There has been a false myth going around about these timid little creatures. It’s simply not true that Daddy Long Legs are extremely poisonous spiders, but are unable to penetrate human flesh due to their short fangs.
That fact is that these spiders are totally harmless to humans, so there’s no need to call insect control if you spot one in your home.
The Daddy Long Legs spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is common all over the world, and, though not native to Australia, it can be found in probably every cellar and garage in the country. Their thin, tangled webs are often found in dark, secluded spots such as corners, behind doors and under furniture. When disturbed, Daddy Long Legs will begin to spin very quickly, becoming an almost impossible to see blur.
This delicate spider is easily identified by its small body and long, skinny legs. Its color ranges from creamy gray to pale brown. The bodies of some species have banded marks. Other species have markings on their abdomen and legs.
The myths about this species of spider have probably arisen from the similarities it shares with another creature, the true Daddy Long Legs, which are also known as a harvestmen. Harvestmen are not actually spiders. They belong to their own separate order called Opiliones.
At first glance, these two different species may look the same, but upon closer investigation you can easily distinguish them from each other.
A Daddy Long Legs spider has two body parts. The front segment includes the fangs, eyes, stomach, brain and all eight legs, while the second part, called the abdomen, is where the silk producing glands are.
The true Daddy Long Legs or Harvestmen, have only one pill-shaped body part with all eight legs attached. They don’t produce silk and, therefore, are never found in a web, unless captured by another spider. They’re usually found in moist places in the woods under fallen logs or rocks.
No matter which of these two creatures you run into, there’s no need to fear since both are harmless. Just let them be or sweep them away. It’s your choice. For extermination and control of other more harmful pests, contact a qualified pest control expert.
Want to find out more about these harmless creatures? Check out Buzzle’s write-up on Daddy Long-legs Spider Facts.