Toronto Pest Control: 4 Interesting Facts About Daddy Long Legs

Toronto Pest Control: 4 Interesting Facts About Daddy Long Legs

Long-legged, crawly creatures give some people the creeps. If you are among this group, Truly Nolen can help with professional spider control in Toronto. The critters that bother you may include daddy long legs, also known as harvestmen, which are fascinating, frequently misunderstood creatures.

1. Daddy Long Legs Are Harmless to Humans

A persistent myth about daddy long legs is that they are more venomous than any spider. Supposedly, their venom is deadly, but they have short fangs that cannot reach the skin, which is why they never bite. Both of these beliefs are completely false. Daddy long legs do not have either fangs or venom. The worst thing they could do to you is tickle you by crawling over your skin.

If your discomfort about harvestmen is because of their appearance, that is one thing, but if you’re afraid of a deadly bite they could administer, rest assured that there is no way that could possibly happen.

2. Harvestmen Aren’t Actually Spiders

If you are having a problem with an infestation of daddy long legs, residential pest control may be able to help. However, it technically isn’t spider control because harvestmen are not actually spiders.

They look like spiders, which is why many people get confused. They are distantly related to spiders in that both are arachnids. Because they are arachnids, they both have long legs. However, daddy long legs are different from spiders in some significant ways. Unlike spiders, which are carnivorous, harvestmen are omnivorous and cannot spin silk to make webs. The daddy long legs have an unsegmented, pill-shaped body. Harvestmen are ancient, dating back to before the dinosaurs, and in all those millions of years, they have mostly stayed the same.

Part of the reason for the confusion stems from the fact that there are spiders with long, spindly legs that people in certain regions refer to as daddy long legs, a name also applied in other regions to a certain species of fly. Presumably, harvestmen are rarer in these regions.

3. Daddy Long Legs Don’t Have Good Vision

Harvestmen have eye turrets that extend from their bodies. The eyes are mounted on top, but they don’t perceive sharp details. The eyes are very simple and serve merely to distinguish between light and darkness.

As is often the case in creatures with limited vision, daddy long legs have adapted other senses to compensate for a lack of sight. For example, the tips of their legs are very sensitive and are used to gather information about their surroundings. When harvestmen move, their front legs usually serve as feelers to collect information about their surroundings, while the back six legs provide movement. When they find food this way, they secrete a glue-like substance from hairy appendages around their mouths to capture their prey rather than hunting by sight.

4. Harvestmen May Lose Their Legs But Don’t Grow Them Back

Harvestmen have the ability to detach their legs as a defence mechanism. If a predator grabs ahold of one of the legs, detaching it allows the now-depleted daddy long legs to make an escape. Once the leg is lost, it never grows back, which is why you sometimes see harvestmen running around with only six or seven legs.

Since the two front legs are used primarily for sensing rather than ambulation, losing a leg does affect a change to the harvestmen’s ambulation. With the full eight legs, their movement can be smooth, but when they lose one, their bodies start bobbing up and down, a movement that becomes even more pronounced when two legs are missing.

Truly Nolen provides professional home pest control for both harvestmen and spiders. Find out more about the services we offer in Toronto.