Scientific Name: Lycosa spp.
Color: Usually dark brown, sometimes yellow
Shape: Typical spider, legs long and spiny
Size: 3/8-1 3/8" long
The common name reflects that these are hunting spiders and will
chase their prey. These spiders are often big and hairy which alarms
some people, but they are primarily nuisance pests. They are an
occasional nuisance pest indoors. About 100 species are found in
the United States.
Wolf spiders actively hunt during the night and sometimes during
the day. They are fast on their feet and pursue prey. Because of
these habits, they are often seen by people.
Some wolf spiders build retreats consisting of either a shallow
excavation under a stone, or a tube/burrow running vertically or
diagonally into the ground. They leave burrows primarily at night
to hunt insect prey. They do not build snare webs. Outside, they
can be found under stones, landscape timbers, firewood, under decks,
in leaf litter, etc. Indoors, they tend to stay at floor level,
along walls under furniture and other objects.
This spider is large enough to bite, but its bite is not dangerous
except to people with severe allergies.
Vacuuming is an excellent method of control. Remove and discard
vacuum cleaner bags to prevent reinfestation. To help reduce numbers
entering a structure, exclude by screening vents, caulking around
utility entrances and door/window frames. Pesticides application
is rarely warranted. Glueboards may be used effectively when they
are placed where spiders have been seen.
(Source: National Pest Management Association, et. al.)