Daddy long legs to swarm homes after washout summer created breeding ground

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Brits are being warned that a plague of crane flies is approaching this autumn – ideal breeding conditions after a cool, humid summer.

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Insects with billions of two-inch-wide, pointed limbs—commonly called daddy long legs—are climbing in great numbers from their underground nests and exiting their burrows.

Daddy Long Legs is expected to arrive in UK homes this autumncredit: Alamy

Families who leave windows and doors open run the risk of insects flying into the living room and running around.


The good news is that the creatures are completely harmless and do not sting.

But it’s bad news for farmers because the larva of an insect before it can hatch — also called a leather jacket — gnaws on the roots of wheat and other crops.

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They are also known to ruin lovingly groomed lawns and flower beds, and indirectly cause havoc because birds, especially rooks and crows, like to eat the larvae and try to locate them. To peck in the soil.

The origin of his name is not known, but some think it may have originated from the 1912 novel called Daddy Long-Legs by Gene Webster.

The book is about a young orphan who has an anonymous benefactor whom she calls Daddy Long-legs because he is too tall.

The name ‘daddy long legs’ is used for many different spiders, most often crane fly, cellar spider and harvester – however, the crane fly is not actually a spider.

Recently reported on the best nine spider catchers as you prepare for a potential infestation this autumn.

Daddy Long Legs Facts

  • Once they hatch, they only live for 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 recycle nutrients into the soil
  • Adults are believed to not eat food during their short lifespan
  • Some believe that daddy-long legs are poisonous, but they are incapable of biting humans.
  • Crane flies do not contain venom, but the name daddy-long-legs is also used for spiders, known as sailor spiders, which have venom glands, although it is not known whether they are harmful to humans. Or not.

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