Is the wolf spider venomous, and does it pose a threat to us? One thing just about everyone shares in common when it comes to this spider is fear, it really creeps us out. It’s intimidating appearance is due to it’s sleek uniform pattern, it’s hairy and long pointy legs, the way it quickly moves darting across a room, and if you get close enough to it, it’s large and sharp fangs. Yuck! For anyone who suffers from arachnophobia the wolf spider takes the cake, but is the repulsion we have for this spider warranted? Let’s find out.
The Wolf Spider in attack/defense mode!
Is the wolf spider venomous? The answer to this question is “yes”, in fact ALL spiders are venomous, it’s how they kill and digest their prey as spiders are strict carnivores and do not feed on any vegetation. Well, there is one exception, some spiders will eat their own webbing, but this rule doesn’t apply to the wolf spider, because the wolf spider doesn’t make a web for a nest or to catch prey. They are solitary hunters always on the move. Basically, they will feed on anything they can catch and overcome, mostly other insects and other spiders, but sometimes even very small reptiles or amphibians. They are usually nocturnal and do most of their hunting at night, but they can also be seen during the day at times, especially if one is loose inside your home. The wolf spider usually does not infest homes in a way that they build up their colonies like ants for comparison, so we usually consider the wolf spider to be an occasional invader. Even so, I myself have had some strange experiences with wolf spiders.
One time, not too long ago actually, I was at home and found a wolf spider sitting on the carpet in a certain area. I have a tool that I use to take care of such invaders, an electric flyswatter always does the trick. The funny thing is, the very next day another wolf spider was in the exact same spot. I thought how strange this must be. I took care of him as well. The third and final appearance occurred the very next day and by this time I was wondering if this spider was a zombie or ghost coming back from the dead. Actually, what most likely happened was the first spider on day one was a female and left a pheromone scent when I shocked it with the fly swatter and the spiders from the next days were following the same pheromone scent. That’s the only explanation I can come up with, otherwise this would have to be placed in the file cabinet of the unexplained.
Another story I would like to relate would begin with a question. Isn’t it strange that out of the entire house one rouge wolf spider will end up crawling somewhere on you either while your in a chair watching television or in bed trying to sleep? Having a wolf spider in bed with you is the most traumatic experience you can have with this arachnid, since when we are in bed, we want to feel safe and secure. You would think they would try to avoid contact with humans since we usually are the catalyst for the end of their life.
Wolf spiders often enter a home through doors with poor weather stripping. Finding any sealing any weakness in the structure should help reduce them coming on the inside while repellent sprays put up on the outside on a quarterly basis should further deter them from the home. Unfortunately here in Florida, the wolf spider can be encountered any time during the year as opposed to the northern states where you get a break from them from October to May. Something that I would highly recommend is getting an electric flyswatter. Where can you find one? Just do a google search for electric flyswatters.
It comes in very handy when dealing with other pests as well. Just DO NOT touch the grill while pressing the button or you will get a little shock. Also, DO NOT attempt to handle or touch the spider.
So, how dangerous is the wolf spider to us? We already stated that the wolf spider is indeed venomous like all spiders are. The wolf spider will occasionally bite humans and sometimes they can even be aggressive, but usually they will try to run away. They are also very good for our ecology as they greatly reduce many insect pests. Still, most people don’t want them on the inside of their home. What happens if you are the unfortunate victim of a wolf spider bite? That depends on you and how you react to the venom. For some people it’s like a wasp sting even though it may leave a mark that lasts a long time. Symptoms of their venomous bite include swelling, mild pain and itching. For other people who may have an allergic reaction, it can be much worse. This is why we suggest that any wolf spider bite be checked out by a doctor. In our range of Ocala, Lady Lake, The Villages, Dunnellon, and the surrounding areas, the most dangerous of the spiders are the black widow and the brown widow. We’ll talk more about them in future blog posts. The brown recluse spider, although there have been encounters and sitings are still not recognized to naturally occur in our range. They are however, established in the extreme western panhandle of Florida and now there is talk that they have established themselves in Jacksonville, Florida.
Can you see the spider here? The Wolf Spider uses its camouflage to avoid trouble from predators and humans.
Wolf spider bite
We at Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control want you to stay safe, so please do not try to handle any of the venomous spiders, scorpions, or snakes found in our range. Also note that we offer our services in controlling such critters, and through our programs along with reducing conducive conditions for pest activity, encounters with such creatures will be greatly reduced. Have a happy and safe Halloween, and well’s see you out there!