When you hear ‘wolf spider.' what comes to mind? For anyone who feels uneasy around spiders, the name can invoke some terrifying mental images of giant, hairy monsters intent on destruction. Myths abound about these arachnids, including one that insists that wolf spiders kill cats. How bad are wolf spiders really? Let’s discuss the facts.
What Do Wolf Spiders Look Like and What Are Their Habits?
It’s true that wolf spiders can be frightening to look at. They can grow quite large, with females reaching lengths up to an inch and a half. Their large bodies and thick legs are covered in brown hair and they usually have lighter colored markings.
Despite their hairy appearance, wolf spiders don’t get their name from what they look like, but from the way they hunt. Unlike other spiders that primarily use webs to catch their food, wolf spiders chase their prey. They are fast runners and typically hunt at night, choosing to remain in more secluded areas during the day. They’ll often use webbing to cover the entrances to these areas.
You are most likely to see wolf spiders outdoors, but they do occasionally get inside Knoxville homes while on the hunt. If they get inside, they might return outdoors, but if they find a plentiful food source, they are likely to stay inside the home.
Although most reproductive spiders leave their egg sacs attached to their webs, wolf spiders attach their egg sacs to themselves. Even after the baby spiders are born, mother wolf spiders will walk around with them on their abdomens for up to two weeks.
Can a Wolf Spider Hurt You?
Many people are afraid of spiders, for a variety of reasons. In some cases, this fear is justified. For instance, brown recluse and black widow spiders rarely bite, but when they do, they cause serious medical issues with their venom.
In other cases, these fears are unfounded. When it comes to wolf spiders, many people are afraid of them because of their size, creepy appearance, and name. The truth is, wolf spiders are relatively harmless. They can bite you, but they will only do so if provoked. Although a wolf spider bite might hurt and is mildly venomous, its venom is not strong enough to cause any long-term harm. Furthermore, a wolf spider bite won’t kill your cat.
How Can You Prevent Wolf Spiders From Getting Into Your Knoxville Home?
Despite their relative harmlessness, it's likely that you would prefer not to have wolf spiders enter your home. You can prevent them with the following tips:
- Look around the outside perimeter of your house. Seal all cracks and crevices that you find in your foundation walls and siding.
- Repair any damage to windows and doors, including holes or tears in screens.
- Fill all gaps around windows and doors.
- Make sure you don’t have other pest problems in your home. A food source will attract wolf spiders to your Knoxville home.
What Should You Do if Wolf Spiders Get Into Your Knoxville Home?
If you find wolf spiders in your house, you may need professional help to get rid of them. Russell’s Pest Control can help eliminate these large pests from your home. If you have more questions or wish to schedule an appointment, contact us! We’re happy to help.