Think Twice Before Trying To Get Rid Of This Common Household Arachnid

Though they may look intimidating, daddy longlegs aren't a threat to you or members of your household and can actually be a beneficial bug to have in your garden or home. Despite their appearance, daddy longlegs (order Opiliones) aren't actually spiders but harvestmen arachnids. They don't produce silk or spin webs, aren't venomous, and can, in fact, help get rid of spiders crawling about inside your home, providing you with natural pest control. So, if you're thinking of getting rid of a daddy longlegs, reconsider the benefits of keeping this arachnid around.

You can identify daddy longlegs by their long legs, but there are other signs to look for, too. Specifically, harvestmen have only two eyes and one body segment, while most spiders have eight eyes and two body segments. Overall, the body of a daddy longlegs is smaller than a spider's.

These arachnids eat a variety of insects, and will even consume dead bugs left in the darkest corners of your house. Outside, harvestmen love to go after aphids, making them helpful for eliminating these pesky garden pests. Besides providing pest control, daddy longlegs will also snack on various fungi. These arachnids also pose no risk of damaging the structure of your home.

Why you shouldn't kill daddy longlegs

If you find a harvestmen arachnid in your home, it's likely only there to catch insects and have a dark place to hide. Killing the creepy-looking critter will keep it from scaring you when you spot it hanging out on a wall, but you'll be ridding your home of an effective pest control. But, if you don't want daddy longlegs in your house, you can easily catch them and release them in your backyard to help eliminate pests in the garden. These arachnids not only target aphids, but also snails, worms, slugs, mites, and caterpillars. Even if you don't have a garden, harvestmen are known to eat bird feces, which could save you from having to clean it off your deck.

To catch a daddy longlegs, just place an empty cup over the arachnid, then slide a sheet of paper beneath it. This should trap the creature inside the cup and allow you to carry it outside without ever having to touch it. If tons of harvestmen have taken over your home, though, try contacting a pest control agency.