If you grew up thinking that daddy long legs are spiders, you are certainly not alone. Scientifically speaking the daddy long legs or harvestmen is not a spider but belongs to an entirely different species altogether, called Opiliones. Daddy long legs are often misidentified because of their resemblance to spiders with their small oval shaped bodies and eight long legs. The daddy long legs is most active during the fall and can often be seen in large numbers. One of the fundamental differences between spiders and the daddy long legs is the inability of the daddy long legs to produce silk for a web or produce venom; which are essentially the two necessary traits of a spider.
Daddy Long Legs Aren’t Spiders Let Alone the Most Venomous
The daddy long legs does not have the necessary components needed to produce the silk to make webs the way that spiders do. Spiders also inject venom through their fangs to disarm and kill prey for consumption. Daddy long legs do not have fangs and as a result do not produce venom. Interestingly enough, one of the most well-known urban legends surrounds the daddy long legs. It has long been suggested that the daddy long legs is the most venomous spider in the world only the fangs are too small to penetrate human skin. This urban legend is completely false as the mouthpieces of a daddy long legs are closer to the mouthparts of a crab and are used to hold onto prey while it is consumed rather than injecting venom to immobilize prey the way spiders do. Although daddy long legs do not have fangs, they can emit a strong unpleasant odor to protect themselves from any predators.
Daddy Long Legs Identification
The body of an adult daddy long legs is approximately 1/16-1/2 in length and is oval in shape. The male is typically smaller than the female, although the male has much longer legs. The legs are fragile and easily break, and the daddy long legs will even break off their legs to avoid capture, similar in nature to a lizard breaking off its tail when attacked. Unlike lizards that can regenerate a missing tail, the legs of the daddy long-legs do not grow back. The second set of legs that are found on the daddy long-legs are longer than the first and act as antennae’s or feelers. The daddy long legs can be beneficial in controlling other insects and has a diet that consists of spiders, aphids, dead insects, and bird droppings. During the fall month’s daddy long legs are often considered a nuisance when they congregate in large numbers within homes. Daddy long-legs are often found around windows, crawl spaces, garages and unfinished basements.
Daddy Long Legs Lifespan
The female daddy long legs will lay her eggs during the autumn in soil protected by stones or in cracks and openings in wood. The eggs will hatch in spring and the average lifespan is one year in the northern states and up to two in the southern states where the climate is not as harsh.
Daddy Long Leg Inspections, Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
While it can be said that daddy long legs are a beneficial scavenger, control and removal is often necessary during the fall months when they cluster in large numbers. Daddy long legs are neither dangerous, not do they damage structures but they can prove a disturbing sight, especially for individuals who suffer from arachnophobia since its appearance is so similar to that of a spider. If you are interested in learning more about nuisance pests including pest control, removal, prevention and exclusion in Greater Austin, Texas, contact the knowledgeable pest control professionals at A-Tex Pest Management today.