What are wolf spiders?
The wolf spider are robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight. They live mostly solitary and hunt alone. These athletic spiders don’t spin webs to catch their prey; instead, they run it down!
How do I identify one?
Wolf spiders range from about 1/2 inch to 2 inches in length, hairy, and are typically brown to gray in color with various markings or lines.
The eye configuration is similar to that of jumping spiders: The two center eyes of the top row are enlarged. But unlike jumpers, wolf spiders have a row of four small eyes below the four larger ones.
Where do they live?
Wolf Spiders are solitary, wandering spiders without permanent homes that live in a variety of ground habitats: stream edges, gravel or sand bars, low vegetation and woodland leaf litter. Some dig burrows or tunnel into natural cavities under flat rocks or logs. These nocturnal creatures are commonly found in homes and will spend time hiding out in quiet places during the day such as bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, basements and cellars.
Can you tell me a bit about their biology?
The female wolf spider lays eggs in a large sac, which can be nearly as large as her own body. She attaches the egg sac to her body, and carries it until the eggs hatch. She then tears open the egg sac and the newly hatched spiders climb onto her back where they remain for up to a week. Males reach maturity from spring to mid-summer and can be seen performing courtship displays to females on sunny days, waving the legs in a systematic way.
What do I do if I get bit?
People are usually bitten when they disturb a spider that is being reclusive. This usually happens when unused shoes or clothes are put on. A bite from this spider is said to be nonlethal but is very painful. The wolf spider may be poisonous but cannot emit a grave danger to a person bitten. Because these spiders have large fangs, the tearing of the skin may be very disturbing and is mostly the cause of panic among the person being bit.
Seeking medical help is very necessary when the bite is near the face, head or neck. A bite from this wolf spider may become lethal as the proximity gets closer the brain. Observe the area bitten attentively and note any fast changes on the bite area. If the bite is grows outward, it may indicate that a severe reaction.
How do I keep from getting bit?
Since most bites occur when people put on clothes or shoes that have not been used for awhile, it is important to shake out these things before dressing. Do not go barefoot or handle firewood without gloves.
Eliminate clutter in the yard, basement, attic, and any outbuildings. Remove trash, old boxes, piles of lumber, old clothing and other unwanted items from around the house. Dust and vacuum thoroughly and frequently around windows, corners of rooms, under furniture, in storage areas and normally undisturbed places to get rid of spiders, webs, and egg sacs.
Install screens on doors and windows to prevent entry. Seal or caulk cracks and crevices where spiders can enter the house and wash off the outside of the house and under the roof eaves.