Could record 200 billion daddy-long-legs hit UK?

  • 8 September 2016
Daddy longlegs Image copyright PA

Watch out insect-phobes, there's something creepy and crawling coming this way!

Charity Buglife says that a combination of weather conditions this summer and autumn could lead to a record number of daddy-long-legs hatching in the UK.

The bugs - also known as crane flies - have benefited from a hot summer and the right amount of rain, which has helped them grow in their underground tunnels.

That's not all, thanks to a late burst of warm September weather, the insects now have more time to spread around the country.

Buglife - which works to save insect species - said: "If we have really hot spells like we have this year, they can move around more. They are gradually spreading northwards."

There's no need to worry though, as they're completely harmless.

Crane-fly facts

  • The origin of the name 'daddy-long-legs', is not known, but some people think it may have come from the name of a novel called Daddy Long-legs, written in 1912.
  • Crane flies are sometimes said to be one of the most venomous insects, but this is not true, they are actually completely harmless. They don't have any poison, and don't bite anyway.
  • Most crane flies in the UK are 'Tipula Paludosa' species, which are around an inch long. But there are also "monster" Tipula Maxima species, which can grow up to four inches.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The “monster” Tipula Maxima species of daddy long legs
  • Daddy-long-legs prefer the warmth of homes and cannot survive outside in the winter months. So watch out for them bouncing round your house!

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