We derive their name from the Ancient Greek word “λύκος” meaning wolf, and they certainly live up to that name by being agile insect hunters with excellent eyesight. Some hunt by pouncing upon prey or chasing them down over short distances. Two sharp, horizontal fangs are present at the extreme bottom of their jaws. Once a poor soul is caught in its powerful jaws, it’ll then paralyze it with venom and chow down.
Wolf spiders are about the size of a half-dollar coin [3/8 – 1 3/8“ (female) 1/4 – 3/4“ (male)] and are effectively camouflaged by their brown, grey, black, or tan coloring with dark and yellow stripes.
These arachnids do not spin webs, but live in burrows that may be open or sealed with silk doors. In rainy seasons, Wolf spiders plug these burrows with pebbles and build turrets to deflect surface water. On occasion, they’ll hunt for passing prey in or near the mouth of their burrows.
Wolf spiders are sometimes confused for tarantulas, brown recluse, nursery web, or fishing spiders, but Wolf spiders are not deadly to humans. Still, their bites can cause uncomfortable symptoms including pain and skin reactions, so wolf spiders are still not pests you want to play around with.
Where can you find them?
Because wolf spiderlings travel great distances their habitats can span across large regions. In the wild, they live between fields, wooded areas, rocks, shrubs, construction debris, and rubble. But much to our chagrin, these wolf spiders can also be found in our homes and work locations as well.
They may naturally live outside, but they can make their way inside, especially when it is really hot or at the onset of the fall season. Wolf spiders seek cold in warmer seasons, and vice versa in colder ones, seeking warmer habitats that air-conditioned buildings have no shortage of.
How to prevent Wolf spiders from invading your home or workspace
- Clear away piles of clippings, leaves, firewood, mulch, or compost from outside walls.
- Expose as much of your yard as possible to sunlight.
- Clear away as much debris, clutter, and hiding spots from your yard as possible.
- Move shrubs and other heavy, ground-covering plants away from the building.
- Seal all cracks and gaps using caulking along the exterior walls and around screened vents.
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows and fix broken window screens.
- Wolf spiders hunt at night, so keep the outside of your home as dark as possible to limit the amount of spider-attracting prey bugs drawn to your home.
- Sweeping and vacuuming the floor removes crumbs that may attract insects, and fewer insects will mean less food for wolf spiders.
- Ditch cardboard boxes in favor of airtight containers made from plastic.
- Apply caulk around tiny cracks and cables that lead outside.
- Cut down on clutter by cleaning up piles of magazines, dirty clothes, books, and boxes.
- Sprinkle a small amount of boric acid in corners, cracks, and under floorboards or furniture.
- Place sticky traps around the house paying close attention to dark, hidden corners.
- Look for an insecticide containing pyrethroids to spray or sprinkle.
- Use an organic pesticide made with Hexa-hydroxyl.
If you take all of the above preventative measures and still notice any unwanted Wolf spiders creeping and crawling up the place, partner with the Texas pest control experts here at Romney Pest Control.
Our highly trained and licensed pest control technicians provide reliable comprehensive pest control services to eliminate spiders and other common household-invading pests. Contact us today for more information!