Wolf spiders are one of the most common spiders found in the Pacific Northwest. These creatures are very smart and interesting but can oftentimes be incredibly intimidating. If you notice a spider inside or near your home, it is important to identify its appearance and characteristics so you can properly treat the correct species.
Wolf spiders are known for their hairy, robust bodies, and large eyes. Most spiders have smaller eyes as they rely on their other sensors to hunt and navigate their surroundings. Wolf spiders, however, have comparatively larger eyes due to the way they hunt. Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders do not create webs to catch their prey. Instead, they stalk and chase their prey. Having large eyes is crucial for this species as they rely heavily on seeing their prey and quickly chasing it.
The name wolf spider came from their hunting technique. Just like wolves, these spiders are active hunters and pounce on their prey. They have strong, agile legs that allow them to act quickly and chase insects that are found on the ground or walls. These insects can be found in a variety of habitats and environments. They often hide in cracks or concealed, tight areas during the day and come out at night to hunt. This allows them to adapt to many environments including grasslands, forests, and even urban areas.
Even though these insects are great at hunting, they are luckily not harmful to humans. They do contain venom that is used to immobilize their prey but does not effectively work on humans. If you notice a bug bite that may have stemmed from a wolf spider, you may notice localized pain or throbbing, swelling, and redness. These bites feel similar to a bee or wasp sting. If you have been bit by a spider, it is best to wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling.
Wolf spiders are also known for their unusual maternal behavior. Female wolf spiders care for their babies and protect them until they are fully capable of hunting and surviving on their own. These female spiders will carry their eggs in a silk sac attached to their abdomen and can even carry their spiderlings on their back after they hatch. This species of spider cares for its young and wants them to survive.
If you notice spiders in your home, take time to identify which spider you’re treating. If you are unsure of how to properly identify a spider, call your local Insight Pest Solutions for help. If you notice a wolf spider in or near your home, it is best to capture the spider and relocate it to a forested area or protected location so these spiders can continue to work as natural pest control workers.