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Daddy Long Legs

Summary: There is an urban legend going around that daddy long leg spiders are the most venomous spiders in the world. This is just a myth, and in fact, many of the creatures known as daddy long legs are not spiders at all, but a close relative called harvestmen. In this article we talk about true daddy long leg spiders.

Dealing with spiders ranks on my favorite things-to-do list, right below changing a flat tire on the expressway. I am not a big fan of spiders even though the're often considered beneficial because they are predators of other bugs, including other spiders. In fact, the daddy long leg spider will catch and feed on spiders that pose risks to humans like the funnel web spider or the black widow spider, both of which are renowned for their painful and sometimes deadly bites.

Perhaps the daddy long leg's list of potent prey contributes to the legend that they are the world's most venomous spider, when in reality, the daddy long leg's venom is not harmful to humans and there are no recorded incidents of a daddy long legs bite adversely affecting a human being. They catch victims in large, tangled webs that are messy and irregular. The web is not sticky, but entangles the prey while the daddy long legs ties it up with silk and then delivers a lethal bite. The daddy long legs might feed right away, or store the victim in its web for a later date. It does not remove the carcasses of its victims, but rather builds its web to be larger and larger. The large webs can be more of a nuisance than the presence of the spider itself.

The daddy long legs spider has an unusual habit that lends it another nickname, the vibrating spider. The daddy long legs spider spends most of its time hanging upside down in its web, motionless so it will not scare away prey. However, if threatened by something dangerous it will start gyrating its body until it becomes a blur. It shakes so fast that it becomes almost invisible, thus confusing its potential predators. Thus, the name vibrating spiders.

The daddy long leg's legs can sometimes become too long for its own good. The spider does not often leave its web because it has an awkward walk. To help maintain manageable leg size the daddy long legs will trim down the length of its legs by chewing off the ends. Strange, but true!

The pest control solutions for daddy long legs are limited because spiders are not as susceptible to insecticide treatments as insects because they don't drag their bodies through the residual insecticide barrier. so, try to reduce moisture in areas of the house, like the cellar, where the daddy long legs might congregate. Also, tearing down the webs or spraying them with insecticides designed to kill spiders will help eliminate the long legged arachnids.

photo credit: <a href="~Brenda-Starr~">~Brenda-Starr~</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="guayacan_verde">guayacan_verde</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

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