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Wolf Spiders

Wolf Spiders

With a fearsome name like wolf spider it makes sense that this is one arachnid that can inspire a lot of fear and concern when it is mentioned. However though this is not a spider that you necessarily want in your home, it is important to remember to get to know wolf spiders, rather than to simply listen to the myths and stories that have grown up around this species.

Wolf spiders are fascinating animals, and the more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to react appropriately when and if you happen to run across one. Learn about the wolf spider bite, the common wolf spider habitat and more.

How big do Wolf Spiders get?

Though many people talk about seeing a large (giant) wolf spider, the truth is that if the spider they saw was any larger than 2 inches, they were looking at an entirely different type of spider all together. Wolf spiders are only grow to be between ½ inch to 2 inches long. Wolf spider size varies between the 125 subspecies of these spiders that have been found, but they do not grow above this size range.

How to identify a Wolf Spider?

Wolf spiders are hairy, and also pretty large, they have relatively short legs and stubby bodies compared to more elegant and leggy spiders like the orb spinners. One way to identify a wolf spider is to look at the arrangement of the eyes. Like all spider species, wolf spiders have eight eyes and legs, but the arrangement of their eyes always is always set with four eyes in a row across the bottom, and two eyes apiece in two rows above. If you shine a light at a wolf spider, there is a reflective glow off of its eyes.

The Difference between Brown Recluse and Wolf Spider

There is a concern where people mistake wolf spiders for brown recluse spiders, and though you should treat every spider species with respect and caution, it is fairly easy to tell the difference. A brown recluse has a violin-shaped mark on its back, and while a wolf spider may be marked on its back, none of the many subspecies have anything violin-shaped in that space.

How do Wolf Spiders reproduce?

Remember female Wolf Spiders are great Mothers when you see  a female wolf spider with babies. A female wolf spider mother carries her egg sac on her back, and when her young hatch, they climb up on their mother and ride along for a while until they are old enough to defend themselves. It is not unusual to see a female wolf spider with babies, particularly in the spring.

Where do Wolf Spiders live?

The question of where does a wolf spider live is easily answered: they can live almost everywhere except for the arctic and antarctic regions. There are subspecies found in Europe, Asia, South America, North America and Australia. They most commonly found in wooded areas and in grassland areas, where they hunt down their prey simply by sighting it and running after it. If you are wondering if your area is a wolf spider habitat, the answer is very likely yes.

How do Wolf Spiders get in House?

However, another thing to consider as you ask where does a wolf spider live is that they are also common household pests both in the country and in the city. They are especially prone to come inside when the temperature drops and they need warmth to get through the weather.

When wolf spiders come indoors, they are most likely to be found in quiet areas with comparatively little foot traffic. They end up in basements and in garages, but they also might be found in your plants, your window sills and your closets.

You will not see a web when you are looking for wolf spiders in your home. These arachnids are ground hunters without web, so they tend to chase their prey down and devour it on the spot.

Wolf Spider Bites — How dangerous are Wolf Spiders?

Though wolf spiders often end up on lists of Most Dangerous Spiders the answer to whether the wolf spider species is dangerous is a resounding: no.

Like all spiders, wolf spiders are venomous, meaning that they have a small amount of poison that is delivered with their bites.

However, unlike the brown recluse and other spiders that are dangerous to humans, a wolf spider bite does not contain a poison that destroys the flesh. Instead, these bites will result in a small amount of swelling and a little bit of itching in healthy people.

Of course, if the person who has been bitten by a wolf spider is a child, elderly or in some way has a depressed immune system, it is often a good idea to get the bite checked out by a doctor.

If possible, trap the spider and bring it to the appointment with you. If you have been bitten by a wolf spider, do not panic. It will likely not be an issue for you at all.

What do Wolf Spiders eat?

Regardless of wolf spider size, all wolf spiders are amazing hunters. With more than 125 sub species spread all over the globe, it makes a lot of sense that these spiders have all found different ways to get food into their mouths.

We’ve already described the wolf spiders that run after their prey like cheetahs chasing down gazelles, and though that is perhaps the most common type of hunting that these spiders do, that is far from the only method that they use.

For example, many wolf spiders hollow out a spot in the ground and use a cover that they set on top of themselves. When prey insects like crickets and ants wander by, these spiders pop out from under cover and snatch the prey up, earning themselves the name of trapdoor spiders. Others will actually dig a pit and allow the prey to tumble down towards them.

Thanks to their amazing eyes, these spiders are known to have the third best eye-sight in the spider world. Depending on the species, they will hunt at night or during the day, and they are known to swim when they are on the prowl.

Some People keep Wolf Spiders as Pets

For people who like to take a walk on the wild side, wolf spiders can make undemanding and fascinating pets. You simply need to make sure that you have a closed container that the spider cannot escape from, and a ready supply of pet-store crickets on hand.

However, because these black arachnids are venomous and will never actually become tame, it is important to remember that they should not be handled by young children. They are wonderful to keep around for a period of observation before returning them to a wild environment where they will be able to hunt as they like.

Whether you are curious about wolf spiders because you think they are amazing animals, or you have seen a few in your home and you need to learn more, it is important to remember that these spiders are not harmful to humans, even if they are a little startling when they scuttle out of nowhere. An exterminator can remove wolf spiders from your home, which is a good idea if you have kids or if you have pets that might get bitten.

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