MANY people dread this time of year due to it being spider season.
But a spider expert has revealed the one thing you should do when you see daddy long legs – and you should definitely not kill them.
Karl Curtis, director of reserves and community engagement at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said many people wrongly assume daddy long legs are spiders, when they are actually crane flies.
He added: “They often get confused with spiders but they’re not, they’re flies, they’re really good food source for birds, they’re really important to play their part so people should let them out their windows and not kill them.
“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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Crane flies only have six legs and two eyes, unlike their eight-legged, eight-eyed cousins.
As reported by CoventryLive, daddy long legs are completely harmless and are not poisonous, and don’t bite like some spiders.
And the point you may see on the end of a female’s abdomen is to lay eggs, and is not a stinger.
They come into the house for warmth, to find a mate and to lay eggs and are attracted to light.
Daddy long legs facts
- Once they hatch and take to the wing, they live for only two weeks – they mate and die within a few days
- They are an important source of food for birds, beetles and spiders
- They can do good as well as harm – their larvae eat decaying plant material and help to recycle nutrients into the soil
- Adults are thought not to feed during their short lifespans
- Some people believe daddy-long-legs are venomous, but they are unable to bite humans
- Crane flies do not have venom, but the name daddy-long-legs is also used for spiders known as cellar spiders, which do have venom glands, although it is not known whether they are harmful to human beings
The spider expert said many people also mistake daddy long legs for cellar spiders, which are the “long spindly spiders that you get in the corners of your room”.
He said they “pack a punch” but are also not dangerous to humans.
Karl said you should avoid using fly sprays in your desperation to rid your home of insects, as they can be bad for the environment and animals.
We shared how daddy long legs to swarm homes after washout summer created breeding ground as families warned to shut windows.
Central Recorder recently reported the best nine spider catchers to purchase as you prepare for possible infestations this autumn.