wolf spider in tennessee

Wolf  Spider Overview

Wolf spiders are of the family Lycosidae and are comprised of over 2,300 species of arachnid, with over 100 species living in the United States and Canada. These are hunter spiders. They do not build webs to catch their prey. They use their exceptional eyesight to hunt for their food. When they find it, they jump on it and inject venom with their fangs.

If these spiders get into your home, you're going to find them in low places and in areas that are moist. This is because many of the insects they enjoy eating live in moist places. You can also expect to find them in dark, secluded locations. They love to hide in stored boxes.

It can be a little tricky identifying wolf spiders because there are so many species. The most common species we see in Tennessee is Rabidosa rabida. It goes by the name of the rabid wolf spider. An adult Rabidosa rabida is a little larger than a 50 cent piece, is lightly covered in fur, and has two dark lines on its light brown back. These lines run from head to abdomen. The species known as Hogna Carolinensis, is also quite common. It has a similar appearance. If you see a spider you believe is a wolf spider, take a picture and send it to us for identification.

Bites from wolf spiders can be painful but they are not considered medically important. As mentioned above, wolf spiders use their venom to take down small bugs. Since humans are much larger than small bugs, it takes a more potent venom to take us down. It is still best to not have one of these spiders bite you.

How To Prevent Wolf Spiders

When it comes to preventing wolf spiders from entering a home, it is important to take into consideration the habits, habitat preferences, and diet.


Getting rid of webs can deter spiders. So it is always important to remove webs. But, removing webs will not affect wolf spiders in the slightest. Those webs don't belong to them. Wolf spiders do spin threads, however. They often create a webbing around a hole they use to retreat into. If you see holes with webbing, filling them can work to frustrate them.

Habitat Preferences

There are many locations in a yard that will invite wolf spiders. They hide under leaf litter, old boards, toys, tarps, and other objects that provide cover. Removing clutter from your yard will go a long way toward making it less interesting to wolf spiders.

Wolf spiders also like overgrown areas and tall grass. It is important to keep things trim and neat, if you want fewer wolf spiders.


Wolf spiders are quite fond of moisture pests. For this reason, you can manage wolf spiders by managing these bugs. If you have any locations around your home that are being moistened by a leaky spigot or obstructed gutter, it is important to address these issues to reduce all the bugs around your home. If you have areas of excessive shade, where rainwater is not being adequately dried by the sun, you might want to trim some bushes or trees to let the light in.

Wolf Spider Exclusion

No matter what you do, some spiders are going to explore your wall. When they do, it is important that they don't find any entry points. Do a detailed inspection of your exterior walls and use a caulking gun to fill in the gaps. Look closely around pipes, electrical conduit, and other objects that pass through your walls.

Screens are often your first line of defense. Make sure your door and window screens are in good working condition. And, if you have any vents or openings that might allow wolf spiders to climb up into your home, consider covering them with window-grade screen material.

Spider Pest Control

The only way to effectively seal wolf spiders and their prey out of your home is by the application of an exterior treatment.  Product should be applied by an educated pest control professional to ensure that the right product is used in the right locations and that it is applied in accordance with all safety regulations.

If you're in Knoxville, Gatlinburg, or elsewhere in our Tennessee service area, reach out to Russell's Pest Control. We offer, year-round, pest control service plans that protect against spiders, and all of the other pests that threaten our Tennessee homes.


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