pose any threat to humans. But some spiders that are also referred to as daddy long legs, like the cellar spider do have venom glands, but this venom is only poisonous to small insects.
While these spiders do have fangs they are very small. Their jaw bases are actually fused together, leaving little or no room for there fangs, which results in the fangs having a narrow gape that would make attempts to bite through animal or human skin totally ineffective.
However, Daddy-long-legs Spiders can kill and eat other spiders, including Redback Spiders whose venom can be fatal to humans. Perhaps this is the origin of the rumor that Daddy-longlegs are some of the most dangerous and venomous spiders in the world.
Are Daddy Long Legs Poisonous to Dogs?
If your dog is anything like ours it will bite, chew and eat almost anything it can get her paws on. Once, I saw her eat a daddy long legs and got very worried as I too thought they were poisonous
So, are daddy long legs poisonous to dogs? If your dog has eaten a daddy long legs, whether it is a harvestman, cellar spider or crane fly there is no need to worry as these insects are not poisonous to dogs.
Harvestman and crane flies don’t even have venom glands so they are in no way poisonous to your dog. But some spiders, that are referred to as daddy long legs like the cellar spider does have venom glands. But don’t worry as their venom is too weak to poison a dog if they are swallowed and digest, and is only poisonous to small insects that the cellar spider preys on.
Are Daddy Long Legs Poisonous to cats?
Our cat loves to chase any insect that moves in our house and for some reason always ends up with it in her mouth when she catches it. We recently saw here playing with a daddy long legs and found parts of it in her mouth when we tried to stop her and got very worried as I too thought they were poisonous to cats.
So, are daddy long legs poisonous to cats? If your cat has eaten a daddy long legs, whether it is a harvestman, cellar spider or crane fly there is no need to worry as these insects are not poisonous to cats.
Harvestman and crane flies don’t even have venom glands so they are in no way poisonous to your cat. But some spiders, that are referred to as daddy long legs like the cellar spider does have venom glands. But don’t worry as their venom is too weak to poison a cat if they are swallowed and digest, it is only poisonous to small insects that the cellar spider preys on.
How do I get rid of a daddy long legs in my home?
Although daddy long legs might be an insect you dont want in your home they are actually considered a beneficial insect predator if you find them in your house as they eat a variety of smaller insects.
But, If you find a daddy long legs in your home or just want to stop them from ever coming into your home in the first place the key to this is to try preventing them from getting inside your home in the first place.
To do this here are a few tips:
- Seal the cracks and crevices: Make sure there are no entry points around your windows and doors if there is then seal these up and try to keep windows and doors shut or screened if you want to stop them from getting inside.
- Lay traps: Place traps in and around your home to catch any daddy long leg type insects to ensure they don’t grow in numbers.
- Clean your house: Keep your house clean as hoovering and dusting often will allow you to get rid of any daddy long legs that may set up camp in your home. This will ensure that you catch them before they lay any eggs.
- Call an exterminator: If you can’t get a handle on the daddy long legs problem in your home and your DIY extermination methods aren’t working then it might be time to give a pest exterminator a call.
What is the lifespan of a daddy long legs? If what you refer to as a daddy long legs is a spider-like a harvestman or a cellar spider, then they typically live for about one year and die after mating. If you are referring to a crane fly then once they have reached their adult form they have a lifespan of 10 to 15 days.
Do daddy long legs fly? Some insects referred to as a daddy longlegs do fly. This is the crane fly and is attracted to light so it will be seen flying towards it where possible to find a mate. However, some spiders which are referred to as daddy long legs like a harvestman or cellar spider do not fly and don’t have wings.
Can daddy long legs jump? No, daddy long legs can’t jump. Whether you are referring to the cellar spider, harvestman or crane fly these insects do not and can’t jump.