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Daddy longlegs seem to be everywhere - here's why

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THEY are the gangly home-invaders who flit awkwardly around your house, scaring anyone with the slightest aversion to insect life...

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And the bad news for those with a general dislike of their unpredictable and at least mildly irritating behaviour is that they seem to be everywhere this autumn.

Daddy longlegs are, it seems, being spotted in huge numbers in homes, schools, nurseries and workplaces.

However, experts believe there are probably no more than normal this year – but they have all been brought out at once by the sudden arrival of rain after months of dry weather.

The insects – a large type of crane fly – emerge from soil at the end of summer to mate, before the females lay eggs and the grubs emerge and bore down into the ground.

But according to the UK’s Crane Fly Reporting Scheme, they first need rain to help loosen the soil and enable them to take flight.

Environmentalist Bob Tompkins, who writes the JEP’s weekly nature page, added: ‘I personally haven’t noticed more of them about this year. However, people may be noticing them all of a sudden, as the recent change in weather may have triggered the daddy longlegs to emerge all at once.

‘It was very dry and then it suddenly got very wet – and this increase in moisture, as well as changes in temperature and daylight, may have caused them to come out all at once to mate.’

Although sometimes a nuisance, daddy longlegs are an important part of the Island’s wildlife and should not be killed. They cannot bite or sting, and can easily and safely be captured in a glass and turfed outside to continue their search for a mate.

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