When you hear the word arachnid the first thing that usually comes to mind is spiders. While spiders do make up a large portion of arachnids, they aren’t the only members. Ticks, mites, scorpions, and harvestmen (also known as grandaddy long legs or daddy long legs) are also members of the arachnid family. Arachnids are defined as animals with 4 pairs of legs, chelicerae (which are fang-like mouthparts), and pedipalps (appendages also found near the mouth). So while they are all members of the same family, granddaddy long legs are not, in fact, spiders.
There are several key differences between granddaddy long legs and spiders. Spiders have 2 body segments (a cephalothorax and abdomen) differentiated by a narrow “waist.” Granddaddy long legs have an oval shaped body with no separation. Spiders typically have 8 eyes while granddaddy long legs have 2. Spiders produce silk and spin webs; granddaddy long legs aren’t capable of this. Spiders are also predators, using their venom to disable their prey. Granddaddy long legs are scavengers and don’t need venom to neutralize food sources.
Although they can be a little creepy looking, these pests are quite beneficial to have around. Because of their varied diet which consists of small insects, worms, snails, droppings, and fungi, granddaddy long legs help keep other pest populations under control. They are harmless to humans.
If you have a problem with granddaddy long legs or other pests, contact your local pest control company for a free evaluation.