“The Daddy Long Legs spider is the most venomous spider in the world! But don’t worry – they can’t hurt you – their fangs can’t penetrate human skin.”
Ever heard that one before?
Ever wondered if it was true or not?
Well, it turns out this age-old adage is false. But there is a little more to the story.
In reality, research has shown that the venom of the Daddy Long Legs spider is not very potent at all. Their venom may be dangerous for affected insects, but even on this small scale, the Daddy Long Legs venom is not too harmful.
Plus, while it is highly unlikely the Daddy Long Legs spider will feel provoked enough to bite, if it does choose to inject its venom into humans via biting, it can successfully do this.
Where Did The Myth Come From?
So, why do we think the Daddy Long Legs spider is so venomous? It is thought the myths surrounding the potency of the spider’s venom arose after the Daddy Long Legs was observed preying on other well-known spiders, like the grey huntsman Holconia immanis and the redback spider Latrodectus hasselti.
The myth also may have arisen from confusion surrounding two types of ‘Daddy Long Legs’ that are in existence. Entomologists from the University of California, Riverside explain the name ‘Daddy Long Legs’ is often used to refer to the opilionids arachnids, a creature that is technically not a spider but has a pill-shaped body and eight long legs. On the other hand, Phocidae have long legs and small bodies. They closely resemble Opiliones, but unlike Opiliones, the Phocidae are true spiders.
The opilionids do not have venom glands, fangs or any other mechanisms to chemically subdue their food. They are therefore non-poisonous. That said, some opilionids do have defensive secretions that can be poisonous to small animals if ingested.
On the other hand, the Daddy Long Legs spider, Phocidae, are venomous creatures. Their fangs can theoretically penetrate human skin. That said, it is very unlikely a Daddy Long Legs spider will try to bite a human.
What Would A Daddy Long Legs Spider Bite Feel Like?
While it is highly unlikely, the Daddy Long Legs spider has the ability to bite through human skin and inject its venom. Researchers have found Phocidae venom is made up of a range of interesting proteins and peptides. It can be toxic to insects, but its venom has very limited effects on mammals.
The television show, Mythbusters, set out to bust this myth on a 2004 episode of their show. The team set out to encourage a Daddy Long Legs spider to bite the arm of Mythbusters’ co-host, Adam Savage. Lo and behold, the spider was able to penetrate his skin. Adam reported a subtle burning sensation from the venom, which only lasted a few seconds.
Where Is The Daddy Long Legs Spider From?
With the frequency to which Australians spot the Daddy Long Legs spider in our homes, you would think these creatures were native to Australia! It turns out this isn’t true either. The Daddy Long Legs spider was introduced by accident to Australia from Europe many years ago.
How Long Do Daddy Long Legs Spiders Live?
A Daddy Long Legs spider will live anywhere from 223 – 774 days. During that time, a female Phocidae can produce two to eight egg sacs, which contain a mix of fertilised and unfertilised eggs. Research has shown that the interval between batches and the number of unfertilised eggs per batch both increase as time goes on in the breeding season.
Daddy Long Legs Spiders Are Not Ideal House Guests
You may be thinking, if the Daddy Long Legs spider is so harmless, why should we be worried about them setting up camp in our homes? It can be easy to think these spiders, that seemingly keep to themselves, are harmless. But while they won’t cause humans immediate danger, they are not ideal house guests.
For one, Daddy Long Legs spiders like to set up their non-sticky webs in corners of almost any part of the home. This is a nuisance for accumulating dust and other particles – and simply is not the best look for a home!
Plus, Daddy Long Legs spiders leave behind their own droppings, which, aside from being blatantly unhygienic, can trigger asthma symptoms.
By keeping these spiders in your home, you also allow them to reproduce and hatch their fertilised eggs in your home, multiplying the problem.
Remove Daddy Long Legs Spiders From Your Home
Keeping these spiders in your home is undeniably an inconvenient and unhygienic way to live. That said, many residents do consciously try to get rid of their Daddy Long Legs spiders, only to find just as many have re-appeared. To rectify this issue, you’re best off contacting Cure All Pest Control and utilising our trusted spider eradication services, so you can rest easy knowing you’re living in a spider-free, pest-free home. Contact the Cure All Pest Control team to book your pest control.