Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs are spider kind of insects which very closely resemble spiders. This is because of their eight legs and spider-shaped body but they have not been classified as actual spiders. They belong to family “Phalangiidae” and are also known as Harvestmen.



Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs. By I, Alvesgaspar, CC BY 2.5

Daddy Long Legs have small, one-segmented, oval shaped body which measures 5/16 – inch in length.  They have a pair of eyes and thin hair like eight legs. The reason behind such a name is their appearance and having legs much bigger in size as compared to their body. Their second pair of legs is longer than others and functions as their taste and smell organs.


Behavior which makes a distinction between Daddy Long Legs and true spiders is that they are unable to spin silk webs, which is a characteristic feature of spiders. Moreover, they have two eyes contrary to the unique eight eyes of spiders. They have small weak fangs which are incapable to pierce through the human skin. Their tendency to gather together in rural areas during harvesting time gives them the name of harvestmen.

Mostly they live outside and hide on trees, under leaf litter, logs or under rocks but if the outside conditions are too hot and dry, they invade houses in which they hide in basements, attics, crawlspaces and other dark and secluded places. They aren’t dangerous for humans, but their ability to gather in large numbers and rapidly increase in their population is a real nuisance for any home.

They usually feed upon small insects like flies, small ants and sometimes take in carcasses and feces.


Daddy Long Legs usually hide in dark corners and aren’t seen crawling in homes, but you can witness them at night moving around. They live in clusters and create big hair-like masses which can be seen in basements, near shady trees or in crawlspaces. They produce a nasty odor, and in case of serious infestation the unpleasant smell will guide you about the Daddy Long Legs’ presence.


Daddy Long Legs are not really house bugs as they are mostly found near fields but sometimes harsh dry weather outside forces them to take shelter in the dark and damp places in your home. They can also get into your home if you are providing them enough food sources in form of insects and pests.


Though they aren’t common household pests but if somehow you have an encounter with them, following methods will aid you in eliminating them.

Reduce moisture:

Daddy Long Legs are usually attracted towards humidity. The best way to keep them away from your home is to reduce moisture level in your premises. Remove any accumulated water and fix all leakages.

Sealing cracks:

There might be cracks in walls, seal them immediately and caulk the doors and windows gaps.


Upon spotting any Daddy Long Legs, the effective way to remove them is by vacuuming the area. You can also swipe them out with a broom.

Food sources:

Remove the food sources of Daddy Long Legs which happen to be insects. You can also apply insecticides for this purpose, but do take precautionary measures before any chemical application.

Nevertheless, if you aren’t much disturbed by these bugs, then let them in as they are beneficial for you and eat away small insects and pests in your house and clean the environment by eating away decaying organic matter.

Daddy Long Legs Facts

  • Unlike popular belief, they aren’t venomous.
  • They have the ability to produce strong nasty odor, which protects them from predators by repelling them. Moreover to deter predators they ‘play dead’ and sometimes wiggle their leg which distracts predators.
  • They don’t invade indoors living places of people and stay in secluded corners.
  • Their lifespan is one year.
  • They have poor eyesight and therefore sense the directions with help of their second pair of legs.
  • They hunt for food at night.