Daddy long legs or harvestmen are neither spiders nor insects. They belong to class Arachnida like spiders, but they are categorized in a different order, Phalangida. The bodies of spiders are divided into two, the thorax and the head, while the body of daddy long legs is divided into three: abdomen, thorax, and head. These insects are not harmful, and they won’t even bite you, even if you let them crawl on your skin. Still, 10 or 20 gangly daddy long legs crawling on your walls is not a pretty sight. You can get rid of daddy long legs in your home through the following methods:
Getting Rid of Daddy Long Legs
There are many options to choose from to get rid of daddy long legs.
- Squish them: Daddy long legs are usually not that fast. You can easily step on them if they are on the floor or smash them with a rolled-up magazine if they are on the wall. They are also very small, so they don’t spill too much guts. Wipe surfaces with a clean rag after squishing daddy long legs to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Use the vacuum cleaner: Using a vacuum cleaner is probably the easiest way to get rid of daddy long legs. Simply direct the nozzle near the insect and then suck it away. It’s also advisable to vacuum your carpets and furniture to get rid of the food source of daddy long legs, because these surfaces harbor small insects and organisms.
- Use an insect spray: Most insect sprays are very effective against daddy long legs. Spray areas where you’ve seen the insects before and moist places where insects usually hunt. You’ll likely kill other insects such as cockroaches and termites aside from daddy long legs through this method.
- Use sticky traps: One of the easiest ways to catch and kill daddy long legs is to set up sticky traps around the house. Simply lay these traps on surfaces where you’ve seen these insects before, and then leave them there until they catch something. You’ll likely also catch other insects like cockroaches and termites using this method.
- Trap them and throw them away: Despite their weird appearance, daddy long legs are not harmful to humans at all. If you want to spare their lives, simply trap them using a jar and then throw them outside. Make sure to throw them far away though, or they might return, especially if there’s plenty of food for them in your house.
- Keep your house dry: Daddy long legs prefer moist environments, just like other insects. Since damp areas attract small insects, daddy long legs will come to these areas to hunt for food. Dry damp basements, closets, and other spaces to keep these insects out. Fix leaky drains that provide wet environments for daddy long legs and other organisms. In addition, install dehumidifiers to ensure that your house is unattractive to all kinds of pests.
- Clean your house thoroughly: A dirty house is not just home to daddy long legs, but to a bunch of other insects and pests that love living in damp nooks and crannies. Clean your house thoroughly to make it unattractive to all kinds of animals. Spray your house with an aerosol insecticide regularly to poison insects that might have made their way inside.
- Kill other insects in your house: Many species of daddy long legs are omnivorous. They eat small living insects, as well as dead ones. These insects also suck juices from plants and feed on bird dung and other fecal material. You can discourage daddy long legs from invading your home by spraying your house regularly with insect spray to kill small insects.
- Block entry points: It’s almost impossible to seal your house because there will always be tiny holes where daddy long legs and other insects can enter. You can reduce the chances of daddy long legs entering your house though, by sealing cracks in your walls and foundation. Also, get rid of spaces around windows and doors to make it harder for these insects to enter your home.
- Try diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is excellent against most kinds of insects, including daddy long legs. The substance is nontoxic, but you should still wear protective clothing when using it in your house. Carefully read the instructions first before using the product to prevent injuries and accidents. Diatomaceous earth works by abrading the protective coating of insects, killing them. Most hardware stores sell this item for a small price.
- Sprinkle borax around your home: Borax works very much like diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle borax on areas where you’ve seen daddy long legs crawling before. Apply it on your floorboards, cupboards, and along wall baseboards. You can get powdered borax in the laundry detergent area of department stores.
- Hire pest control agents: Daddy long legs rarely invade houses in huge numbers, but if these insects choose your house to be their breeding grounds, then it’s probably best to call pest control agents. Professional pest control agents have the proper equipment and knowledge to deal with insect infestations like this. You can also ask them why daddy long legs live in your house, and what techniques you can do to prevent them from returning.
Don’t kill daddy long legs if they don’t bother you that much. They are harmless, and even beneficial because they eat more dangerous insects. Concentrate on getting rid of more harmful insects in your house, and daddy long legs will eventually leave you alone.
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