No matter where you live, in a vast mansion, a cottage in the countryside or an apartment in a metropolis, one uninvited guest that you are most probably accommodating in your home is daddy long legs. But what exactly are daddy long legs? Are daddy long legs venomous? If so, do daddy long legs bite humans?
Well, do not worry as we are here today to answer all your questions regarding the tiny yet creepy-looking creatures that thrive in dark places. Here is everything you need to know about these.
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What Exactly are Daddy Long Legs?
The answer to this question is more complex than you may think. While the insect that is commonly referred to as daddy long legs is not exactly a spider, in fact, there is also a spider species which is, at times, called daddy long legs. Whereas, the people of Britain use ‘daddy long legs’ to refer to a long-legged winged insect called crane fly. The Americans mostly use this term to refer to opilione arachnids that are commonly known as harvestmen. Though these are quite similar to spiders, the two are not the same. These are the ones that we are discussing here today.
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Do Daddy Long Legs Bite?
Well, the answer to the question would be Yes and No. While harvestmen are omnivorous, they are classified as both scavengers and predators. They have a fang-like mouth parts called ‘chelicerae’ that they use to grab and chew their food. However, these are not known to bite humans and are not deemed dangerous to the households.
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Are Daddy Long Legs Poisonous?
Craneflies and the opilione arachnids called harvestmen have no venom glands, so they do not pose any threat to you. It is a widespread myth that daddy long legs are among the most poisonous spiders in the world, and we are only safe from them because their fangs are too small or weak to penetrate the human skin.
However, pholcus phalangioides, the daddy long legs spiders, actually do have venom glands, but there is no scientific evidence suggesting that the venom they produce is harmful to humans. Even though their fangs are just as long as other spiders that are known to bite humans, no study has been conducted to measure the toxicity of these cellar spiders on humans.
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What Do Daddy Long Legs Eat?
Harvestmen practically eat everything, from spiders and earthworms to a wide variety of other insects. When they are unable to find a live prey to gorge upon, they scavenge for dead insects, insect eggs as well as decaying plant. Daddy long legs arachnids are also known to have a taste for garden pests, such as aphids.
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How To Get Rid Of Daddy Long Legs?
These may not be dangerous to humans and may be considered beneficial for households as they eat other smaller insects and their carcasses, but these are certainly not nice to look at especially when they are crawling near your kitchen or refrigerator. The first thing you should try is not letting these inside your house. Seal crevices and cracks around windows and doors and keep the windows shut or screened.
Also, keep bushes and plants close to your house’s perimeter trimmed, so there is no place for daddy long legs to hide or lay their eggs. If you find them inside your house, you can catch them with your hands or glass and leave them outside so they can continue cleaning the environment.
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