Pest of the Month: Wolf Spider
No matter where you may live, a wolf spider may be your neighbor. Wolf spiders are mostly ground-dwelling and can be found just about anywhere that they have insects to eat. They are commonly found around the home and garden areas with a silk lined burrow–sometimes covered by a leaf litter or other ground clutter.
The name “wolf spider” involves a vast family of spiders; most of which are large, dark-colored, and athletic. Unlike most spiders that spin webs to catch their prey, wolf spiders will run after their prey. Their eye configuration is similar to jumping spiders; the two center eyes of the top row are enlarged, but unlike jumper spiders, wolf spiders have a row of four small eyes below the four large ones.
Not including their legs, wolf spiders vary from ¼ inch to 1 inch depending on the species, and males are usually smaller than females. The particular thing about female wolf spiders is that they carry their egg sac in a unique way. She will attach it to her spinnerets at the bottom rear of her abdomen, once hatched she will carry her babies on her back until they are ready for independence.
The wolf spider, although generally harmless, will bite when provoked. Its bite is not lethal, but can be very painful–the pain sometimes lasts up to 10 days. In some severe cases, the bite can become infected leading to complications. To prevent this from happening, proper care and treatment of wolf spider bites must be implemented.
Controlling the Wolf Spider
Because this is a solitary spider that generally operates alone, physical removal and/or kill of the individual spider can be the best form of control for both immediate and long-term results. Some of the most important steps to avoid wolf spiders include:
- Sealing cracks, crevices, gaps and other openings in the home and foundation, as well as around doors and windows.
- Rid your yard/home of clutter and debris. Clear away piles of leaves, firewood, dirty clothes, boxes, etc. to help stop a surprise spider sighting.
- A tight fine-mesh insect screen over all vents that lead to the outside can help prevent a wolf spider entering your home.
- If using a pesticide, make sure to follow label directions and be sure that everything is listed on the label (for example: indoor use, along doors, etc). Use chemicals labeled specifically for spiders, because spiders are not insects many generic insecticides may not have a strong effect against wolf spiders.
Prevent wolf spiders before they happen, call Beeline Pest Control as soon as a problem is discovered. Taking care of the presence early on will reduce the chance of getting worse in the future.