Of all the creatures that scurry and crawl about, spiders tend to freak us out more than most, especially if the spider is large, hairy and sticks around all the time. The wolf spider, also called ground spider, is one of the most common spiders we see outside and inside year-round and it is large and hairy, but is it dangerous?
Wolf Spider Morphology
So, what do these hunting arachnids look like? These spiders are large and sometimes people think they are tarantulas, though on average they are smaller than tarantulas. Other ways to identify wolf spiders are as follows:
- Wolf Spiders range in size from ½ inch to 2 inches
- They have 8 eyes, one on each side of the head just above two larger central eyes and 4 smaller eyes in a row beneath the two larger eyes.
- They are gray to brown with lighter stripes on its back
- Stout bodies with eight long hairy legs
- Two horizontal fangs
Wolf spiders belong to a group of spiders known as hunting spiders or wandering spiders. The wolf spider, unlike many spiders, does not catch its prey in a web. Instead, they hunt their prey, hence the reason for their namesake. Wolf spiders are excellent runners, they move very fast which is why they are such effective hunters, but they also are known to remain still for long periods of time using their body’s natural camouflage to lie in wait until an unsuspecting insect wanders by and then they ambush their victims. Wolf spiders are very adaptable, they are found in grass, fields, along rock, near water, and they will often wander into homes to seek prey. At night, these spiders can be found in yards with a flashlight, because their eyes reflect light like a cat.
Another way to identify a wolf spider is by their parenting behavior. They are notable for their behavior of affixing their eggs sacs to their spinnerets. They are very careful with these eggs and if for some reason the egg sac is detached, they will search for it frantically. Once the egg hatches, the female wolf spider will carry around the baby spider-lings on their backs for as long as two weeks or more until her babies are ready to be on their own. This is an unusual behavior for spiders and one which makes the wolf spider quite unique.
If you have an abundance of wolf spiders, they may be indicative of other pest control issues since they hunt other spiders and insects. If you have wolf spiders in your home, you will usually find them along walls on the floor or near windows or water sources. Though they can climb they are much more effective hunting on the ground.
If you need pest removal, call All-Natural Pest Control at 877-662-8449 and set up an evaluation of your potential pest control problems.