Harvestmen / Daddy Longlegs


Actual Size: 0.6 mm to 23 mm

Characteristics: Brown, gray, or black with long, tin legs. Has a very thin waist.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Frequently found in shaded places during the summer, such as the sides of homes. Often form a wriggling mass in the fall, which can be unnerving to come across.


  • Cannot spin webs and are not considered “true spiders”.
  • Emits a strange odor when threatened to repel potential predators.
  • Legs will fall off easily and continue to twitch as a way of warding off threats.

Harvestmen / Daddy Longlegs in Memphis TN Metro Area

Harvestmen, commonly referred to as daddy longlegs, are often mistaken for spiders, although they are not true spiders. The term “harvestmen” originated from their prominence during late summer and fall, coinciding with the harvest season. Unlike spiders, harvestmen lack silk glands and are incapable of spinning webs. These creatures are characterized by their remarkably long and slender legs, coupled with compact oval bodies. While harvestmen may occasionally gather in large numbers around structures, they do not pose any harm to humans, animals, buildings, or crops, making them more of a nuisance than a threat.

Harvestmen / Daddy Longlegs Habitat

Harvestmen thrive in environments with high humidity and are primarily encountered in forests and caves, where they can be observed scaling rocks and vegetation. Throughout the warm months, these creatures are abundant on the shaded sections of buildings, beneath eaves, in crawl spaces, and on trees, regardless of whether the setting is rural or urban. As autumn approaches, harvestmen congregate in sizable groups or clusters on building exteriors, exhibiting synchronized movement that resembles a wriggling mass. This behavior serves to unsettle potential predators or homeowners who come across it.

Harvestmen Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Harvestmen play a valuable role as beneficial predators in the garden, as they prey on aphids, spiders, and other pests that can harm plants. These creatures are harmless to humans as they neither bite nor produce venom. However, when harvestmen feel threatened or disturbed, they emit an unusual odor that acts as a deterrent against potential predators. Encountering harvestmen in homes is uncommon, and due to their nocturnal nature, being most active during the night, they can be challenging to spot.

If you are dealing with excess daddy longlegs spiders on your property, contact your local spider exterminators for help.