You might say it started with Little Red Riding Hood or Aesop’s tale of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Wolves have a bad reputation. Because of its name, the Arizona wolf spider has a bad reputation as well.
7 Myths and Misconceptions About the Arizona Wolf Spider
Wolves are big and hairy, so wolf spiders are too, right? Wrong. Wolf spiders are smaller than many other species. Wolf spiders are about the size of a paper staple. The big, hairy spider in your house is most likely a house spider.
Other myths and misconceptions about the Arizona wolf spider are:
1. A wolf spider bite can kill a small pet.
There are 3 Arizona spiders that are dangerous to your family furbaby:
2. A wolf spider is the same as a brown recluse.
There’s a difference in appearance: Wolf spiders have leg bands. Brown recluse spiders have the violin marking on their backs.
3. Wolf spiders are dangerous to small children.
North American wolf spiders are not dangerous to any humans or pets. (Actually, bees are more dangerous.) All but 2 spider families are venomous, and very few spiders are toxic. Wolf spiders can bite but unless you are allergic to the bite any pain or irritation shouldn’t last long.
4. Wolf spiders can recover from near-death.
Wolf spiders are amazing actors. When they “play dead,” it’s so real they fool other wolf spiders. This has led to mating confusion by not-very-observant males.
5. Wolf spiders can’t bite because their fangs are too small.
Wolf spiders have tiny fangs, but they will bite if provoked.
6. Wolf spiders don’t spin webs.
Lazy wolf spiders can create webs, but most don’t. Most wolf spiders live below ground, so they have no need for webs. They stalk their prey at night.
7. Wolf spiders live indoors.
If you find a wolf spider in your house, it’s there by accident. An Arizona wolf spider can’t survive indoors.
Essential Facts: Arizona Wolf Spiders
Most spiders’ food-gathering strategy is to spin their webs and hope they will capture unsuspecting insects. Instead, wolf spiders are hunters. After dark, you can sometimes see their tiny green eyes, which reflect light.
There are several species of wolf spiders. Arizona wolf spiders are members of Hogna Carolinensis. They are grey/brown and females carry their eggs on their backs, which can alter their appearance.
Wolf spiders won’t intentionally enter your home, but when they do, they’ll look for food. If they find food, they’ll be less likely to leave. To deter wolf spiders indoors:
- Keep foods in tightly sealed containers.
- Minimize window lights. Close curtains or shades.
- Reduce dust and clutter.
Outside, you can:
- Keep your yard well-trimmed and clutter-free.
- Minimize moisture by keeping gutters clear and clean. Repair plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
- Put trash in tightly sealed trash bins/cans.
- Put woodpiles as far away from the house as possible.
- Repair/caulk foundation cracks, damaged screens, and weather stripping gaps.
- Thin/trim-back any shrubs or plants that touch the house exterior.Budget
Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination
Most of the spiders our team of pest professionals target for elimination are black widow and brown recluse spiders. These 2 spiders are abundant here in Arizona. Unlike wolf spiders, they are harmful and can be quite dangerous to infants, pets, the elderly, and chronically ill family members.
The need for professional spider elimination is not unusual. The Spruce says OTC (over-the-counter) spider pesticides don’t work (and they’re right). Professional spider elimination works, but you may need regularly scheduled applications to keep spider infestations from forming.
Learn more about the Arizona wolf spider and other common pests. Contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination.