Wolf spiders (Lycosidae spp.) are nocturnal hunters. They prefer to catch insects instead of spinning webs. Wolves that have similar ways to catch the prey inspire their name. However, are wolf spiders poisonous?
This eight-leg sprinter pursues and pounces insects by injecting its venom. Therefore, a wolf spider bite is not poisonous, but venomous. Those are two different things. Both terms are toxic chemicals, yet the methods of transferring the toxins are different.
Poisonous belongs to animals that unload toxins when people consume them. Some species of snakes, frogs, and salamanders are poisonous.
On the other hand, venomous relates to animals that inject their toxins by biting or stinging. The wolf spiders include venomous animals.
Unique Characteristics of Wolf Spiders
Wolf spiders are known as ground and hunting spiders. They go out at night and hunt small insects on the ground. Their characteristics are typically different from other spiders.
Eight dark eyes surround a wolf spider head called cephalothorax. A row of four small eyes is above the mouth. There are two large eyes on top of the head. Two larger eyes appear in the front.
The body length of an adult wolf spider is around ½ to 2 inches. Its body has blotches of gray and brown. Two small arm-like appendages extend out the front of this hairy body.
Young spider is usually carried on a female’s back. It looks similar to adults and has various colors. The colors will change as they grow.
A Habitat Where Wolf Spider Can Live
As ground dwellers, wolf spiders live in burrows. However, they can live in different environments such as grassy areas and farm fields.
They usually hide under fall leaves and another ground clutter. Some species can be found in rocky mountaintops, rainforests, and deserts.
They are also found in domestic environments. People might find them in house plants, windows, garages, basements, and lofts.
Wolf Spiders’ Venom Toxicity
A wolf spider injects toxins while biting its enemy. A toxin called venom is produced to paralyze small insects.
Nevertheless, it is not a lethal bite to humans. The bites are not dangerous. The reactions of venomous bites include redness and pain. Some people have an allergic reaction due to this bite.
First Aid of Wolf Spiders’ Bites
A wolf spider will bite when people handle it directly. Its bite looks like a red bump, which is swollen and itchy. Any medical attention is needed when you notice a red line is extending from the bite area. It shows that a blood infection happens.
To treat the bites, clean your skin with water and soap. When the red bump is getting more uncomfortable or very itchy, you should use diphenhydramine for medication. This antihistamine will make you drowsy.
Home Protection for Wolf Spiders
To control wolf spiders at home is by killing off an individual spider. It is the best way to eliminate wolf spiders since they come out alone. Keep your home clean and uncluttered to reduce wolf spiders enter the room.
To reduce this species, spray aerosol fogger for indoor use. For outdoor, apply pesticides like bifenthrin, permethrin, and deltamethrin. Spray around windows, vents, stairway, door, and vents.
In conclusion, wolf spiders are considered quite dangerous, but their bites are not deadly. Are wolf spiders poisonous? The answer is exactly no. They are not harmful to human beings.