Daddy long legs, also known as harvestmen, belong to the arachnid family but they aren’t, in fact, spiders. They are cousins of spiders, mites, and scorpions. There are several differences between harvestmen and spiders. One of the most prominent is that harvestmen have one pair of eyes while spiders have 8 pairs of eyes. Harvestmen also cannot spin silk to make webs, so they can’t capture their food like spiders do. They have to ambush their prey instead.
Daddy long legs are omnivores and mostly eat spiders, earthworms, and other insects. When their food supply is limited, however, they will scavenge for whatever they can find like dead insects, insect eggs, and even decaying plants. In fact, these creatures are considered beneficial to have around your house and garden because they eat both garden and household pests.
Harvestmen prefer dark, moist environments so they are most often found in basements, crawlspaces, and garages. They have a unique ability to escape their predators by two different means: they can detach their legs (which will continue to twitch for up to an hour after they fall off) to trick their predators and escape; and they can also secrete a foul-smelling, bad-tasting chemical to deter their attackers.
Now you’ve found a daddy long legs inside your house. Should you be worried? Are these pests poisonous? It is important to distinguish the difference between poisonous and venomous. Poisonous pests cause harm when they are touched or ingested. Venomous pests cause harm by injecting venom through a bite. Although harvestmen do have fangs (also called chelicerae), they are primarily used to grasp and chew food. These arachnids are not known to bite humans and are not considered dangerous to either the health or structure of your home.
Because harvestmen are considered beneficial pests, it’s ok to leave them be if you find them lurking around your house. If you just can’t stomach the thought of sharing your personal space with them, the best way to get rid of them is to sweep or vacuum them up. If you have a problem with any other pests, contact a professional pest control company for a thorough evaluation and pest control plan.
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The granddaddy long legs is legendary – with claims of being the “most poisonous spider in the world but their mouths are too small to bite.” Like most legends, these claims are exaggerated and aren’t based on facts. So what is the truth about these creatures? Here’s everything you need to know about the granddaddy long legs.
Is the Granddaddy Long Legs a Spider?
No. The granddaddy long legs, AKA the daddy long legs, harvest spider, and harvestman, is actually an arthropod and closer genetically to the scorpion than a spider. While they do have 8 legs like spiders, the resemblance ends there. Spiders have spinnerets that spin silk for their webs; granddaddy long legs don’t. Spiders also have 2 body sections connected by a small, narrow waist. Granddaddy long legs have 1 body section containing their head, abdomen, and body combined. Spiders can have fangs and produce venom. Granddaddy long legs don’t have fangs and don’t produce venom. Spiders live on a liquid diet while granddaddy long legs have chelicerae (tiny claws used to hold and tear things) so they can eat small pieces of solid food. Granddaddy long legs can also self amputate their legs as a defense mechanism against predators. Unfortunately, once they lose a leg they cannot grow it back.
What Attracts Granddaddy Long Legs?
Granddaddy long legs are omnivores and eat a wide variety of things. They are known to eat dead and live insects, spiders, aphids, worms, snails, fungus, and even bird droppings.
What Are Granddaddy Long Legs Good For?
Granddaddy long legs use their varied diets to keep to keep your gardens and yard free of other pests. They don’t cause damage to structures or landscaping and aren’t dangerous to humans.
How Do You Get Rid of Granddaddy Long Legs?
Because they aren’t harmful to humans and don’t damage any structures or landscaping in your yard or garden, it is best to leave granddaddy long legs alone. Sometimes they are known to congregate in large numbers. If this is the case or if you have an issue with these or other pests, contact your local pest control company who can thoroughly evaluate your home and provide you with the appropriate treatment and prevention plan for your situation.
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