There are two different species of insects in Australia that are known as Daddy Long Legs.
Both are Arachnids, but only one is a spider.
The most common is from the family Pholcidae that belong to a group of about 12 Australian species known as â€śTangle Web Spidersâ€ť. Logically, the group name comes from their tendency to construct irregular webs with no apparent pattern.
These spiders, also called Cellar Spiders, and are probably the most commonly seen spiders inside Australian homes. They are often found around humans in houses, garages and sheds. They can usually be found living in their webs in the corners of rooms of houses, and more often than not, in bathrooms.
They have two distinct parts to their bodies, separated by a narrow waist, eight eyes and eight long spindly legs.
Their diet is consists of insects and other spiders, and they are natural predators of the Red Back Spider (Latrodectus hasselti).
Contrary to popular belief, Daddy Long Legs can bite, although the bite is generally considered harmless to humans. Minor local allergic reactions such as redness and itchiness to bites have been reported.
They do have fangs and kill their prey by injecting venom. It is said that they are essentially the best method to control the Red Back Spiders.
The other insect sharing the name Daddy Long Legs is the Harvestman from the order Opilones.
Although also of the arachnid group of insects, Harvestmen are not spiders. They possess no venom or fangs and have no spinnerets, so are incapable of producing silk for webs. They appear to have only one body part with no waist. They have eight long spindly legs and usually only have one pair of eyes that can be mounted on stalks.
Most harvestmen eat smaller invertebrates but some eat fungi or plant material and others feed on carcasses of dead mammals and birds.
Harvestmen are found more commonly throughout the damper regions of Australia although some species have adapted and are found in the more arid regions. The majority live in moist leaf litter but can also be found living under rocks and logs or under the bark of trees. It would be unusual to find Harvestmen inside houses. Inside garages may be more of a possibility.
Daddy long Legs are one of many spiders that are capable of more good that harm. They can be unsightly, and for only that reason should there be any reason to dispose of them, not because they pose a threat or fuel phobias. Most commercial aerosol insect sprays will provide control. Many homeowners use a nylon stocking over a broom head to remove both spiders and web.