We surprise each other in the tall grass and strawberry patch.
Daddy Long Legs
These guys have a bad reputation for being poison spiders. They aren’t. Daddy Long Legs aren’t even spiders and they do not have sacks that contain poison.
Even though they don’t have poison sacks they are capable of warding off predators by giving off a very offensive odor.
Daddy Long Legs tend to eat soft, small insects as well as sucking decaying plant and animal matter. They live in forests as well as fields. Find them on trees as well as the ground.
Size: One body segment about 1/4 inch in length with 2 eyes on top of head – Eight very long, spindly legs several times longer than their body
Color: Black/Brown/Cream & Brown Striped
Distinctive Features: Two eyes on top of head – projects an offensive odor when threatened
Life Span: 1 – 2 years
Web: Not a web builder
Temperament: Not Aggressive
Bite: Non-Poisonous & Rare – Very weak jaws
Prey: Insects, decaying animal matter, decaying plant matter
Garden Spider – Beneficial – Sustainable – Predator
Urban Farming? Got Garden Spiders?
Eating My Carrots
Pollinating My Flowers
The photo on the left is the brilliantly colored caterpillar of the Swallowtail Butterfly eating my carrot tops while the photo on the right is the beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly sipping nectar and pollinating my flowers. Who knew?
Makes sense that some beneficials may start out in life as garden pests before metamorphosing into beneficial insects.
The Swallowtail larvae love munching on crops such as dill, carrot, fennel, parsley and other varieties within these families. They enjoy Queen Anne’s Lace as well.
Appearance: Colorful, chubby and large. 2 – 3 inches long.
Color: The type of Swallowtail larvae that was eating my carrots had a vibrant green & black stripe like pattern with a series of rows of yellow dots.
Size: Large 3 – 4 inches
Eats: members of the carrot, dill, fennel, parsley families.
Footprint: Defoliating plants – Smooth dome-shaped eggs on underside of leaf.
Companion Plants: With the exception of not planting what they like…I’m unaware of any companion plants that would deter them whether their favorite foods were planted or not. Do you know of any?
Predators: Birds, snakes, and spiders to name a few.
Removal: Hand pick to remove. Eeeeoooouuuu!!!