Are daddy long legs spiders poisonous? That is a question that many people ask, especially since they are found in Perth. In addition, Daddy-long-leg spiders look different from the other spiders commonly found in the city. Their distinct appearance makes people wonder if they are dangerous. Let’s find out the answer below and see what first aid treatment may be done if they bite.
Daddy Long Legs Spiders Have the Most Toxic Venom
Yes, you read it right. Daddy long legs spiders have the most toxic venom among all spiders. They are more venomous than all the spiders found in Perth, in the country, and worldwide. Daddy long legs spiders were observed to kill and eat Redback Spiders, one of the most venomous spiders in the world. Aside from eating other spiders and insects by catching them in their web or actively hunting for them.
The Diet of the Daddy-Long-Legs Spiders
Apart from eating another poisonous spider, Daddy-long-legs spiders also eat:
- Wolf spiders
- False widows
- House spiders
- Hobo spiders
- Crane flies
- Spider eggs
Daddy-long-legs spiders are seen making webs near these prey, which are also common in Perth.
Habitat of Daddy Long Legs Spiders
According to the Australian Museum, Daddy-long-leg spiders are mostly found inside houses. They make their webs in areas where they may not be disturbed like:
- Under furniture.
- Behind doors.
- Corner of the ceilings.
- In sheds.
- In garages.
- Under decks.
Usage of these typical areas of the house makes daddy long legs spiders very common in Perth. In addition, this also makes them more prone to having human encounters.
The Danger of Daddy Long Legs Spiders to Humans
There were multiple studies made to test how dangerous Daddy long legs spiders may be to humans. One of them is by Mythbusters, wherein it was found out their tiny fangs of about 0.25 mm were able to pierce human skin. However, their bite only caused a very mild, short-lived burning sensation. Other resources, like the University of California’s Spider Research, also claim that daddy long legs spiders are not considered harmful to humans.
Myth on Daddy-Long-Legs Spiders
Since daddy long legs spiders eat a poisonous spider, they were believed to have stronger venom than the redback spider, and potentially have the most toxic venom. However, this is not supported by any scientific evidence. In fact, in one of Life Science‘s articles, it was mentioned that a scientist did a test on the effect of Daddy-long-legs spider bite. The scientist only had a little black mark for a day or two which eventually disappeared. So the scientist said that the bite of Daddy long leg spiders is not a big deal, and they are definitely not the most toxic spider in the world. The same scientist highlighted that he was referring to daddy-long-legs spiders, as the term “Daddy-long-legs” is used colloquially to at least three different animals.
Animals that are Called Daddy-long-legs
The name Daddy-long-legs is not only for spiders. It is also used to call two other animals. It is important to differentiate them from each other as only one of them is a true spider.
The Daddy-long-legs spider we are talking about is also called the cellar spider, which belongs to the family Pholcidae. Like the general body structure of others, cellar spiders also have:
- Two body segments.
- Eight eyes and fangs.
- Venom ducts.
- Venom glands.
Cellar spiders’ very long legs make them distinct from other spiders found in Perth. Their skinny legs are typically several times as long as their small bodies.
Also called Daddy-long-legs, harvestmen are arachnids in the Order Opiliones which have:
- A single body segment.
- Only two eyes.
They don’t have fangs or venom glands but they have poison that works by being ingested or through topical contact. This is released when they are disturbed by spraying it to the predators and parasites killing spiders and insects.
Crane flies are also considered to be Daddy long legs due to their long bodies and wings. They belong to the Family Tipulidae and may seem like oversized mosquitoes, but they don’t bite. It’s because they don’t have any mouthparts at all. Therefore, these Daddy long legs are not poisonous.
First Aid for Daddy Long Legs Spider Bite
As mentioned above, Daddy Long Legs spiders are not considered poisonous. Spiders Australia categorises them as low-risk and non-aggressive. Their fangs are very small but may still pierce human skin. Therefore, knowing certain first aid practices after they bite may be helpful to treat the possible effects of their bites. The general spider bite first aid includes the following steps:
- Cleaning the wound
- Applying cool compress
- Elevating the affected area
- Taking a pain reliever, antihistamine, or antibiotics if needed
After doing the above first aid steps, it is advised to observe the bitten area. Because there may be a need to perform additional first aid treatment which may be learned from a first aid course in 123C Colin St West Perth 6005. A Daddy-Long-Legs spider bite may cause an infection, further signs, and symptoms, or allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis. The last one may be life-threatening especially if first aid response is not applied immediately.
Knowing what an Anaphylaxis Is
According to Britannica, Anaphylaxis is a severe, immediate, and possibly deadly systemic allergic reaction. This is caused by exposure to a foreign substance that a person has become sensitized to, one of them may be the venom of a Daddy-Long-Legs spider.
Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
The signs and symptoms of Anaphylaxis may occur minutes to hours after being bitten by a Daddy-Long-Legs spider which includes:
- Flushed or pale skin
- Low blood pressure
- Swollen tongue or throat that may lead to wheezing or difficulty in breathing
- Weak and rapid pulse
Applying the anaphylaxis first aid is advised once any of these occur.
First Aid Treatment for Anaphylaxis
A person who is experiencing Anaphylaxis should be injected with epinephrine immediately. It may be done using an automatic injection device, such as an EpiPen. Correct usage of this medical device and knowledge about appropriate dosage is essential in responding to Anaphylaxis. Therefore, administration of epinephrine is advised to be done by healthcare professionals or trained first aiders.
Being a Trained First Aider
First aiders are known to provide immediate assistance to persons experiencing sickness, injuries, or illnesses to prevent further harm and save someone’s life. They are trained and may also hold a valid first aid certificate. Having a trained first aider in the family may be essential especially if there are sick, old, or disabled members in the household. In addition, a workplace first aider is also required in working stations where the risk level is high. To be a trained first aider, you may check if there are accredited first aid course providers in your area. In Perth, first aid training is available at 123C Colin St West Perth 6005 where enrollment in qualification and non-qualification first aid courses may be done.
Daddy-Long-Legs Spiders are poisonous, and their bite may cause a burning sensation. However, the effect of their bites does not last long and their venom is not harmful to humans. The myth of Daddy-Long-Legs spiders carrying the most toxic venom among all spiders came from observations of it eating redback spiders, one of the most venomous spiders in the world. Both spiders are found in Perth, so knowledge about the first aid treatment for their bites may be important to know.