The Q&A Archives: Spiders on Blackberries

Question: I am currently growing wonderful blackberries along the back of my backyard, which is at the opening of a woodsy area. I am always having to deal with HUGE daddy long leg spiders (which actually isn't a spider at all, it's from a different family, though I'm not sure what). They have never done any harm to the plants, but I'm very much afraid of them. Whenever I go to pick off a berry, they are always there and I am just frightened. How can I rid my plants of these frightening pests?

Answer: You're right, the daddy-long-legs are from the order Opiliones. I understand your fear of them, because as children my brother and I found daddy-long-legs in the basement and chased our older sister with them. She was afraid of them and it was our way of retaliating because she was "in charge" when my parents were gone!

Perhaps it would help if you could try to change your view of them from frightening to beneficial, as the daddy-long-legs are not injuring your plants. They are actually doing you a service by eating flies, aphids and leafhoppers, all pests that can do damage in your garden. You could also spray the bushes with water from the hose to knock off their webs. You may have to do this fairly regularly to keep them under control. I wouldn't recommend spraying anything stronger on your berries. I hope this information helps. Thanks for writing!

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