Everything You Need to Know About Wolf Spiders in Georgia
April 25, 2018
The sight of a spider is enough to send most of us scrambling. But imagine that you’re not simply dealing with a tiny, reclusive webslinger and instead a massive, fast-moving predator. With their large size and venomous bite, it’s no wonder wolf spiders are one of the most feared spiders in Georgia. Let’s take a look at this menacing species and what makes it stand out among other types you may encounter in your home or business.
What Do Wolf Spiders Look Like?
If you come across a wolf spider, you may mistake it for a tarantula – they’re both large and hairy. To determine whether you’ve confronted this type of spider, look for a pattern of stripes similar to the Union Jack, the United Kingdom’s flag (you’ll see it on the pest’s back). While they have a set of four large eyes like that of many jumping spiders, the wolf spider differs in that it also has a line of four small eyes beneath the four large ones.
Wolf spiders have not only been spotted in all 50 states, but also nearly every region on Earth. They’ve even been spotted in places as far north as Iceland. There’s a chance you may eventually see one in your Georgia home or business (if you haven’t already), as they occasionally end up indoors while seeking food and shelter.
A Pest with Its Own Agenda
Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don’t form a web to capture their meals. Instead, they actively hunt their prey. The name “wolf” comes from the way that they kill. They have excellent vision, and they use it to stalk and hunt their food in the same way that wolves do, pouncing on their prey and taking them down with strong jaws. Not only can these spiders run fast enough to capture their prey (about two feet per second), but they’re also able to climb and swim.
Where You’re Likely to Spot Wolf Spiders in Georgia
If you ever come across a wolf spider, it’s most likely going to be in an open area when you’re spending time outside in your yard or garden. The creatures are also found in grassland areas and fields, as well as in wooded places, coastal forests, and green areas near lakes, marshes, and streams – all features of Georgia’s landscape. Because they’re physically equipped to travel long distances, it’s no surprise they’re found practically everywhere.
Wolf spiders typically burrow into the ground for shelter. But when the weather turns cold, they begin to look for warmer habitats and may then enter your home or business. Most of the time, they stick to floor level, making areas along walls and around furniture common places to spot them. But they may also hang out in garages, windows, doors, basements, and even houseplants.
What Do Wolf Spiders Eat?
Wolf spiders dine on all kinds of bugs, including ground-dwelling insects like crickets, grasshoppers, and ants. They also eat flies and even small amphibians. They’re predators with few natural enemies, which means they’re not afraid to go after prey as big or even bigger than they are. This may be great for the elimination of other pests on your property, but we understand having a large spider lurking isn’t your idea of happiness.
This spider hunts at night, and when it becomes especially hungry, it may attack other spiders. Kinship and youth seem to be mitigating factors when it comes to attacking a member of its own species, but their willingness to do so is why it’s unusual for more than one or two of them to hang out in the same area. They may be big and mighty, but at least you won’t ever have to worry about a large-scale infestation.
The Truth About Wolf Spider Bites
Wolf spiders are able to bite humans, but they usually only do so when provoked – and they may even try to retreat first. If you get too close, you may experience a painful bite (we assume you’ll want to keep your distance, but we’d still like to warn you). Wolf spiders produce venom, and to inject it into their prey, they use fang-tipped jaws called chelicerae. If you get bitten, treat it by:
- Washing the bite with warm water and soap.
- Keeping the wound area clean.
- Elevating the bitten appendage.
- Placing a cool cloth or an ice pack over it to decrease the swelling and pain.
While bites are typically painful, the venom from this arachnid is not very harmful to humans. But those who are more sensitive may experience a negative reaction, including individuals with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children. If you’re concerned about the effects of a bite, it’s best to let a professional pest control company handle your wolf spider issue.
There’s no better way of detecting a wolf spider infestation than by spotting the creatures themselves. This usually isn’t hard considering their massive size. They tend to find their way indoors by scurrying under a gap in your door or foundation. Remember, they’re fast runners, and – as jumping spiders known to pounce on their prey – they’re quite agile. This makes it easy for them to infest and hard for home and business owners to stop them.
Let Allgood Pest Solutions Help You Control Wolf Spiders
If you’ve spotted a wolf spider and are brave enough to go after it, go with glue traps or the old-fashioned way of smashing it with a large object. But if you’d rather let the professionals handle the job (notably, if you have a large-scale infestation), contact Allgood Pest Solutions. We provide spider control across Georgia, and we’ll eliminate this species safely and effectively. Like all spiders, wolf spiders aren’t fun to have around – and with our help, they don’t have to be.