Wolf Spiders

Wolf spider isolated on white background, macro photo

Introduction:

Wolf spiders can very in size, ranging in body size from less than 0.4 to 1.38 inches (legs not included).   Typically the females are larger than the males.  They are usually brown, grey black or tan with dark markings, commonly stripes.  They have eight eyes which are arranged in three rows.   The front row has four small eyes, all about the same size, in a straight row.   The middle row has two very large eyes and then there are two more eyes on the top of the head.  They also have bristles on their legs and bodies, similar to the tarantulas, but they are in fact very different.

Habits:

Wolf spiders are agile hunters with excellent eyesight.  They build holes or tunnels in the soil and under and between boards, stones, firewood and siding.  They only come out of hiding during the night when looking for prey.  They prefer to hunt alone.  Some will wait for a prey to pass by a burrow or opening and others will chase their prey over a short distance.  In the fall they look for warm places to sleep through the winter.  They prefer places where prey can be found like near plants, windows, humid basements and around doors and garages.  They are quite mobile and very fast.   The most pronounced feature of the wolf spiders is that the females carry their egg sacs and spiderlings with them.  The sac is attached to the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen.  The female will hold her abdomen in a raised position to keep her sac from dragging on the ground.  Even while carrying eggs, they are still capable of hunting.  Once the spiderlings emerge from their protective sac, they will climb up their mother’s legs and crowd onto her abdomen for protection until their first change of skin.  If you use a flashlight over the spider it will produce eyeshine, a glow that is easily noticed.  Wolf spiders do produce a poisonous venom but the venom is weak. They usually don’t bit humans unless continually provoked.  If the bite penetrates the skin it can cause swelling, pain and itchiness that usually only last a few minutes but other wounds can take a few days to heal.

Control:

There are few steps you should take to make your home uninviting to wolf spiders.  You can start by removing any vegetation away from your house.  Light attracts the insects that wolf spiders eat so it would help to use either yellow or sodium vapor lights for outdoor lighting.  You should also seal any openings on the outside to prevent them from getting in your home, such as holes in screens.  Applying weather stripping around all doors and windows will also help keep them out.  There are also many pesticides that can be used.  You should contact one of our experienced professionals at All Seasons All pests for a free inspection.