When spiders are often seen , they induce sudden panic and fear. This picture is the common “wolf” spider. (Often incorrectly called huntsman or jumping spiders.) Considered high risk with a painful bite, these spiders however do not inject enough venom to kill a human.
These spiders do not spin webs and wait for prey to get stuck. They go out and hunt for food. They primarily consume cockroaches, small lizards , crickets , grasshoppers and other small invertebrate.
The wolf spider and other “hunting” spiders have excellent sight, speed and agility. They hide behind bark, cracks and crevices in and around homes and landscapes. Waiting for prey , they pounce injecting venom , liquefying it into a meal.
All though these spiders are not poisonous, they can bite if cornered or feel threatened. The bite can cause mild to moderate pain with localized swelling. This is similar to a wasp or bee sting and can be painful.
Wolf spiders carry their eggs in a silk sac on their backs. If disturbed, the sac can rupture, and hundreds of babies will scatter everywhere. Therefore, it is not recommended to “hit” or “smash” a wolf spider.
Prevention is the best offense to reduce the chances of seeing one of these eight-eyed, giant monster arachnids. Seal windows and doors well. Regular pest control treatments will help reduce the insects they feed on. Products like *Bifen , when applied to soffits, may also help prevent these spiders from crawling upward into attics and keep them away from homes. Attic dusting is another option if these spiders are suspect to inhabit an attic or crawl space.
The wolf spider is most often confused with the brown recluse, however, the brown recluse has six eyes, and the wolf spider has eight. Additionally, the brown recluse has a violin shape pattern on its back.
Poisonous spiders such as the brown recluse are hardly ever seen. (Thus the name recluse). They hide in dark, small areas which humans seldom go.
“People fear what they don’t understand, and they hate what they fear” – unknown author
By Dan Coffey