They were everywhere. They were on the walls, all over the floor, and in the shower. Daddy Long Leg spiders in Arkansas were my arch enemies when I was growing up and they seemed to enjoy laughing at me.
I felt it that day as I walked into the shower house with my mother at the Dam Site Campground in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
The whole family was there for a weekend of camping and, since we didn’t have a shower in our camper, we had to go to the shower house to get all of the camping grit off ourselves. I actually loved using the big showers at the campground (mostly because my voice echoed as I sang) but I hated that it was always full of Daddy Long Legs.
Actually, we called them Granddaddy Long Legs. I took a poll on Facebook and Arkansans seem to be split on this topic. So, I’ll just call them Granddaddy Long Legs from here on because that’s what I grew up saying and I like it that way.
How was I supposed to shower with Granddaddy Long Legs everywhere? There were hundreds of them. My mom knew that I would rather stink all weekend than be within 10 feet of one. In fact, I had a habit of looking under the picnic tables before I even sat down to eat!
So, to make sure I didn’t have a cloud of funk around me all weekend, my mom would always come prepared.
I still remember standing outside the shower house in my flip flops one summer day holding a giant canvas Avon bag full of towels, White Rain shampoo, and Walmart brand body wash. My mom told me to wait right there as she marched into the shower house with a can of Raid in one had and a fly swat in the other.
All I could hear from outside was slap, spray, swat, spray, splat, splat, splat, swish.
She opened the door to give me the “all clear” and a cloud of Raid puffed out from behind her. She had sprayed, swatted, and completely obliterated an entire platoon of Granddaddy Long Legs. The National Guard couldn’t have done a better job.
When I walked in, there were legs scattered everywhere with most of the remains hastily swished under the benches.
Everything looked secure and I was prepared to shower in this war zone.
Granddaddy Long Legs in Arkansas always bothered me when I was growing up even though everyone told me they were harmless. PSA: Kids don’t care if they’re harmless. They’re ugly.
Now that I’m grown with a family of my own and a house in the woods of Arkansas, I’m not scared of Granddaddy Long Legs anymore. These days, I keep my eyes open for Arkansas snakes, especially the venomous Arkansas snakes!
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I’ll take Granddaddy Long Legs all day long if that means the Copperheads stay in the woods and away from my house.
Granddaddy Long Legs in Arkansas: What are they?
Daddy-long-legs spiders, have tiny bodies and very long, thin legs. Daddy long legs do not have venom glands and do not make webs so cannot subdue prey. They live by eating decaying vegetable and animal matter. -source
For those of you who would prefer to call them by their proper name, you may refer to them as Leiobunum politum.
Good Luck with that.
Daddy longlegs, also spelled daddy-longlegs or daddy long legs, also called harvestman, any of more than 6,000 species of arachnids that are known for their extremely long and thin legs and for their compact bodies. Daddy longlegs are closely related to scorpions but, because of their appearance, are often mistaken as spiders. However, unlike true spiders, in which the body is divided into two distinct segments (the cephalothorax and the abdomen), daddy longlegs look as though they have only one segment, because of a broad fusion that makes the juncture between the two segments almost indiscernible. -source
Even though I’m not scared of them anymore, I still check under the picnic table before I sit down.
Old habits die hard.
You’ll also like this: Are Granddaddy Long Legs Poisonous? TRUTH REVEALED!