How to get rid of wolf spiders?

Before you formulate a plan to get rid of or kill the spiders living in your home, you need to make sure you know what species of spider you’re dealing with specifically.

Wolf spiders are one of the most popular and divisive spider species. Homeowners typically react with overwhelming love or hate for them. They are hairy, have eight legs, and move faster than most people can track.

Because of the wolf’s spider’s appearance, speed, and tendency to bite, they are regarded as a pest and are very difficult to get rid of.

In this post, we’ll be telling you how to solve your wolf spider problem.

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Species of Wolf Spiders

There are over 125 wolf spider species in the United States alone and thousands of other more common, dangerous ones that share similar characteristics with the wolf spider.

Before you formulate a plan to get rid of or kill the spiders living in your home, you need to make sure you know what species of spider you’re dealing with specifically.

How to Identify a Wolf Spider?

Wolf spiders are larger than most household spiders.

A fully grown wolf spider can reach up to  4-inches in length,  though the male spiders tend to the smaller than their female counterpart. Female wolf spiders reach up to 1-3/8 inches in height and up to 4 inches in length, while make typically stop growing at 3/4 inches.

Wolf spiders are hairy and dark brown in color, with pale stripes and markings running down the length of their bodies, and they feature 8 long legs. These legs are responsible for most of the wolf spider’s hunting prowess. They use it to cover a lot of ground and ambush their prey. They don’t spin webs to hunt or set traps.

Instead, they rely on their powerful bodies and can run, jump, and swim really fast when they’re hunting or running from a threat.

Wolf spiders feature large appendages on par with black widows and tarantulas that they use to snatch prey and consume them. Once they catch their prey, they flip them over and consume them whole.

They have eight eyes like most spiders, but they’re set in a unique pattern that favors their predatory habits.

Their first row contains two forward-facing eyes, the next row contains two side-directing eyes, and the final row contains four smaller eyes.

The wolf spider’s eight sets of eyes are reflective. They are nocturnal creatures, so they hunt in the dark, and their eyes will glow when you shine a light on them.

Another interesting physical feature that sets the wolf spider apart from other popular pest spiders is the protective nature of female wolf spiders.

They carry their eggs sacs attached to their spinnerets, shielding them from damage during gestation. A single female wolf sider can lay up to 100 spiders during mating season.

At birth, wolf spiderlings are transferred on top of their mother’s abdomen and carried along until their first molting. This distinct feature makes wolf spiders incredibly easy to identify.

 

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What do Wolf Spiders Eat?

Wolf Spiders aren’t picky hunters.

They’ll eat just about any insect they can get their hands on, even other spiders. They love flies, ladybugs, lovebugs, caterpillars, ants, and earwigs. They pounce on them after skulking up close and trap them in their vicious jaws with a powerful bite.

Because of their flexible diet, they have no problem finding food in most environments.

As long as there are lots of insects around your home, you’ll have a hard time getting rid of wolf spiders.

Where do Wolf Spiders Prefer to Stay?

Wolf spiders love to stick to the shadows and hang out in places where they can easily hunt their prey. They’ll stay closer to the ground if they can, and will dig burrows and hide away.

If they’re not hiding away in your yard, and you find them hiding near doors, windows, plants, wall cracks, cardboard boxes, corners, etc.  There are over 2300 species of wolf spiders worldwide, and they can survive in all sorts of climates, but prefer warmer habitats.

Wolf Spider look-alikes

Wolf Spiders share a lot of physical features with other common spider house pests. The most common ones are the brown recluse and grass spider.

The brown recluse has the same dark brown, back pattern,  and size as the wolf spider, however, there are a few differences that set them apart. The Brown Recluse only has three pairs of eyes, set horizontally on its head.

The wolf spider has one extra set and they are reflective.

The back pattern, though similar at first
glance, is completely different upon closer inspection. The brown
recluse has an inverted violin pattern that stretches from its head down
to the base of its abdomen.

The Brown Recluse is also poisonous and very dangerous.

Grass spiders, the second insect that the wolf spider also closely resembles, differs in two chief ways.

It builds webs that resemble funnels and uses them to hunt. That is why they are sometimes called funnels spiders.

They also have very distinct spinnerets and feature smaller fangs.

Another dead giveaway that you might not be dealing with a wolf spider infestation is that grass spiders don’t bite.

What Kills Wolf Spiders

There are tons of effective ways you can kill or exterminate wolf spiders from your residence. Each Method is guaranteed to get you some results, though they might not safeguard your home from future invasions.

Using Insecticides and Pesticides

Using pesticides is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to handle a wolf spider infestation.

There are hundreds of insecticides and pesticides you can opt for that will get rid of wolf spiders, along with other popular house insects.

However, there are specific products designed to control wolf spiders specifically.

If you can, you want to search for products that leave a residue over time, as they are more likely to reduce the risk of future infestation. These types of insecticides contain pyrethroids and are plant-based.

They are one of the most effective types of insecticides against all species of spiders but beware. They are less safe for kids and pets, so you want to spray this when you’re sure the kid and pets are out of the house.

Also, wear gloves before you spray them indoors.

Ensure to set up a stable barrier when you’re spraying the pesticide or insecticide of your choice. This means you spray around the outside of your home, targeting corners, doors, and windows specifically.

When you’re spraying, you also want to target leaf litter, yard debris,  grassy areas, and corners areas both indoors and outdoors, especially on the floor. Wolf spiders skulk around since they don’t use webs, so they’re more likely to get them.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a common powdered chemical used for pest control in general, but it’s particularly effective against wolf spiders. Sprinkling it along wall edges, old cardboard boxes, yard debris, and cracks are a really effective way to get rid of wolf spiders.

The chemical is deceptively effective because it attacks them on so many levels.

When they scuttle across it, it leaves gashes and cuts that cause them to leak bodily fluids. On top of that, they also ingest the acid when they try to groom themselves and poison themselves.

Like spraying pesticides, this is the safest method of wolf spider control. While the chemical might kill wolf spiders and other pests, it might also poison pests and put children at risk.

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Safe Home Remedies to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders

There are a couple of less invasive and more family-friendly ways to get rid of wolf spiders without putting your family in danger.

Admittedly, it is as effective or quick as using pesticides, however, these methods do have their merits, especially if you plan to stay at home while you work out your pest problems.

Glue boards and strips

Glue strips are effective for just about any pests big or small, and trap wolf spiders surprisingly well, their speed and agility notwithstanding.

Spread glue boards around your home and make sure to target ledges, corners, cardboard boxes, entry points, etc. You can use your preferred type of glue trap. You get a bonus point if you find and trap insects in the glue trap first to lure the spiders in.

Hexa-Hydroxyl

Hexa-Hydroxyl is your top choice if you’re looking for a natural insecticide that is not harmful to humans and pets.

It contains a mix of plant oils and attacks certain neural pathways that exist in arachnids like the wolf spider.

Relocating wolf spiders

Wolf spiders and most pets invade people’s homes and gardens for survival and are non-toxic despite their outward appearance. If you manage to capture a wolf spider after making your home less conducive for them, you could potentially release them out into your yard or off your property.

You will only need a glass container and fast enough reflexes to capture them before they jump or run away.

Kill the Spider with a Broom

If you’re really on a budget or you’re just dead set on killing the pest, you can strike the wolf spider with a broom, or shoe. Any solid object with decent heft should produce a similar result.

Using a vacuum cleaner is also another great option.

You won’t have to deal with cleaning up the spider remains and you can kill multiple spiders. This method requires some finesse and care. The spider might bite you if you miss or hop away, so make sure you strike true when you do.

Wash the Pest Away with a  spray of water

By using a strong jet of water from your garden hose, you can scare a wolf spider and keep them away.

Since wolf spiders are agile, the water spray will not likely kill them and it can’t prevent wolf spider invasions in the future, so were recommend pairing it with chemical treatment.

For example, you could spray the many areas that wolf spiders typically hide out both indoors and outdoors, and proceed to use Boric acid or any other solution discussed.

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Sprinkling natural repellents

Lime is a natural repellent to most insects and works against wolf spiders especially.

Another great repellent you can try for spider control is peppermint oil, citrus, peppermint, or anything with some peppermint in it. These repellents will not kill any wolf spiders, but they work very well. Keep a constant pressure for a few days and you will notice fewer spiders lurking around your home.

Let your Cat play with them

Cats are natural hunters and are playful with their prey.

If you can’t be bothered to kill wolf spiders yourself, letting your cat hunt and kill them is a valid alternative. They have very sharp claws and will smack the spiders for a while before eventually pouncing on them.

Call Pest control

If you don’t find any of these methods particularly appealing, you can call pest control or spider control service that specialize in wolf spider control and extermination.

They cost more than all of the methods explored, but they are the most reliable way to tackle wolf spider control if you have more than a few lurking around.

Why do I have so many wolf Spiders?

Wolf spiders are attracted to houses and locations where they can easily find prey and set up a habitat By food, we mean insects in your garden or around your house,  and crums scattered around your floors.

As for the habitat, they prefer warmer climates and dark, cozy borrows. They are likely to camp in your garden, around grassy areas, or in your yard litter.

Wolf spiders may also hide in wall cracks, boxes, dark corners, under mounds of cluttered clothes, newspapers, etc.

How do you make your home inhabitable for wolf spiders?

Prevention ensures you don’t have to deal with multiple invaders sometime in the future.

In your case, if you already have a wolf spider infestation, it might be a way to guarantee that they never return. The best way to get rid of wolf spiders for good is to make your home inhospitable for them.

Get Rid of their food source

Most foods only care about foods, and wolf spiders are no different. They only leave their hiding places during meal times and prefer to stick in their borrows most times.

As we covered earlier, their food sources are rather limited. They subsist mainly on insects as they are hunters. So, the first step to preventing another invasion is to get rid of every other bug around your home.

This means cleaning your home, removing open light sources that attract moths, flies, and other insects. You should also consider switching to sodium vapor lights as they attract fewer insects.

Declutter your home

Spiders love dark, comfortable spaces, and corners. Reducing these potential habitats or nesting areas around your home will reduce the chance of a future infestation or at least keep them away from your house.

You want to clear up dirty clothes,  papers, cardboard boxes, and keep your house as clean as you can consistently manage.

Access points

Access points are cracks and holes in or home that wolf spiders and other pests like it use to get into your home. You want to learn to manage those access points before you get rid of spiders and other pests around your home so that they don’t return.

Wolf spiders don’t spin webs and can not climb very far, but don’t underestimate them. Make an effort to check around your house and remove dead leaves, wood branches, and any other thing that may help them.

Without external aid, wolf spiders typically use cracks in the foundation of your home, low wall cracks, or open windows as access points. You want to keep your windows closed and use caulk to seal other cracks.

Also, install insect screens on the foundation vents around your home. Wolf spiders sometimes invade your home using a ventilation vent when there are no other easier access points.

 

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Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous to Humans?

Wolf spiders have hairs around their bodies, are fairly large, and resemble some of the deadliest species of spiders on the planet.

Most people’s first reaction to seeing them is fear and maybe violence, however, they are fairly harmless as far as home invaders go. Some enthusiasts even keep them on as pets.

Wolf spiders, unlike most other spiders, have a non-toxic bite to humans.

When a wolf spider bites you, at most you’ll feel a great deal of pain followed by a slight itch that lasts days, then nothing else. The pain from the bite only lasts about 10 minutes and is caused by the puncture wound, not the poison flooding the body’s system. Children and older people should seek medical attention after a bite as they typically have a weaker immune system.

Wolf spiders don’t also go around biting as many people as they can find. They are shy creatures and will not attack unless they feel threatened or under attack. And even then, their first reaction would be to hop away and keep their distance from you.

Wolf spiders are natural hunters. Keeping them around, especially in your garden or yard could safeguard you from other insects. They can help you find and kill insects like grasshoppers, caterpillars, moths, and smaller rodents. They are a very efficient and cost-effective pest control measure.

 

Do Wolf Spiders Jump?

Also known as hunting spiders or ground spiders, wolf spiders are one of the most agile spider species in the world.

They have incredibly long legs and jump to close the distance between potential prey when they’re hunting.

However, the wolf spider prefers to hide in wait and ambush their prey at night.

Wolf spiders don’t typically jump on humans unless they are actively provoked. This means continual prodding, touching, or something just as threatening. Often, they will jump away from you when you try to touch them or bite you to ward off any invasion.

It is important to also mention that wolf spiders don’t leap upwards, only forward toward prey or direction.

If the spider you find does, then you’re probably dealing with a jumping spider–another large hairy spider that looks a lot like the wolf spider. A simple way to tell them apart is by the length of their legs and the hairs on them.

Jumping spiders have shorter legs with longer hairs.

 

Conclusion

  • Wolf spiders are less of a nuisance than we think they are.

    They might have a nasty bite and are difficult to get rid of, especially if there are multiple of them hanging around your home.

    As long as you don’t panic or don’t antagonize them by prodding and trying to touch them, they will leave you alone. Circle through this list of potential hunting solutions to see which ones you like best and remember to call u a spider control or pest control service if you need extra help.

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