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Should I Be Afraid of Wolf Spiders?

The author knows a thing or two about wolf spiders and how to combat their presence in the home.

Do you need to be worried about wolf spiders in your garden?

Do you need to be worried about wolf spiders in your garden?

Wolf Spiders Aren't Poisonous, but They Are Venomous

If you come across a wolf spider, chances are you’ll be scared. You might assume it's poisonous because it's huge and scary. But the fact of the matter is that wolf spiders are not poisonous: they're venomous. They have venom stored in case they need to attack, and it needs to be injected into the body before it causes you any harm (whereas poisons need to be ingested or absorbed). So, you won't get sick if you touch or eat one, but if it bites you, you may have cause for concern.

If you do happen to get bitten by a wolf spider (which is very rare as they only attack if they are provoked or scared), you need to get it treated as soon as you can.

The Side Effects of Being Bitten by a Wolf Spider

If you’re unfortunate enough to be bitten by a wolf spider, the bite and the surrounding area will become inflamed. This is the body’s natural reaction to the bite as it will be trying to get rid of it. You may experience some of the following in varying degrees depending on how sensitive you are to bites:

  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness
  • Death of the surrounding tissues (necrosis)

Although you’re unlikely to die as a result of a bite, these side effects can last up to 10 days. Please make sure that in all circumstances you visit your doctor so they can see how bad the bite is and treat it right away.

If you assume you’ll be OK after you’ve been bitten, you could be putting yourself at risk. While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll die because of the venom you’ve been exposed to, a few people have been known to die because of the way the body reacts to the venom. Don’t take chances—if you get bitten, get it treated as soon as you can.

A wolf spider bite

A wolf spider bite

Why Do Wolf Spiders Have Venom?

Wolf spiders have venom because they need to kill the animal or insect they have hunted and successfully caught to ensure they do not get away (so the spider can enjoy a tasty meal!). But, as I mentioned earlier, if you confront a wolf spider and you make it feel intimidated, its natural instinct may be to bite you.

Should you come across a wolf spider, the best thing you can do is to leave it alone. If it’s in your house, you may want to move it, but if you do you should be very careful. A female wolf spider is likely to be carrying young on her back (you will see them), so it’s important you get her removed from your home before they decide to take permanent residence. Make sure you call your local exterminator so they can safely remove the spider from your home without necessarily killing it.

Chances are, if you come across a wolf spider, it may just be passing through, and it’s likely to move on in a day or so.

How to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders: 4 Tips and Tricks

Many people would love to get able to get rid of wolf spiders, even though a lot of them do little or no harm. Most of us are used to seeing spiderwebs in and outside our homes, and although they may be helping to get rid of flies and other nasty bugs, we still want to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back.

If you have been looking for ways to get rid of wolf spiders, chances are you’ve not had much luck because even if you keep your doors and windows closed, they still somehow manage to find a way in.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t actively encourage any wolf spider to enter your home.

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1. Don't give them places to hide.

Use plastic storage containers to store your belongings in your attic or garage. Make sure the containers have tight-fitting lids so no wolf spider can find their way in. Spiders like to hide behind drapes because they’re warm, and the little critter can go undisturbed for quite some time, using blinds will help to deter them from living near your windows.

2. Vacuum your house frequently.

You don’t have to go overboard, but vacuuming your house about once a week should be sufficient enough to get rid of spiders. One of the best things you can do is get rid of baby wolf spiders, as they will not grow into adults who decide to take up permanent residence in your home. During the spring, make sure you vacuum all those nooks and crannies; this can help you to eliminate baby wolf spiders and any insects they would naturally feed on.

3. Stop feeding the wolf spider.

You may not exactly be putting down a bowl of food for the wolf spiders in your home, but you may be feeding them without even realizing it. If you tend to have a lot of insects in your home, you will be making it an ideal place for wolf spiders to live. If the food is there, the wolf spiders will come, so try not to leave out any empty bottles, food, or boxes that insects may just love to munch on.

4. Wipe surfaces with lemon juice.

Wipe your surfaces, including windows and some furniture, with lemon juice, and you are quite likely to repulse wolf spiders that try to live in your home. Spiders hate lemon juice, and as they taste with their feet as well as their mouth, they will avoid stepping on the affected areas.

The above tips are safe and environmentally friendly ways for you to eliminate wolf spiders from your home without the use of chemicals. Not everyone wants to kill wolf spiders; they simply want them to leave their home and stay away.

Standing on a wolf spider may not resolve the issue as there may be others lurking in a corner somewhere, so get out that lemon juice, change your drapes for blinds and keep some of your belongings in plastic boxes.

And don’t forget that wolf spiders are venomous; I mean, you don’t have to search "are wolf spiders venomous?" Yes, they are, and this is the reason that you have to get rid of them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


I Love Men And Yes on January 06, 2020:

I live in a place where we have wolf spiders everywhere. Not once have they bit anyone I know or even tried to. I've seen some of my friends even hold them and not once have they even been scared. (The spider not my friend)

betty on June 26, 2019:

I have a pet wolf spider it nice I just sits on my shoulder does do much

Tim on June 08, 2019:

Well if their so bad you'll think I'm nuts. Every time I see one I put it in the basement.I actually hold the

Hreagle on March 22, 2019:

We have a couple of Wolf Spiders in our house in the Florida Keys and we leave them alone, all they do is eat bugs (some of which bite humans) and as long as we don't mess with them they will do us no harm. They are quite beneficial creatures. We also have some House Anole's that eat the pesky bugs. So far we have not needed to use poisonous pesticides to keep our house insect free. We do occasionally put out food to make sure our natural bug killing critters are well nourished.

coolkid on November 30, 2018:

why are they a pest if you can't see them?

Sexy Beast on May 22, 2018:

Ok I might pee on you

the master on May 14, 2018:

bruh realy why would you put how often do you clean your house

William on April 05, 2018:

LOL, we let them stay in our house when we see them. Never bothered us.

Autumn on March 13, 2018:

who do you get a wolf spider out of a class room

Austin on March 06, 2018:

Wolf spider bites hurt for like ten minutes. That's it, maybe I'm less sensitive since I can douse my hands in gasoline and the has doesn't make my skin feel like it's burning as it soakes in but everywhere I've read also confirmed that wolf spider bites are pretty much harmless

Morgan on October 18, 2017:

We get them all the time. In the fall we collect hedge apples (green looks likes a brain ball) and put them in styrofoam bowls where a spider would hide. Think under beds, couch, closets, etc. those things will last all winter an you will not see any spider at all. The hedge apples have to be ripe and on the ground. Picking them from the tree will not work. And please do not let your pets eat them or just toss them out about the house. They are poisonous and will become very sticky as they break down over the months. In the spring after it’s not going to drastically become cold again just collect them and throw them away. You should be good till fall again.

Adam on September 27, 2017:

.... "While it's highly unlikely that you will DIE" .... BAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG!!! This is too funny.

Guys.... prime example of why you believe half of what you see and NONE of what you read.

CAUTION.... albeit rare, and the cause of a mere 58% of deaths in North America, direct eye contact with the "bunny rabbit" should also be avoided

Just a heads up

Adam on September 27, 2017:

Where are you getting this info on wolf spiders lol

They are absolutely harmless! Gross ... yes, but harmless and a bite will not cause any type of symptom nor should you worry in any way!!

Man I hope whoever wrote this article doesn't live in Canada, or if they do I hope they live hours away from any body of water because they will not leave the house!

I'm no expert people, but please do not believe this article it's ridiculous

Emily on September 25, 2017:

I have one in my house and my sister is terrified and I'm just like if ya leave it alone it won't hurt ya! And my dog was curious so it went up and smelled the spider and now the spider is scared and I feel bad

Redneckchick on July 14, 2017:

Ok bout the article if you guys would have read the middle parts the wolf spider is poisonous, but, the venom is stored for when they feel threatened and they are pretty peaceful as long as we leave them alone. If you grab a piece of paper and take them back outside set them on a flower or something. Preserve wildlife no matter how dangerous you think bugs are always preserve because you never know what's going extinct.

mblahblah on May 22, 2017:

My son loves spiders and recently I caught a wolf spider here in Florida, just yesterday actually. I myself am TERRIFIED of them but this one for some reason I caught and now he has an awesome huge cage with logs to hide in, crickets to fill his belly, water bowl and my son added roses from our garden and some leaves and twigs for him to climb on. He even added quartz crystal and black tourmaline to the cage for "Wolfy," that's what my 4 year old named him. This experience has honestly helped me with my fear of spiders and I see wolf spiders all over. I live in what one calls an oak canopy lol so yea no way I'm getting rid of spiders! They're all over outside, smaller garden ones but the wolf ones I've seen inside many times!

My son loves his new best friend. I've been watching it and I think to myself "why was I always so scared of them" he's actually quite cute to watch when he cleans himself!

Thanks for this article! I'm showing my son all about his new friend!

Meohmy on May 19, 2017:

The article first states that they are not poisonous and then at the very end it states they are poisonous! Which one is it? I just killed one that makes 3 just this week. I have a baby ok not taking any chances.

Wow on April 26, 2017:

Even in America, "learnt" is technically correct. Learned was pronounced lehr-nid, as in "a learned professor". However, we live in an age where OMFG gets added to the dictionary because enough people use it, so learnt is now obsolete in American English. Do your research before you go bashing people. FYI: cookt used to be the past tense of cook.

Tatiana b on January 08, 2017:

why is there a such thing as wolf spiders. if they are so dangerous why can't they just get rid of them in different.

Bogie on August 30, 2015:

Leave people alone just cuz they talk funny jeez!!!

Emilee on August 28, 2015:

I dont know if it was a spider or not but i saw a look a like spider on the edge of my screen and i was pretyy micj not paying attenton it was brownish. And my sister saod we had 2 of them in our room and i became paranpod that the spider bit me or not what should i keep an eye put for ?

America on August 17, 2015:

prussianfire, all I "learnt" from your comment is that your entire country is illiterate

Prussianfire on October 03, 2014:

Omfg, in British English, "learnt" is correct.

-an Irishman

Vageater on September 22, 2014:

Banana soup

Omfg on August 07, 2014:

Please stop contributing to ignorance. "Learned" NOT "learnt". The irony.

Eiddwen from Wales on January 09, 2014:

A wonderfully interesting hub and now looking forward to many more.


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