wolf spider on a rock outside knoxville home

With a name like wolf spider, this species of spider has to be dangerous, right? Wolves hunt in packs and are able to take down animals much larger than themselves. Fortunately, wolf spiders don't do either of these. They hunt by themselves and usually eat tiny insects. They get their name because they are a hunter spider that will quickly chase down its prey, rather than wait in a web for prey to come to it. Wolf spiders can do this because they have excellent eyesight and fast reflexes. But, since their prey is mostly tiny insects, they do not have a venom that is considered dangerous to humans. While a bite from a wolf spider can sting, it won't do more than leave a red, itchy welt on your skin.

Danger Comes In Many Forms

If you have wolf spiders in your home, getting bitten isn't the only threat wolf spiders pose. These spiders are scary looking, and that can be enough to cause a dangerous situation. If you open a box, crate, empty ice chest, or some other container that has been sitting in storage, the appearance of a wolf spider inside could cause you to leap backwards quickly. To prevent injury, do not open stored boxes in a confined area.

Identification

When you see a spider in your home, especially a fast-moving spider like the wolf spider, it is important to be able to quickly identify it. Wolf spiders may not be dangerous, but there are other spiders that are.

A spider you should never mistake for a wolf spider is the brown recluse. Brown recluse spiders have a venom that can create a wound with necrotic properties. Fortunately, these two spiders are easy to tell apart.

Wolf spiders are hairy, with short legs, and usually two dark stripes on its brown back. Brown recluse spiders are not hairy, have long legs, and dark fiddle marking on its back. And, while both of these spiders can move quickly, and both can be brown, wolf spiders are noticeably hairy looking, even from a distance.

The other poisonous spider that can get into homes is the black widow. You won't have any problems telling it apart from a wolf spider. It is jet black with a red hourglass shape on the bottom of its abdomen.

Why Do Wolf Spiders Come Inside?

As a hunter spider, these spiders are always looking for prey. This search can bring them into our homes where they are drawn to secluded areas. If you have other bugs in your home, you will have an increased chance of having wolf spiders.

When wolf spiders come inside, you are not likely to realize it until you see it. Unlike many other spiders, wolf spiders do not create webs.  

How do I Keep Wolf Spiders Out?

A reduction of bugs near your exterior walls and foundation is one of the easiest ways to resist wolf spiders. This can be accomplished by turning exterior lights off or replacing white bulbs with yellow insect-resistant bulbs. Wolf spiders eat insects, and most insects are drawn to light. It also helps to keep your curtains drawn at night to seal the light inside your home. This has a side benefit of making your home less attractive to subterranean termite swarmers.

Make sure you put all exterior trash bags in sealed containers. While wolf spiders aren't interested in your trash, they are interested in the bugs that like your trash.

The reduction of spiders around your home is the first step, but this must be accompanied by a sealing of your exterior walls and foundation. Do a detailed inspection and fill in any gaps, cracks, or holes you find. Make sure all of your screens are in good working condition, and that all of your doors have door sweeps.

For a complete barrier, it is necessary to apply pest control products to bolster weak areas. This should be done by a professional in accordance with safety guidelines.

For assistance with spiders and other accidental invaders, reach out to Russell's Pest Control. We offer comprehensive, industry-leading pest control for homes and businesses in Tennessee. Contact us today for a free in-home pest evaluation.

 

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