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What Do Daddy Long Legs Eat? (These 6 Things)

Daddy long legs eat insects (mosquitoes, flies), smaller animals like mites, aphids, earthworms, small spiders, bird droppings, snails, scavenge on plant matter and dead animals, as well as other matter left over by humans.

daddy long legs
Image by BlueSeaShell from Pixabay

Daddy long legs have a very diverse diet and are capable of surviving in the wild without feeding very often. They prey on smaller animals and are able to sustain themselves for long periods of time.

They’re often found under furniture and other pieces in our home as well as in nature, which means many people don’t find them often.

Daddy long legs are fairly easy to recognize, but there are some other species that look very similar.

What Do Daddy Long Legs Eat?

Daddy long legs enjoy a very diverse diet, which enables them to survive in a wide variety of situations. Their primary food is smaller insects which they capture easily, but they are also capable of eating other types of food.

Let’s go over the most common types of foods that daddy-longlegs eat.

1. Small Insects

In this category, we can include smaller insects such as mosquitoes and flies. Daddy long legs are often larger than these insects, so they’re able to capture them with ease and consume them.

These spiders actually have a relatively potent venom that is powerful enough to kill these small insects. However, you might have heard that daddy long legs might be venomous to humans – worry not, because these spiders don’t have fangs that are big or strong enough to penetrate human skin.

However, for killing smaller insects, these fangs will often be enough to capture and kill their target so they’re able to feed themselves. They might leave the insects to decay a bit for a few days before they eat them, which makes it easier for the spider to consume the prey.

Before you kill a spider of this type in your home, think twice next time – it might be an effective type of pest control that’s keeping insects out of your home effectively.

2. Mites, Aphids, Worms

In nature, daddy long legs have to be very resourceful to survive. They often find themselves endangered by other, larger predators, so they spend most of their time hiding under or behind objects, waiting for an opportunity to get food.

Because of that, they have developed an ability to capture smaller animals that are found in their habitat, such as mites, aphids, or worms. 

They are quite comfortable at capturing these smaller animals thanks to their long legs. They focus particularly on animals that are found in soil but also on leaves of plants. And because many of these smaller animals don’t have apt defenses to survive, they’re quite vulnerable to getting caught by these long-legged spiders.

3. Other Smaller Spiders

Yes, daddy long legs will sometimes also focus on other smaller spiders that they can catch in their habitat.

They have an ability to capture smaller spiders with their long legs, especially the spiders that often lurk around the ground where the daddy long legs might stick around. They have venom that’s potent enough to kill smaller spiders in particular.

However, daddy long legs are sometimes also prone to getting caught by other larger spiders in their habitat, so they have to find the right balance of being on the hunt and hiding away, hidden to prevent getting eaten.

4. Bird Droppings

Yuck! Daddy long legs feed on bird droppings?

It doesn’t sound very pleasant, but sometimes, these spiders have to do everything they can to survive where they live. And this includes scavenging on droppings and leftovers of other animals – including bird droppings.

In fact, this might be one of the foods that they resort to, especially in urban areas where there might not be other types of food around. In these situations, daddy long legs will focus on scavenging foods they can gather without risking their lives. And bird droppings are easy to find and also don’t have a lot of competition like other types of foods might.

These spiders are very resourceful in the way they operate and live, so they’re capable of consuming different types of foods to survive. 

5. Plant Matter

Daddy long legs are not purely carnivorous animals – on the contrary, they might even consume some plant matter if they can’t find other foods in their habitat.

As we’ve already mentioned, they have to be resourceful to survive in the harsh nature, as they’re often targeted by larger animals like other spiders or birds. So sometimes, they can’t find the foods that they prefer, such as insects.

When that happens, they turn to other means of feeding themselves, such as eating plant matter. They will eat stuff like leaves of plants, blades of grass, and other smaller parts of trees and plants that they can find around them.

6. Scavenging

The majority of the feeding cycle of the daddy long legs will consist of finding foods that they can scavenge. This includes bodies of dead insects and spiders, as well as foods that are left over by other animals.

You might find a daddy long legs spider feeding on the leftovers of human foods, which allows them to survive in different types of habitats, including urban areas where there might not be an abundance of foods like there is in nature.

They will eat foods that humans leave, such as foods that we tend to throw away, so the daddy long legs will scavenge these foods to find something they can eat.

Also, these spiders will also scavenge on dead bodies of insects and other spiders, especially if the body of the dead animal is decayed slightly. This makes it even easier for them to consume the animal and feed themselves. 

Final Thoughts

Daddy long legs are resourceful spiders that live in various types of habitats. But to survive, they have to be extremely resourceful, or else they would die in the harsh conditions.

This means they’ll eat different types of food. They prefer to prey on insects and other smaller animals, but sometimes, that might not be possible. If that is the case, they will start to focus on other types of foods that are more easily attainable.