Estimated 175 BILLION daddy long legs to invade over next few days
Those of us with a fear of insects – and daddy long legs, in particular – will have to batten down the hatches until the weekend is over, as it is expected that 175 billion (yes, billion) of the critters are due to swarm Britain and Ireland over the next few days.
Perfect (for them) weather conditions have led to record numbers of the six-legged insects – and late September is the prime time for them to invade our homes.
Scientists have been studying the crane fly larvae and have estimated the following days as the most likely time for the grubs (called ‘leatherjackets’) to hatch.
Although it is not an exact science trying to calculate exactly how many of the gangly guys we can expect, boffins estimate that there will be 3,000 of them for every man, woman and child in Ireland and the UK.
Yes, 3,000. Gulp!
Tipula paludosa is the most common type of daddy long legs and are the ones we would see most often, and are generally about one inch long.
However, the Tipula maxima population – which can often exceed four inches long which, let’s face it, is like a pencil flying at you – has blossomed due to the mild temperatures and wet conditions during the summer.
There are believed to be over 300 species of crane fly in Ireland.
It needs to be pointed out that daddy long legs are often incorrectly labelled as ‘the most venomous insect’ in our country – but they actually pose no risk to us whatsoever, as they cannot sting or bite.
But for sheer gross-out factor and a serious dose of the heebie-jeebies, the sight of these flailing fliers dancing around the walls and corners of our houses in their seemingly endless ritual of going nowhere in particular is enough for most of us.
So keep those windows and doors closed, especially when the lights are on at night, or you just may find one – or indeed more – crawling on your face in your sleep.