Wood-boring beetles can cause significant damage before detection.
ABOUT WOLF SPIDERS
Despite their fierce appearance, wolf spiders offer little real threat to Philadelphia area property owners. Instead, they perform a creditable service by helping to control local insect populations.
However, this does not mean that most people are ready to welcome wolf spiders into their homes or businesses. These large, hairy spiders can make even the calmest person a bit uneasy. Moreover, the presence of several wolf spiders may support a conclusion that an underlying pest infestation is attracting the arachnids to the property and a pest control professional should be consulted.
The largest wolf spiders are known to be as much as 35 millimeters long. Their bodies are covered in hair that is arranged in patterns of brown, gray and black. Wolf spiders have eight eyes, and they have eight legs like all other arachnids. However, this species also has a pair of pedipalps, which are like arms, that extend from the front of their body.
For the most part, wolf spiders live on ground-dwelling insects as well as other spiders. Common prey items include grasshoppers, crickets and ants.
Wolf spiders are not particularly choosy when it comes to habitat. As long as they can find sufficient prey, they are happy to make a home almost anywhere. Members of the species may be found beneath a pile of leaves or within a woodpile. They like farm fields and pastures too, and wolf spiders commonly are found in cultivated gardens. Because they are not a web spinner, the wolf spider most frequently lives in an underground burrow. Pebbles or twigs may be piled at the entrance during the rainy season.
With the cooler temperatures of the fall, wolf spiders are more likely to seek shelter inside human habitations. They prefer areas where people rarely go. Moreover, dark, cluttered conditions appeal to them. This means that wolf spiders may be found in basements, sheds, garages and attics in most cases.
PROBLEMS WITH WOLF SPIDERS
Rather than causing any property damage, the wolf spider is more frequently recognized for the psychological effect that it has on people. It is a large, hairy spider with a distinctive appearance. However, many people mistake it for a brown recluse, which has the potential to be a more serious threat. Such stress can cause make sleeping and concentration difficult for some people.
Wolf spiders are named in part because of their habit of moving with incredible speed. This is especially true when they are hunting prey, and people frequently only get a swift glimpse of this pest as it scurries beneath a door or a piece of furniture.
As they are not a web spinner, the wolf spider must chase and pounce on their prey. They are incredibly sensitive to vibrations in the ground, which is how they sense oncoming prey and predators. The victim is then held between the wolf spider's legs. Wolf spiders roll onto their backs, ensuring that the insect is immobilized before biting it.
With their camouflage coloring, it is easy for wolf spiders to hide from prey. Keen eyesight allows them to remain active in low-light conditions. An aggressive response, which may include a bite, is common whenever a threat is perceived.
After seeing a wolf spider, many people are especially fearful of this arachnid's bite. The good news is that the bite of the wolf spider is not necessarily more of a cause for concern than the bite of any other spider.
Like most spiders, the wolf spider leaves behind a bite that consists of two tiny wounds that look like twin pinpricks. Wolf spider bites are relatively uncommon. Typically, they only occur when the spider has been handled or accidentally disturbed.
Most people experience pain, itchiness and redness with a wolf spider bite. These symptoms do not persist for long, and the venom of this spider is not lethal to humans. Rare individuals may have a severe allergic reaction or develop a secondary bacterial infection. If serious symptoms ensue, they should be brought to the attention of a doctor.
SIGNS OF A WOLF SPIDER INFESTATION
The following signs may indicate a wolf spider issue:
• Hairy spiders seen inside human habitations • Reports of spider bites
To help prevent wolf spider problem these preventative steps should be taken:
• Schedule regular pest control treatments to keep insect populations under control • Get rid of clutter both indoors and outdoors • Regularly remove cob webs and dust from all indoor surfaces • Use screens on doors and windows • Inspect building exteriors for holes and cracks that should be caulked or covered • Frequently sweep or vacuum all floors • Ensure that plants, trees and shrubs are pruned and kept under control
DIY products are not usually successful in controlling spider populations. To keep a home’s spider population under control, a pest control company should be called.
Safeguard Pest Control will use a variety of treatments including dusts, gels, and specialized products to eliminate spiders in your home including attics, wall voids, and cracks and crevices.
Our technicians use environmentally safe products to repel spiders and discourage breeding and population growth.