Spider Pro Shares Tips For Dealing With Daddy Long Legs


As fall takes hold and the days start getting shorter, a common guest often shows up, giving a lot of people the creeps – those skinny-legged critters known as daddy long legs.

These long-legged creatures, sometimes confused with spiders, usually bring out anxiety in folks who don't like encountering them during what people commonly call "spider season."

But here's the scoop from an expert who's helping us understand why we shouldn't just squash daddy long legs but should also value their role in our ecosystem.

Karl Curtis, who leads the charge in preserving natural areas and connecting with the community at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, shares some valuable wisdom about daddy long legs.

Going against what many folks think, these critters aren't actually spiders but belong to the cranefly family, known scientifically as Tipulidae.

While certain spiders might give us the heebie-jeebies with their venomous bites, daddy long legs are entirely harmless and don't present any danger to us humans.

These insects tend to show up around this time of the year, coming out from different hiding spots like lawns and as larvae from underground.

Their life journey is pretty intriguing, kicking off as grubs and eventually transforming into crane flies.

According to Curtis, this time of year is when they're in their last stage, coming out to find a mate and lay eggs before their life cycle wraps up.

A widespread misunderstanding about daddy long legs is that they're actually spiders.

But Curtis sets the record straight, explaining that they're actually flies and play a vital role as a food source for birds.

These bugs have a significant role in our ecosystem, helping maintain the natural balance among various species.

So, instead of reacting out of fear by squashing them or using chemical fly sprays, Curtis suggests people should simply release daddy long legs out of their windows.

He stresses that although fly sprays are good at getting rid of flies, they can harm the environment and other living creatures.

We should steer clear of using such chemicals, especially when dealing with harmless critters like crane flies.

Clearing up another common misunderstanding, Curtis notes that daddy long legs are not venomous.

This myth might have sprung up because of their lengthy legs and their resemblance, at first glance, to cellar spiders.

Yet, Curtis assures us that crane flies are completely harmless, and they don't carry any dangerous venom or stingers.

Clarifying their occasional visits to our homes, Curtis mentions that daddy long legs are drawn to light and warmth.

They look for sources of light, and you'll often find them indoors when the lights are on.

This behavior comes from their evolutionary tactic to emerge during the darker hours to reduce the risk of being hunted by birds.

Instead of looking for shelter, these bugs are on a mission to find partners and lay eggs, sometimes ending up inside as they follow their path toward sources of light.

Daddy long legs play a more substantial role in our environment than you might think.

These wall-crawling insects have a vital role in keeping our ecological balance intact. They help manage different pests and also contribute to breaking down organic matter.

They lend a hand in keeping populations of spiders, aphids, deceased insects, fungi, bird droppings, worms, and snails in check, showing just how valuable they are in our ecosystem.

As spider season arrives and daddy long legs come out, it's worth keeping in mind that these creatures, often seen as fearsome, actually play an important role as valuable contributors to the delicate web of life.