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With those very long legs and small oval bodies, daddy long legs are immediately recognizable. While they are large and can be intimidating for those of us who are a little scared of spiders, they’re harmless. Continue reading below the products on this page for a couple commonly asked questions about daddy longlegs and some tips on how to get rid of them if they become a nuisance.
Surprisingly, daddy longlegs, also called harvestman (also spelled harvestmen – with an “e”) and sometimes grand daddy longlegs, are not spiders. Although they resemble spiders with their eight legs and oval bodies and are often confused for cellar spiders, they are missing two key components of spiders: venom and silk. Spiders catch their prey in webs and inject them with some type of venom. Daddy longlegs do not spin webs nor have venom to kill their victims and are part of a group of insects called opiliones. Their bodies are about 1/16 to ½ of an inch long with very long legs. So the next time someone asks you if a Daddy Long Leg is a spider or not, you can say “No!”
There is a myth that states that daddy longlegs are the most toxic of all spiders, but their mouths are too small to inflict any damage to humans. This myth is false! They are not spiders and do not have venom so they are not poisonous. They have mouths similar to crabs or scorpions that allow them to catch and hold their prey in their jaws but cannot harm humans. They are mostly scavengers and will often feed on dead insects or decaying organic matter, but also eat garden pests like aphids.
Daddy Longlegs do not like indoor environments unless they are damp, like cellars, unfinished basements, sheds, etc. You will rarely find them indoors in living spaces. Daddy longlegs are often seen in large numbers in the fall, congregating near trees and eaves and windows of homes, but this behavior does not last long. They lay eggs in soil, under rocks, or in cracks of wood or bark, and these eggs hatch in spring.
Daddy longlegs are mostly a nuisance in the fall with their clustering behavior. You can easily get these critters off your home with a broom or vacuum, but sometimes they are unpleasant or in extremely large numbers. You can choose to treat your home’s exterior with a product formulated for this insect. Our general perimeter treatment products, like Talstar One or Bifen IT work great for killing daddy long-leg spiders.