Here’s the good news: wolf spiders are not poisonous! Here’s the bad: wolf spiders are the most common spider species in the world, which means they are just about everywhere – including Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and Connecticut. These large spiders can be intimidating but don’t worry too much about them. Here are the facts you need to know about wolf spiders.
Do wolf spiders bite
Wolf spiders don’t pose a threat to people. It is possible to be allergic to a wolf spider’s venom, but they are not poisonous. Since wolf spiders are large, their bite may be painful. If you have mild pain, swelling, or itchiness around the bite, it shouldn’t last long. The pain should go away within minutes. The swelling will go down slowly, and the itching may last a few days as the skin heals.
In general, wolf spiders aren’t aggressive, so they’ll only bite if they feel threatened. But you could get close to a wolf spider without realizing it and get bitten. Wolf spiders live on the ground and like to hide in places like grass, under leaves, plants, and rocks, and inside logs. They may even burrow into the ground or live in the crevices of trees. When they live in homes, you’re likely to spot them in warm, humid areas like garages, sheds, doorways and windows, and basements. Their coloring can make them blend in, too. All that makes it kind of easy to disturb one without meaning to.
What do wolf spiders look like
Like most spiders, they have a long torso and eight legs. They grow to be one-quarter of an inch to 2 inches long. They’re found across the U.S. and around the world. You can distinguish wolf spiders from other spider species because they have three rows of eight eyes each. They also have two larger eyes in the middle. If you’re walking around in the dark and suspect wolf spiders may be nearby, use a flashlight. You’ll be able to see the light reflect off their large eyes.
What do wolf spiders eat
Many people consider wolf spiders a beneficial species because they eat other bugs and insects that we consider pests including crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, and beetles. Wolf spiders are unique to other spiders because they don’t spin webs to catch prey. Instead, they run very fast and chase down prey. They are often alarming to people because they can grow to be large and hairy. But they’re more of a nuisance than a danger and because they eat other insects, they will help keep the population down in the areas they’re living.
Because of their eyes, their hair, and their size, wolf spiders look scary and can seem dangerous. But, like many spiders in our area, they are not a threat and can be very beneficial. Don’t judge this book by its cover.