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Daddy Longlegs: Beneficial, Or A Minor Nuisance

6/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Daddy Longlegs: Beneficial, Or A Minor Nuisance

At this time of year, it’s not unusual for homeowners — especially those who live near wooded areas — to discover clusters of “daddy longlegs” on and around the house. These gentle arachnids, which are related to spiders, have small brown bodies and long, thin legs. It’s technically correct to call them harvestmen, but their nickname is more widely used, and sounds cooler, anyway.

Though the “daddy longlegs” has eight legs like its spider cousins, it lacks both silk glands and venom glands, meaning it can’t spin webs or harm humans. It prefers moist environments. Sometimes, many will congregate on the side of a building if food (small insects and plant matter) and water are nearby. A cluster might be a sign that ants, aphids, caterpillars, mites, or slugs are in the vicinity.

Because the “daddy longlegs” eats pests, it can be considered beneficial, but when enough beneficial arachnids get together, they become a nuisance. You should sweep them away with a broom, and look for other pests that may have attracted them in the first place.

That’s where we come in!

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