Harvestmen / Daddy Longlegs in Atlanta, GA
Harvestmen spiders, also known as daddy longlegs, have small bodies and long, delicate legs that give them a distinctive appearance. They’re not true spiders but belong to a separate order called Opiliones. These creatures vary in size, but most have bodies ranging from 1 to 10 millimeters and leg spans of up to several inches. Unlike true spiders, harvestmen don’t produce silk or venom glands, and they possess a single fused body section instead of the two distinct body parts seen in spiders.
Harvestmen / Daddy Longlegs Habitat
Harvestmen spiders inhabit a wide range of environments globally, thriving in diverse habitats. They’re commonly found in forests, meadows, grasslands, and even urban areas. These adaptable arachnids seek shelter in moist and dark places like under rocks, logs, leaf litter, and within vegetation. They can also be spotted in caves or damp basements. Their ability to exist in various climates, from temperate to tropical regions, contributes to their widespread presence. Despite preferring humid environments, some species have adapted to drier conditions. Their versatility in habitats allows them to play integral roles in ecosystems worldwide.
Harvestmen Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers
Harvestmen spiders are primarily nocturnal creatures, becoming active at night to forage for small insects, worms, and decaying organic matter. They’re solitary beings, generally not displaying social behaviors or aggression toward each other. Unlike true spiders, harvestmen lack venom glands, and they don’t produce silk for webs. As a result, they pose no significant threat to humans and are considered harmless. However, some species have defensive mechanisms, such as secreting a chemical that might deter predators or emitting a foul odor. While they don’t actively seek out interactions with humans, accidental encounters might result in them curling up or playing dead as a defense mechanism. In the fall, they also gather in large wiggling masses, which can make them unsettling to come across. If you are dealing with excess daddy longlegs spiders on your property, contact your local spider exterminators for help.