Daddy long legs, also known as harvestmen, are insects with eight long legs and an oval body belonging to an order called Opiliones.
Harvestmen earn their name because they are most often seen around harvest time. In North America, there are over 150 species of daddy long legs. Most people are horrified when they discover that these spider-like insects have taken up residence in their homes during the warm summer months.
In this post, we will discuss what attracts these insects to your home in the first place. We will also walk you through their appetite and how to get rid of daddy long legs for good.
Daddy long leg spiders are named for their long, spindly legs. They get their name from the superstition that they enter through a hole in the ceiling and descend to haunt sleeping children.
Unlike some arachnids, they are not poisonous and will not bite humans. Although they do not bite humans, these spiders are one of several species found in and around homes.
They are most active at night, seeking prey like small insects. Unlike many other spiders, they also do not spin webs to catch their prey.
Instead, they like to crawl on surfaces and wait for insects to pass by before attacking them with their sharp fangs.
As we’ve earlier mentioned, daddy long leg spiders originate from an order called Opiliones Trusted Source Order Opiliones - Harvestmen - BugGuide.Net An online resource devoted to North American insects, spiders and their kin, offering identification, images, and information. bugguide.net and are not typical spiders.
They are found around structures such as houses, buildings, and tree trunks, probably in search of food.
The long legs aren’t just for show! When they scurry, they help the spider cover a lot of ground. Furthermore, it places them in a good posture for hunting prey.
Daddy long leg spiders are arachnids that don’t spin webs. Instead, they often choose dark, warm, humid places to hide.
They are typically attracted to the corners and clutter in houses, so they’re not easy pests to get rid of.
These spiders gravitate toward debris-filled areas. If you can keep these areas as clean as possible, you’ll help reduce the number of spiders around your house. Another factor that could attract daddy long legs is food.
They eat primarily other insects, with a preference for flies and mosquitoes that they catch. They catch prey by jumping out and capturing them with their front two pairs of legs.
They survive for one year in the northern portions of the United States, but in the southeast, when the winters are warm, they have been known to live for two years.
If live food isn’t accessible, they’ll scavenge for dead insects, rotting plant material, and insect eggs. It then wraps the victim tightly until it suffocates and dies. The daddy long leg then feeds on the dead insect. You can eliminate them by killing them while feeding or laying eggs.
The name daddy long legs can refer to two types of arachnids. One type is the crane fly, which does not typically cause harm, but the other is a spider in the Pholcidae family Trusted Source Daddy-long-legs Spider - The Australian Museum The cosmopolitan Daddy-long-legs Spider belongs to a group known as the tangle-web spiders. australian.museum , also known as a daddy longlegs spider.
Daddy longlegs spiders are most commonly found in North America and are generally non-aggressive. They do not defend themselves when provoked, though they can bite. However, this is their only defense as they cannot make any harmful venom.
These spiders can vary in size and color but are characterized by their thin legs with minimal hair or spines. Now, because these spiders can’t produce venom, they cannot bite humans. Instead, they capture prey by wrapping their long limbs around them.
Daddy long legs consume other insects in your yard. They primarily eliminate aphids and other spiders. They also forage for eggs, consume plant waste, and maintain your garden in top condition.
Even as harmless as these insects may seem, they have a way of spreading so much around your home and will quickly make you wonder how you can get rid of them.
Daddy long legs are less dangerous than their reputation suggests, but they can get into hard-to-reach areas that you may not be able to clean. The best way to get rid of them is with some of the best traps for spiders.
These come in two main types: suction traps and glue traps. Suction traps can be mounted on walls or used as stand-alone traps on the floor.
They work by using an adhesive strip the insect walks across before being trapped by a vacuum inside the trap. Suction traps are some of the best outdoor spider traps.
Glue traps use a non-toxic, biodegradable adhesive for trapping insects such as daddy longlegs. You will need to hang these up where you think the insects might congregate, so don’t expect them to last forever.
Daddy long legs like dark, moist areas with cobwebs for protection. They hide during the day, so good personal hygiene is important as they can hitchhike on food when cooking or eating.
They live off flies, houseflies, and other insects and love to set up homes in neglected old houses where they lay their eggs. Therefore, houses need to be kept clean and tidy regularly, cupboards opened regularly, and any food cleared up as soon as it is used.
Daddy long legs are nocturnal pests attracted to a home’s damp, humid environment. If you want to eliminate them, ensure all food and water sources are removed.
This includes small insects such as crickets, ground covers such as mulch, leaky pipes, or anything else that might provide them with a nesting place.
Remove any other items that may provide shelter or a hiding spot.
There are many natural repellents that you can use if you are experiencing a daddy long legs infestation. The simplest way is by making your spray with these ingredients: water, cider vinegar, orange peel, and crushed garlic.
Mix the ingredients in a spray can and shake well before each use. Lightly mist over carpeting or bedding (where they are most likely present) and give it time to dry.
Spidercides, often known as spider killers, are one of the easiest ways to eliminate daddy long-legs. Spidercides are meant to eliminate these arachnids in a single application. However, it can also be used to build residual barriers.
Spray it into the locations where spiders generally nest to deter them from returning. Some of their frequent hiding places are the basement, attic, garage, and infrequently used storage locations.
You can always use some of the best foggers for spiders, and most of them are affordable.
This substance, made from fossilized remains of diatoms, comes in a powder form, and you can find it online. It works by dehydrating the bugs and sucking the life out of them.
The flour-like substance pierces the exoskeleton, causing fluids to seep out. It also penetrates the body and dries it out. Use the same technique you would with boric acid.
All you have to do is sprinkle the diatomaceous earth powder over your carpets, beds, and anywhere else you suspect they are residing. After 24 hours, vacuum up the remains.
There are a number of essential oils that can be used to keep daddy long leg spiders away. These include eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and lemon oil. Simply add a few drops of any of these oils to a cotton ball and place it in an area where you’ve seen daddy long legs. You can also add a few drops of these oils to a spray bottle filled with water and use it to mist areas where you think spiders may be lurking. These oils will not only repel spiders but also leave your home smelling fresh and clean.
One chemical you can use is boric acid.
It is non-toxic, which makes it a good choice for children and pets who may come into contact with it.
Mixing it with sugar and water will encourage daddy long legs to take a drink. The acid will dissolve the insect’s exoskeleton and kill them before they have time to ingest the poison. A few droplets should do the trick!
In most cases, you should be able to get rid of daddy long legs quickly and easily using bleach. This simple household cleaning solution can kill both mature and immature spiders in minutes.
Mix a half-cup of bleach and water in a spray outside or around your home, and watch them die immediately upon contact. When spraying the solution, put on a glove so the harmful chemicals don’t touch your skin.
Daddy’s long legs were sometimes considered a myth Trusted Source “Daddy-longlegs” means harvestman (not a spider), crane fly (an insect) or pholcid spider, depending on who’s talking! So it’s really meaningless. www.burkemuseum.org . They walk on and scurry around on ceilings and walls in search of food, water, and shelter.
These spiders can come into your home through open windows or cracks in your home’s foundation. It’s good to keep your home free of these creatures because, despite their name, daddy long legs spiders are not the least bit cuddly!
Keep reading to learn how to keep daddy long legs out of your home so you can rest easy knowing that you’re spider-free!
When there is a high population in your home, it’s not uncommon for lots of daddy long legs sightings too.
Getting rid of daddy’s long legs might seem impossible, but with regular vacuum cleaning, you can keep these insects away.
Moisture encourages the spread of daddy long legs populations. Ensure your house is well ventilated and keep any water from collecting near your floorboards or inside cupboards.
Also, make it a habit to close your windows and doors when it rains. Use fans to dry areas where you notice mold growth, as this will discourage daddy long legs nests.
Believe it or not, lightning is a breeding ground for daddy long legs populations. So consider decreasing your exterior lights to a bare minimum. Alternatively, use yellow illumination, which appears to repel rather than attract them.
Daddy long leg spiders, also known as harvestmen, thrive in damp places and often take refuge in houses. One way to keep them out is by sealing any cracks they can crawl through.
Another effective tactic is to seal around the windows and doors with caulk so the spiders can’t sneak into your home.
Additionally, it’s important not to pile firewood near your home because this will make it easier for daddy long legs spiders to climb into your house.
The key to success on how to get rid of daddy long legs is cleaning up crumbs, spills, and other food messes right away. With a clean and clutter-free space, these pesky insects will have less interest in making their way into your living quarters.
Natural remedies are the best bet for those rare occasions when you need to deal with an infestation. For example, you can place spider insect traps around your home’s perimeter and in corners or cracks where spiders might hide. These traps are not toxic and will help keep unwanted visitors at bay.
Remember that while they’re creepy and crawly, daddy long legs are harmless, so don’t let them make you crazy!