It's a Harvestman or Daddy Long Legs

Eeek ! Daddy Long Legs!

Yes, spiders give me the heebee jeebees

but they are a necessary part of the garden….But I just can’t like them!

But the Daddy Long Legs we see in the garden is a good garden pest to have around, even if we find them a little unnerving when they suddenly appear to our eyes. These are  good insects  to have in the garden since they eat aphids, mites, flies, decaying plant matter, snails, slugs, bird poop……

Yeah, bird poop.

I really have a lot of the harvestmen in my front garden bed. They are the kind that have an orange body and I guess those are the most common. Very Halloween looking, eh?

Daddy Long Legs - The Harvestman - A great companion in your garden!

First of all, they are not technically spiders, as we normally think of one.  The harvestman is  a “cousin”  to the typical spider which has two body segments.  The harvestman is included in the class of Arachnids, but belong in a different order called Opiliones.

There are a few spiders with really long legs that resemble the Daddy Long Legs or Harvestman .  To add to the confusion, they are called Daddy Long Leg Spiders or cellar spiders or basement spiders. 

These cellar spiders spin webs, but our harvestmen do not. 

The Harvestman is related to scorpions and ticks and mites, but it has no venom glands, so the myths about biting people and injecting venom are just myths.    The Harvestman does not make webs,  and his little body ( all fused into one part ) is suspended between the eight long legs looking  like a tick.  Maybe that’s because they are  related to ticks.

These harvestmen have no  “waist”  like you see in a typical spider  (two parts) whose big bubble of an abdomen make some of them look so huge!  But we gardeners all know that spiders are a good thing to have in the garden since they eat many other insects which we don’t want.

And I do get 45 seconds of cardio exercise when I run into webs. So they’re good for you, eh?

harvestmen eating from the hypertufa gardener

I found one of these harvestmen eating, I think.  He/She had something, maybe another bug of some kind or maybe it was just a bit of decaying leaf. I am not sure.

And it seems that when I want to photograph a Daddy Long legs, it is like hunting a needle in a haystack. Not a one to be found. But as you see, I did finally find a few hanging on the fence, and in a small trailer.


I did have a volunteer come out from behind a shutter and offer herself for a photo op. I took one but she was too short and compact for my article . Sorry honey, you are not a harvestman…LOL.

So when you are out in the garden, reaching out to deadhead a flower, or pulling some weeds way behind there on the ground…watch out!  You know there are Harvestmen out there munching. And that is a good thing.

I do find a lot of harvestmen on my hypertufa troughs. Maybe it’s the coolness of the stone, or how it holds moisture. But I like to see them around even if I still have a little jerk-my-hand-back reaction most of the time……..Sorry, Harvey!

Hypertufa Bowl In Shade

What do you think of the Harvestman in your garden?

pecies:phalangioidesGenus:PholcusFamily:PholcidaeOrder:AraneaeClass:ArachnidaPhylum:ArthropodaKingdom:Animalia- See more at:

Species:phalangioidesGenus:PholcusFamily:PholcidaeOrder:AraneaeClass:ArachnidaPhylum:ArthropodaKingdom:Animalia- See more at:


  1. Just before I read this post I read one that said that they can eat your garden and yard alive because they love baby plants, now I don’t know what to do! I figured they would be good for my garden. Has anyone else heard anything different?

    1. No, these don’t eat your plants. Just some other insect pests in the garden and maybe some debris etc. They are the type of insect you want in your garden/yard/flower beds.

  2. Rich Bispham says:

    Also unlike true spiders, these Daddy Longlegs only have two eyes, and they do not produce silk. They may not be true spiders, but that fat globe of a body surrounded by long, thread-like legs is enough to give most people the creeps.

  3. I love this article. This is a crazy story, but I have to share…. I have worked in a medical clinic for many years and I told one of the docs that a daddy-long-leg was not a spider, he of course didn’t believe me, but he did come back the next day, after doing some research and told me I was correct. Ha- One for me!
    I however did not realize that they are such hard workers in the garden. Again, great article.

    1. Thanks, Jonni. I guess you taught the Dr something, and I’ll bet he won’t forget that! And I realize the post was a “little different” but I have to diversify, right! LOL

  4. I have to say the same thing – I like having them around, but can’t touch them. Watching them gives you an appreciation for their sense of humor and alertness though. Such interesting creatures!

    1. Agreed! They are interesting to look at! And so are many of the types we see in the garden. But I just don’t want to touch any…A butterfly maybe, but you don’t want to touch those because it damages them, or seems to.

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