Wolf spiders are, as their name suggests, predatory creatures that feed on various insects and pests. They have excellent eyesight and are not afraid to chase down their prey for their next meal. Unfortunately, many of these hungry spiders can find their way into your home, especially at night. If you’re a homeowner in Arizona, here are some tips you should know about these arachnids.
Wolf Spider 101
Wolf spiders can be mistaken for the more venomous brown recluse spider due to their similar appearance. Also, note that spiders may bite humans if they feel threatened or mishandled.
So, it’s recommended to seek professional inspection to accurately identify these nocturnal pests and ensure your safety.
Wolf Spiders Appearance
Wolf spiders are carnivorous arachnids with thick hair coats and can grow up to 35 mm in size. They have eight eyes arranged in three rows, with two distinct and prominent eyes in the middle row.
Their dark brown coloration makes them well-suited to blend in with their habitat, as they are masters of camouflage. Male wolf spiders are typically smaller than females, and females can often be seen carrying their offspring on their backs.
Wolf Spiders Habitat
Wolf spiders are hunters that work alone. They don’t build webs and like to live on open ground, but they can also dig burrows if necessary. You might find them in garages, basements, wooded areas, or backyards, especially after dark since wolf spiders feed at night. Check for low spots or gaps in walls where wolf spiders prefer to hide.
If you shine a flashlight on them, you can see their eyes glow. These spiders are also skilled climbers and may be found on windows, doors, houseplants, or in closets as they search for food, warmth, and shelter.
Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous?
While the venom of these hunting spiders is toxic to their prey, which typically consists of small bugs and insects, it is not poisonous to humans. But their neurotoxins can be cause for concern, as they can be dangerous. Wolf spider bites are likely to occur if you confront or trap a wolf spider. This could result in a painful sting and cause your skin to become swollen and itchy, with red marks and allergic symptoms in later stages.
In people with weakened immune systems, dizziness, elevated heart rate, and breathing difficulties may also develop. It’s best to avoid any encounter with these spiders altogether.
How to Control Wolf Spiders
These arachnids are speedy and wolf spiders typically live up to three years. If you’re struggling with an infestation, here are some options to try:
- Use sticky traps in dark, hidden, or suspected corners, but keep them away from pets and children.
- Starve them of their food by using organic pesticides that kill or reduce the insects that spiders eat.
- Hunt them down in the dark by shining a flashlight in suspicious corners and looking for the reflection of their eyes.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up.
- Wash them away with a jet stream of water.
- Fill any holes, gaps, and cracks to prevent them from sneaking in.
- Use pesticides that are specifically labeled for spiders.
Keeping a clean and clutter-free home is crucial in order to prevent wolf spiders. Wolf spiders love to hide in dark and quiet areas, such as piles of clutter, boxes, and clothing. By sweeping and vacuuming regularly and removing piles of clutter, you can disrupt their hiding places and keep them away.
Even a simple dusting can help keep them at bay. So, clean up any messes and keep your home tidy to prevent a wolf spider infestation.
Seal the Residence
When the temperatures drop, wolf spiders tend to seek warmth and often find their way inside buildings through tiny gaps and crevices. To prevent them from entering your home, it’s essential to seal all possible entry points that attract wolf spiders.
This includes both indoor and outdoor areas, starting from the basement and working your way up to the attic. Cover any crawl spaces, gaps, or crevices to make your home spider-proof. Taking these measures will help keep wolf spiders outside where they belong.
Remove Tall Grass/Unruly Lawn
That’s correct! Eliminating the hiding spots around your house is a crucial step in preventing wolf spiders from taking up residence. Manage wolf spiders by trimming away any vegetation, clearing weedy areas, removing leaf litter, keeping firewood away, and clearing any yard debris or building material from your surroundings.
In addition, you can also set up a perimeter using outdoor pesticides to discourage spider activity. Installing warm sodium vapor lights outside can also help keep spider food (and other pests) away, thus deterring wolf spiders from approaching your house in search of prey.
Call the Expert
It’s important to avoid squishing a wolf spider, especially since female wolf spiders carrying spiderlings on her back. Attempting to kill wolf spiders could lead to the spiderlings scattering and spreading the infestation further.
Instead, it’s advisable to seek advice from a pest management expert who can handle such situations with care and expertise. They can provide better options for getting rid of wolf spiders and help you avoid any unintended consequences.
Expert Wolf Spider Control in Arizona
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