Daddy longlegs – spider or not?

Tue. Jul. 28, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Daddy longlegs – spider or not?

 A listener and Facebook follower of Garden Bite gave me a great suggestion. Tom said check out Daddy Longlegs… hmm, okay. Found out some interesting facts.

For those who are spider squeamish, don’t worry, daddy longlegs aren’t spiders! Yes, I was surprised too!

  • They don’t have venom
  • They can’t spin a web
  • They are generally beneficial – they eat real spiders and insects, including plant pests such as aphids
  • They’ve been found in fossils over 400 million years old
  • They play dead (like a possum) to repel predators
  • If a leg gets stomped on… it doesn’t grow back
  • They live 2 to 7 years – unless squished

Female daddy-longlegs lay their eggs in soil, under stones, or cracks in wood in the Fall and emerge in Spring. In the fall, they can become a nuisance when they congregate in large clusters on trees and homes, usually around eaves and windows.

Additionally they can be found in damp crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and garages. Now I know why they’re in my 1890 home, the basement is REALLY not finished!

Honestly, they don’t damage any structure like ants do, they only congregate for a few weeks and they’re beneficial, so there’s no real reason to control them. Especially with any chemical.

Before you totally freak out, grab a shoe and let ‘em have it, consider that they eat mosquitoes. I tend to guide them out of my view.

Actual Spiders go for those nasty indoor pests like cockroaches, mosquitoes, earwigs, and even clothing moths.

I REALLY don’t like earwigs!  Aside from the NAME, which conjures up the time I had a bug in my ear, those pincers are nasty looking and they eat plants!