Are Wolf Spiders As Intimidating As Their Name Suggests?
If you were to ask a hundred people to name 3 creatures they are most afraid of, we are willing to bet that wolves and spiders would be on the list. Lots of folks are scared to death of spiders. And, though we aren't exposed much to wolves anymore, they are pretty scary as well. So what happens when you combine these two creatures together? What if there were such things as "wolf spiders?" Well, as it turns out, there are! But they aren't as scary as you would expect.
Identifying Wolf Spiders
From the family Lycosidae, wolf spiders typically measure between 10 and 35 mm and can be black, gray or brown. The brown coloration sometimes causes this spider to be misidentified as a brown recluse but these two types of spider are actually easy to tell apart. Wolf spiders are hairy. Brown recluse are not. Since wolf spiders are hairy, they are sometimes mistaken for tarantulas as well. But, if you were to see these spiders next to each other, you would never make this mistake. Tarantulas are much more hairy and thicker. The most common species of wolf spider found in homes has 2 dark, parallel stripes on its back. These stripes run from the head to the top of their oval abdomen.
Wolf spiders are often called by other names such as ground spiders, hunting spiders, or funnel web spiders. And for good reasons. They prefer to establish dens in the ground, they hunt from these dens and pull prey back into their den, and they use webbing to fortify their dens, which can cause the den to look like a webbed funnel.
Problems Associated With Wolf Spiders
- Just like wolves, wolf spiders are hunters. Wolf spiders do not hang out in their webs all day waiting for dinner to come along. Instead, they use their excellent eyesight to find their prey and then pull that prey into their dens. So, if you are experiencing wolf spiders, that means you have other pest issues as well, or those spiders wouldn't be hanging around.
- Wolf spiders inject venom into their prey to subdue it. And they will bite humans as well, although they don't prefer to. If a wolf spider does bite a human, the worst thing that will happen is it will leave a red, itchy welt on the skin. This is the body's natural reaction to the venom injected. For some people, who are sensitive to spider bites, they may experience nausea, a rapid pulse, dizziness, or necrosis around the bite wound.
- The side effects of a wolf spider bite can last up to 10 days. It is important to seek medical help if you are bitten by a wolf spider and experience these side effects. Although extremely rare, it is possible to die from a spider bite because of the way their body reacts.
Prevention Tips For Wolf Spiders
- Reduce all insects in and around your home. Keep all outside trash in tightly sealed containers to not draw insects in. Also, consider replacing all outside lights with yellow, insect-resistant light bulbs.
- Remove vegetation from around your perimeter. This may deter wolf spiders from exploring the outside of your home and making their way inside.
- Examine your exterior walls and foundation and fill in any gaps, cracks or holes you find. It only takes a tiny hole for insects to make their way in. And, over time, those holes will be made larger by insects and rodents.
- Keep clutter away from your perimeter. Clutter gives pests places to hide and come in close to your home.
- Check all of your door sweeps to make sure they are all present and in good working order.
- Do the same for your window and door screens. It doesn't take much of a tiny rip or tear for young spiders to squeeze through.
- Pests love moisture. Reducing moisture and humidity in your basement and other areas may reduce the chances that spiders and other pests will stick around.
How Spencer Pest Services Can Help
Keeping spiders out and getting them out once they have been established are two different things.
If you are seeing spiders in your home, it is highly likely you have other pest problems as well.
Spencer Pest Services can help get rid of spiders and any other pest that is plaguing you. Reach out today with questions about our residential pest control services or to schedule an inspection. Life is just better without scary creatures living in your home.