Sex-Seeking Daddy Long Legs To Start Invading Homes
Now we all know that daddy-long-legs aren't quite as freaky as a great big tarantula - but that's not to say we're particularly fond of them.
Well, get ready to welcome more than you'd probably like into your life, as the Mirror reports that billions are set to hatch this autumn. Great, not only have we had to wave goodbye to that amazing sunshine we had this summer, now our homes are going to become overrun by insects.
The insects in question (which are also known as crane flies) are apparently out on the prowl for a bit of mating, and, just like moths, are often attracted to lights - meaning that your house is probably going to look pretty tempting.
Peter Boardman, from the Cranefly Reporting Scheme, told WalesOnline: "It's 'cranefly-in-the-house' season again!
"The offender is called Tipulapaludosa, the common daddy long legs, and is one of 338 types of craneflies that occur in the UK.
"Of course the vast majority of the 337 other species which range from 5mm to 60mm in size live their lives unseen by most people and it is therefore unsurprising that everyone thinks we only have this type of cranefly."
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Boardman said that the reason why this species is so common is because they breed in soil among grasses, which range from lawns through to the most sodden grassland, meaning it has a very common habitat.
"The larvae feed upon the roots of grasses but the adult Tipulapaludosa do not feed at all as their mouthparts are very simple and incapable to eating, they can merely dab at fluids," he continued.
"They have enough energy contained within their bodies to see them through for about a week in which time they must mate and the females egg lay. The larvae are known to gardeners as "leatherjackets" and are sought out by many bird species such as starlings as nutritous food.
"They can occur in large aggregations and do significant damage to sports pitches etc but this is increasingly rare. Though still very common, drainage of agricultural fields, intensification, and pesticide usage has led to a decline in numbers.
"Craneflies are a very important food source of a lot of birds including the aforementioned starlings, golden plover, ruff, and even grouse are known to eat them if the opportunity arises. Some species of our larger, and more uncommon bats feed on them too."
So how do you keep 'em out? Sadly, the answer is annoyingly obvious: just keep those windows shut.
Featured Image Credit: Smabs Sputzer/Flickr
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