Daddy-Long-Legs Spider

  • Scientific Name: Pholcus phalangioides

Daddy-Long-Legs Spider

Scientific Name:

Pholcus phalangioides

How to identify a Daddy-long-legs Spider

Daddy-long-legs spiders are easily recognised by their extremely long, skinny legs and small body. Pholcus phalangioides has a brown patch on its pale carapace and a cream to pale brown, lightly patterned abdomen. Some related species have different colour patterns, for instance, the Marbled Cellar Spider (Holocnemus pluchei) has a strongly patterned abdomen with a dark stripe on the underside.

Where are Daddy-long-legs spiders commonly found?

Daddy-long-legs Spiders are found in most urban areas, in particular houses. They make a thin, tangled web in sheltered positions were they are unlikely to be disturbed, such as under furniture, behind doors, in the corner of the ceilings, in sheds, in garages and under decks.

Why are Daddy-long-legs spiders considered a pest?

There is a persistent belief that the Daddy-long-legs Spider has the most toxic venom of all spiders. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. The myth probably grew from observations that the Daddy-long-legs Spider will kill and eat a Redback Spider. However, the venom is not actually that potent, even for insects.

It had been thought that the fangs of this spider were incapable of piercing human skin. Recently, however, it was shown that the tiny fangs (about 0.25 mm) were actually capable of piercing human skin in a test done on the US television show, Mythbusters but the stinging sensation produced was very short-lived. Most reputable sources, including the University of California, Riverside, still say that this species would never be considered as harmful to humans.

However, in the unlikely event of a bite from this species, a positive identification of the spider by an expert should be made and medical attention sought if any reaction persists for more than a short time.

What is the biology and lifecycle of a Daddy-long-legs spider?

The average life span of an adult daddy-long-legs can vary from 223-774 days and in that time the female may produce from two to eight egg sacs containing a mix of fertilised and unfertilised eggs.

Management Tips for Daddy-Long-Legs Spider

General Spider Prevention Tips
  • Keeping garden beds and rubbish away from the edge of the house will significantly reduce the spider population.
  • If garden beds next to the house are kept in place, it is important to keeping vegetation trimmed back from the edge of the house and paths.
  • Make sure insect screens and draft excluders are in good repair and well fitting
  • Keep clothes and shoes off the floor to reduce spider hiding places.
General Spider Control Tips
  • The best treatment for web-building spiders is to spray their webs and hiding places with an insecticide (ready to use pump back or aerosol). The key tip to get the best performance is to wait a day or two after spraying before brushing down any webs. This ensures the spiders will have picked up a lethal does of insecticide (by walking on the web) and by using a brush (rather than hose), you can ensure the insecticide remains in place to prevent new spiders taking up residence.
  • To prevent web-building spiders take up residence in the first place, spraying around doors, windows and vents, as well as under eaves and guttering delivers excellent results. As these spots tend to be sheltered from sun and rain, the treatment can last many months.
  • It is a lot more difficult to prevent running spiders entering the home. Carrying out a preventative spray around the perimeter of the home and any openings will have some benefit, although running spiders often walk on the tips of their legs, preventing them from picking up a lethal dose of insecticide. However, if you carry out a preventative treatment for web-building spiders and other insects, the numbers of running spiders will be greatly reduced, as there will be little prey for them to feed on.
  • Even with the best control program the occasional spider may get in. A crawling insect aerosol should be kept on hand to spray the occasional unwanted spider. Ensure the spider receives a good dose and keep your distance.

PRODUCT SOLUTIONS FOR Daddy-Long-Legs Spider

Each pest control product is registered for use in specific environments, situations, pest life stages and other key factors. Please always consult the product label for detailed information about how to use each product.

Seclira Pressurised Insecticide 397g
5g/kg Diontefuran

Seclira Pressurised Insecticide is a fast-acting, non-repellent, ready-to-use product with System III compatibility for the control of a broad range of pests including ants, and cockroaches.

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Seclira WSG Insecticide
400g/kg Dinotefuran

Seclira® WSG insecticide is a non-staining, odourless, broad spectrum, general insect control product for indoor and outdoor use.

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Termidor SC Residual Termiticide
100g/L Fipronil

Termidor SC Residual Termiticide and Insecticide provides superior levels of control across subterranean termites, ants, cockroaches, spiders, and flies.

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Suspend Flexx Insecticide
25g/L Deltamethrin

Suspend Flexx Insecticide is a synthetic pyrethroid (3A) formulation for the knockdown and residual control of a range of insect pests in various indoor and outdoor situations.

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Biflex Aqua Max Insecticide and Termiticide
100g/L Bifenthrin

Biflex AquaMax is the first ever Professional Strength, multi-insecticide and termiticide. Effective on a wide range of common household pests and all termite species in Australia.

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Biflex Ultra Lo-Odour 100EC Termiticide & Insecticide
100g/L Bifenthrin, 533g/L Liquid Hydrocarbons

Biflex Ultra-Lo-Odour Termiticide and Insecticide is a cost-effective, broad spectrum, long residual, liquid insecticide and termiticide for use as an internal and external treatment of a wide range of pests.

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PCO Bifenthrin 100EC (Low Odour)
100g/L Bifenthrin

PCO Bifenthrin 100EC (Low Odour) is formulated for the protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of termites and a range of other urban pests.

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PCO Bifenthrin 100SC
100g/L Bifenthrin

PCO Bifenthrin 100SC is formulated for the control of a range of urban interior and exterior pests, for the control of mosquitoes, biting midges and flies by forming Residual Surface Treatments on a range of urban interior and exterior situations, for protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of termites.

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PCO Deltamethrin 10SC
10g/L Deltamethrin

PCO Deltamethrin 10SC is formulated for the control of a range of insect pests, Cockroaches, Web-spinning Spiders, Non web-spinning Spiders, Ant, Fleas, Silverfish, Bed Bugs, Bird Mite, Carpet Beetle, Clothes Moth, Mosquitoes, House Flies, Stored Product Pests in various situations.

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PCO Deltamethrin Tetramethrin 10SC 5L
10g/L Deltamethrin, 10g/L Tetramethrin, 80g/L Piperonyl Butoxide

PCO Deltamethrin Tetramethrin is formulated for the control of a range of insect pests including: Ants, Cockroaches, Fleas, Silverfish, Spiders, Bird Mites, Carpet Beetles, Clothes Moths, Bed Bugs House Flies and Mosquitoes in various situations.

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Demand 100CS Insecticide
100g/L Lambda-Cyhalothrin

Demand 100CS is a cost effective and long lasting insecticide for the controls of ants, cockroaches, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, silverfish and spiders for up to up to 12 months indoors and up to 3 months outdoors. It can be applied to foliage for up to 14 weeks of mosquito control.

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Antagonist PRO Insecticide 1L
80g/L Bifenthrin

ANTagonist PRO insecticide is a suspension concentrate formulation containing a Polymer Enhanced Synthetic Pyrethroid approved for the treatment of ants, spiders, wasps, cockroaches, mosquitoes, midges, fleas, flies, ticks, termites and turf pests including lawn armyworms, sod webworms, argentine stem weevil, billbug, African black beetle, ants and ornamental pest including mites, aphids, caterpillars, loopers, earworm, budworm, light brown apple moth, whitefly, mealybug, thrips and cutworms.

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Delta Pro 25SC Professional Insecticide
25g/L Deltamethrin

For the control of a range of insect pests such as spiders, cockroaches, flies, ants, mosquitoes in various situations.

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Fipforce HP Insecticide and Termiticide
100g/L Fipronil

Fipforce HP is a professional strength, highly effective, odourless, non repellent insecticide providing long lasting control of termites.

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Imperator Smoke Generator Insecticide
135g/kg Permethrin

For the control of ants, flies, silverfish, cockroaches, weevils, spiders, caterpillars and aphids in commercial, industrial, domestic and public service areas, in glasshouses (ornamentals only) and in agricultural buildings including animal housing.

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PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide
10 g/kg pyrethrin and 50 g/kg piperonyl butoxide

PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide is a ready to use professional aerosol for control of a range of insect pests in various situations. Suitable for crack and crevice applications. PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide is an industrial strength spray, suitable for flushing or as a space spray.

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