There are many myths that involve Granddaddy Long Legs and one of them is that they are the most poisonous spider in the world.
Growing up, Granddaddy Long Legs were my arch enemies. We went camping a lot and the best place to find Granddaddy Long Legs is at an Arkansas Campground.
I always found them under the picnic table and in the bathhouse. I never would sit at the picnic table unless I looked on the bottom side first and I never showered in the bathhouse without sending my mom in with a fly swat and a can of Raid.
You can read that crazy story here: Daddy Long Legs in Arkansas: Ugly but Harmless
No one could convince me that Granddaddy Long Legs were harmless!
All these years later, I still don’t like them but at least I’m not terrified.
This all made me wonder though, are Granddaddy Long Legs poisonous or dangerous?
First, let’s get something straight.
What are granddaddy Long Legs?
Granddaddy Long Legs are also sometimes called Daddy Long Legs. People use this common name to refer to three different “spider-like” insects.
Crane flies, Harvestmen and cellar spiders are all commonly referred to as Granddaddy Long Legs. In this article, I’m referring to Harvestmen.
So, are Harvestmen poisonous?
First, lets start by talking about the difference between poisonous and venomous.
Poisonous Vs. Venomous
Poisonous: producing a toxic substance that causes injury or death when absorbed or ingestedsource
Venomous: (of an animal, especially a snake) secreting venom, or capable of injecting venom by means of a bite or stingsource
A poisonous Granddaddy Long Leg is one that would hurt you if you swallowed it.
A venomous Granddaddy Long Leg is one that would have the ability to bite you and inject venom.
These two words are often used interchangeably when they shouldn’t be.
Are Granddaddy Long Legs Poisonous or Venomous?
Granddaddy Long Legs are not venomous. They cannot inject a human or another insect with venom.
However, Granddaddy Long Legs are poisonous but there is not reason to be alarmed!
When harvestmen are disturbed, they either spray or coat themselves in a dark, foul-smelling chemical mixture designed to ward off parasites and predators. Though this substance can kill spiders and insects, it’s certainly not the world’s most toxic poison. source
So, are Granddaddy Long Legs poisonous?
The answer is yes. Granddaddy Long Legs are poisonous but they cannot hurt you. They only use their poison to defend themselves against their predators.
Now, about the myth that Granddaddy Long Legs are the most poisonous spiders in the world. That simply isn’t true. First, they aren’t spiders. Second, they aren’t even that poisonous.
So, the next time you go camping or you’re on a fantastic hike, don’t worry about those harmless creatures. They may be ugly but they won’t hurt you.