There are approximately 200 species of wolf spiders belonging to the family Lycosidae that are found across the United States and Canada. Wolf spiders are known to live in various habitats including densely populated areas. Due to their large size and formidable appearance they often startle occupants of homes and business when they come across them unwittingly. If you find spiders in your home, contact the knowledgeable professionals at All-Rite Pest Control for immediate assistance.
Wolf Spider Identification
Wolf spiders are large and can grow as long as 1 ¼ inches in length. Their bodies are hairy and can vary in color between black, gray and brown. Wolf spiders can move swiftly and are often confused with other types of spiders including tarantulas and brown recluse spiders.
Wolf Spider VS Brown Recluse
The wolf spider is named for its quick action when it comes to attacking its prey and can often be found in open areas around structures. The brown recluse spider is rarely seen out in the open and has a tendency to hide in dark places. The brown recluse spider also has a violin shaped marking on the front upper part of the body (cephalothorax). The wolf spider is generally solid or can be variegated in color.
Body Parts of a Wolf Spider
One thing that all spiders have in common is a two-segmented body with eight legs. The wolf spider has eight eyes that are arranged in two rows, the lower row has four smaller eyes and upper row has two larger eyes with two smaller eyes on top of the head. The jaws (chelicerae) are used to trap prey, inject venom and eat. The bottom jaws have two very sharp, horizontal fangs. Another area close to the jaw called the pedipalps or palps acts as a set of sensors and is often mistaken for an extra set of legs. The palps also act as a storage area for sperm in the male spider.
Wolf Spider Habitat & Diet
The habitat of the wolf spider varies from woodlands, coastal forests and inland shrub areas. Wolf spiders can be found in suburban gardens and other areas that are populated. The wolf spider is able to travel over vast distances so the habitat can range over large areas. Wolf spiders in the western part of the United States including Nevada can be found in and around homes and businesses. Unlike many other species of spiders, the wolf spider does not spin a web but instead resides within a burrow. The burrow may be an open construction or sealed using small stones and twigs. During the cooler months, the wolf spider will enter homes through windows, doors, basements and garages seeking warmth. Wolf spiders are generally nocturnal with a diet that consists of insects including other small spiders.
Wolf Spiders Carry Babies on Back
Wolf spiders are unique in the care of their young. The female can often be seen carrying around her egg sacs. When the eggs hatch, the young spiders will remain with their mother where they will ride on her back for a period of time until they are ready to fend for themselves.
Wolf Spider Bites
Although the wolf spider has a formidable appearance, the bite of the wolf spider is not considered poisonous. Individuals may experience swelling, redness or rash at the bite site which can be treated with ice compresses. If you are bitten by a spider it is always prudent to seek the advice of your health care professional for positive identification and necessary treatment of the spider bite. Wolf spiders are generally placid in nature and will not bite unless threatened.