Why are there so many daddy long-legs and are they poisonous? | The Sun

Why are there so many daddy long-legs and are they poisonous? | The Sun

September 12, 2023

DADDY long-legs are a common pest in many homes, especially during spider season.

This is what you need to know about the critter with particularly long legs.

What are the different types of daddy long-legs?

There are different types of daddy long-legs which you might come across.

Pholcus Phalangioides

This daddy long-legs has a pale yellow-brown colour and is also known as the skull spider.

The females' body length tends to be 8mm while the male ones are smaller.

The length of the spider's legs is on average five or six times the length of its body.

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What you need to know about daddy long-legs and if they’re poisonous

They prey on other species alike, particularly the dangerous redback spiders.

They are not only harmless to humans but their silk is sometimes used in medicine.

The cellar spider also forms part of the pholcus species.


This kind of daddy long-leg has an oval shape with a hump.

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They are rarely found in the UK as their habitat is in Mexico and the United States and sometimes in South America too.

The one species that you might encounter is the Psilochorus Simoni, which was nicknamed the wine cellar spider.

It's because the spider is normally found in wine cellars.

When it is not crawling across bottles of wine, it is making its way through garden centres and greenhouses.

Smeringopus pallidus

This is a common type of daddy long-legs which is found in cosmopolitan areas such as London.

Males are smaller than females who can have a body length of up to 7mm.

It has a cylinder shape with purple spots over the surface.

They will be found in the dustiest and darkest corners of your house, so make sure to clean those well.

Are daddy long-legs poisonous?

Daddy long-legs are not poisonous.

Some used to believe that they are because they can kill the redback spiders, but this is all just a myth.

While they do have venom glands, there is no scientific evidence which shows that the poison is harmful to humans.

How can I keep daddy long-legs out of my home?

Firstly, you should always try to prevent them from getting inside.

You can do so by keeping the bins outside and closed and at a distance from your entryways.

You should also seal any cracks which you might have in your windows and doors.

Keeping plants trimmed around the house is another good idea so that they do not have a place to hide and lay their eggs.

Some of the products which proved to also work against the daddy long legs are peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and vinegar.

Why are there so many daddy long-legs?

You tend to spot more daddy long-legs in your house during the late summer as they often retreat to places of light and warmth.


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Director of reserves and communication engagement at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Karl Curtis told CoventryLive: "They are out this time of year because basically, they are hatching out of our lawns and various places – they live a lot of their lives underground as a grub, as a larva, and then what they do is they hatch out over the summer.

"Probably now is the last throw of the dice, and what they do is they come out and looking to mate, lay eggs back into vegetation and then they die off."

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