Pholcus phalangioides

Pholcus phalangioides

profile iconPholcus phalangioides
by Threedots (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
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A daddy longlegs spider Pholcus phalangioides eating a woodlouse
profile iconPholcus phalangioides
by Threedots (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
1 of 5
The daddy long-legs spider is a common household arachnid. See these spiders suspended high in ceiling corners, where they sit and wait for their insect prey. Sometimes, these spiders will even eat those of their own kind! These spiders are most active during the night, but they never move far from the webs. Voracious predators, these spiders flick their silk towards anything approaching them that seems a thread. Once caught, a daddy long-legs will inject their venom into their foe. These spiders aren't to be confused with harvestmen or craneflies.
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Traits

These spiders offer a cheap and effective means of pest control for the home.
They create fine tangles of webs in the corners of ceilings.

Appearance

These spiders are small, where the female's body length only reaches as large as 8mm. The legs can reach 5x the body size, so around 4cm total. Tip: A cranefly and harvestmen are also sometimes referred to as daddy long-legs. The cranefly can be distinguished by the wings, which is lacking in spiders. Likewise, a harvestman has one body part only, as opposed to spiders who have two main body parts which are adjoined by a structure known as a pedicel.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Araneae

Family

Pholcidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

These spiders are present across Europe. They tend to be more concentrated in temperate climates.

Biological treatment

Although unsightly, these spiders provide a natural (and free) form of biological control for the home. Spiders dislike the peppermint essential oil. The oil can be diluted with water and sprayed near doors and windows. Spiders don't like the smell and will avoid it.

Attracts this pest

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Knowledge and advice

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