Wolf SpiderWolf Spiders

Order: Araneae
Family: Lycosidae
Scientific Name: Lycosa spp.
Color: Usually dark brown, sometimes yellow
Legs: 8
Shape: Typical spider, legs long and spiny
Size: 3/8-1 3/8" long
Antennae: No
Flight: No

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.)