Are Daddy Longlegs Poisonous?

Okay, so it’s time to address the playground rumor every kid heard as a child. Some said daddy longlegs were harmless, others said they were deadly — but which is true? Let’s put this frequently debated issue to rest once and for all!

What Are Daddy Longlegs?

There are actually two different types of daddy longlegs, which are actually very different from each other.

Opilionids Arachnids

  • Pill-Shaped Body
  • Eight Legs
  • Feeds on Decomposing Vegetables and Animal Matter
  • Not Actually Spiders


  • Small Body
  • Long Legs
  • Predators of Other Smaller Insects
  • Resemble Opilionids, But Are Actual Spiders

What’s the Difference?

The Opilionids are true daddy longlegs, but do not have a set of fangs or venom glands to go along. While they do secrete a liquid as a defense, they are only poisonous to their predators when ingested. However, they do not bite and are NOT poisonous to humans. On the other hand, Pholcids are daddy longlegs spiders and they DO have a set of fangs (similar to the venomous brown recluse spider). This is the spider people refer to as being poisonous in the daddy longlegs myth.

Are Daddy Longlegs Spiders Poisonous?

While Phlocids daddy longlegs spiders do have fangs and venom glands, they rarely bite. Therefore, scientists do not find it necessary to test the venom to see if they are poisonous. But don’t feel let down by that answer! Luckily, the hit TV show “Mythbusters” tested this theory to find out the truth. One of these spiders did penetrate the skin, but the only side effect was a mild burning at the bite mark for a few seconds.

Finally, the poisonous daddy longlegs rumor has been settled once and for all! However, having an infestation of any spider or insect in your home is unacceptable. To learn more about removing pest infestations or to schedule an inspection, contact Knockout Pest Control at (800) 244-7378.

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