Are Daddy Long Legs Spiders?

0
175
are daddy long legs spiders

Are Daddy Long Legs Spiders?

We found some long-legged spiders in our house and were wondering what they were. So we spent some time researching what they were as we thought they were daddy Long Legs but couldn’t find out the answer as to whether a daddy long legs was a spider or not.

As we researched this question, it turns out that there is more than one answer to this question and the answer ultimately depends on what country you live in. So I did some research on daddy long legs, and this is what I found.

Are daddy long legs Spiders? No daddy long legs are not spiders. In some countries, people refer to harvestman as daddy longlegs, which is actually an Opiliones. They are actually not a spider but are classified as an arachnid. In other countries, the term daddy long legs are used to describe the long-legged Crane fly, which is actually a fly and not a spider.

Even though the answer to this question seems simple, many people refer to different insects as daddy long legs and wonder what they actually are, what they eat and are they even poisonous. Well, when I was researching if daddy long legs are spiders, I found the answers to many of these questions.

What Is A 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 longlegs” 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 referred to as a “daddy long legs” is is a cellar spider.

Cellar spiders are 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 their webs. Their webs look visibly messy as they produce extensive webbing rather than clean their webs like most household spiders.

In Britain and Ireland, the term “daddy longlegs” 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.

Harvestman

  • Are arachnids but not a spider
  • Harmless to humans and large animals
  • No segmented body looks like a ball with legs
  • Legs are noticeably longer than the body
  • No fangs and no venom glands
  • Eyesight is bad and relies on the front legs to feel objects.
  • Does not build webs

Cellar Spiders

  • Legs are up to 6 times longer than the body.
  • Harmless to humans and large animals
  • Spins webs and prefers not to attack when threatened, instead visibly vibrates to deter predators.
  • Feeds on woodlice, mosquitoes, spiders and other smaller insects.

Crane Flies

  • Are black, red, or yellow in color, depending on species
  • Often mistaken as mosquitoes, but are significantly larger with extremely long legs and have elongated heads.
  • Does not have a mouth
  • Distinctively veined wing
  • About 1-1 ½ inches long.
  • Nocturnal and attracted to light
  • legs are only weakly attached to their bodies and often break off

Are Daddy Long Leg Spiders Poisonous?

By now you’ve realized that the only spiders that are referred to as a daddy longlegs are the cellar spider and the harvestman (which is technically an arachnid but not a spider).

So, are daddy long leg spiders poisonous? Harvestmen are not venomous at all, as they don’t have any venom glands or fangs and don’t pose any threat to humans or animals.

But some spiders that are also referred to as daddy long legs, like the cellar spider, do have venom glands and fangs, but this venom is only poisonous to small insects.

While these spiders do have fangs these fangs are very small. Their jaw bases are so small and are often fused together, leaving little room for their fangs to even attempt to do anything. This results in the fangs protruding through a narrow gap that would make attempts to bite through animal or human skin totally ineffective.

However, Daddy long legs Spiders have been known to prey on, kill and eat other spiders, including the infamous Redback Spiders whose venom can be fatal to humans,

which would explain the origin of the rumor that daddy long leg spiders are some of the most dangerous and venomous spiders in the world.

Do Daddy Long Legs Spiders Bite?

By now you’ve realized that the only spiders that are referred to as a daddy longlegs are the cellar spider and the harvestman (which is technically an arachnid but not a spider).

So, do daddy long leg spiders bite? Harvestmen are not venomous at all, as they don’t have any venom glands or fangs and don’t pose any threat to humans or animals.

What Do Daddy Long Legs Spiders Eat?

Depending on whether you have identified a Harvestman or Cellar spider in your house you might be wondering why they are in your home and what they are actually eating to ensure you don’t encourage them to nest in your home.

Harvestman spiders eat a wide variety of insects like: aphids, caterpillars, beetles, flies, mites, small slugs, snails, earthworms, spiders, other harvestmen. In your home, they may feed on decaying plants and animal matter, animal droppings, mold, bread, butter, and fatty meat.

Cellar Spiders will mainly eat other insects like mosquitos, smaller spiders, beetles, flies, and mites. That is why they are often good pests to have found in your home as they will tend to keep other insect populations in your home at bay.

Harvestman

  • Insects like aphids, caterpillars, beetles, flies, mites, small slugs, snails, earthworms, spiders, other harvestmen.
  • Household items like decaying plants and animal matter, animal droppings, mold, bread, butter, and fatty meat.

Cellar Spiders

  • Insects like moths, mosquitos, aphids, caterpillars smaller spiders, beetles, flies, and mites.

What Does A Daddy Long Legs Spiders Nest Look Like?

So by now you’ve realized that spider in your house may be a daddy long legs or you may have just spotted a spiders nest and want to know whether its a daddy longlegs spiders nest to make sure you don’t get any more daddy long legs.

So, what does a daddy long leg spiders nest look like? Depending on whether the daddy longlegs is a Harvestmen or cellar spider their nests will look very different. A harvestman nest will look like a dark black hairy clump as harvestman nest together to ward of predators. Whereas a cellar spider nest will look very messy as it does not clean its web and nest it just builds over it.

Below we have outlined some key differences for you to check what type of daddy long legs spider nest you may have in your house.

Harvestman

  • Lots of spiders clumped together
  • Looks like a ball of dark hair
  • It smells bad
  • The nest will look like it is vibrating
  • The nest will look like it is moving

Cellar Spiders

  • It will look very messy
  • It will look like a clump of spider webs
  • You may notice small white spiders
  • You may notice a lot of cellar spiders in the nest

How To Get Rid Of Daddy Long Legs Spiders?

Although these spiders might be an insect you don’t want in your home, you should think twice before you get rid of them as they actually eat a variety of smaller insects that might be in your home as well.

But, If you find daddy long legs spiders just too much and need them out of your home or just want to never see them in your home in the first place, then the key to getting rid of them is to try preventing them from getting inside your house as well as getting rid of any nests you may have noticed.

To do this here are a few tips:

  • Seal any cracks and crevices in your house: Make sure they can’t get in to your house in the first place and that there are no entry points around windows, pipes and doors. If you find any openings, then seal these openings up and try to keep windows and doors shut as much as possible.
  • Lay spider traps: Place spider traps in rooms where you have found daddy long leg spiders to ensure they don’t grow in numbers.
  • Clean your house: Get rid of any spider webs or daddy long legs nests as soon as you see them. Make sure you keep your house clean as hoovering and dusting often will allow you to get rid of any daddy long legs spiders before they have time to build a nest.
  • 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.

Related Questions

Are daddy long legs poisonous to dogs? If your dog has eaten a daddy long legs spider, whether it is a harvestman or cellar spider there is no need to worry as these insects are not poisonous to dogs.

Why are they called daddy long legs? They are called daddy long legs because of the large gangly legs that these insects have. There legs are usually much bigger in comparison to their bodies, which is why they are called daddy long legs.

Do daddy long legs fly? No, daddy long leg spiders don’t fly. But in Britain and Ireland people refer to the crane fly as a daddy long legs, which is a fly and not a spider. Guess what, crane flies do fly so if this is what you are referring to as a daddy long legs then they will be able to whizz around your room using their wings.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

nine − eight =