Wolf Spider: Bite, Identification, Pictures, Types and Treatments

Are wolf spiders bite really dangerous? Just go through this page completely to know what exactly are wolf spiders, their bite, pictures to identify wolf spiders, where they live, and symptoms of wolf spider bite. I also covered some treatment methods for wolf spiders bite and ways to identify it and also the ways to get rid of wolf spiders.

Fast Facts About Wolf Spiders!

Lest see some interesting facts about wolf spiders,

  • Wolf spiders are classes or members of the family called Lycosidae  meaning “wolf”.
  • They are amazingly fast and tougher in nature. They can just hunt at the blink of your eye!. They are so called the “Never give up” hunters in some of its natives. It actually means they wait for an opportunity to just pounce and even chase their prey for short distances to satisfy their needs!
  • They can grow up to a maximum size of 1.5 to 2 inches. This does not include the legs and their forelimbs. If it is included, then they may sum up to 3.5 to 4 inches which are naturally a bigger size when compared to other spiders of the Lycosidae family.
  • Generally, Wolf spiders are “Lone Hunters” as they don’t prefer to stay in groups.
  • They are also called “Ambushers” as they wait for the prey to really get trapped and crush their prey with their strong hind legs.
  • It is believed that Wolf spiders have a mix of both brown, black and ash colors. However, their looks and appearances have wide ranges due to a large number of wolf spider species available.
  • Wolf spiders generally rely on their eyes for hunting. They have two smaller and two larger eyes located on either side of their head to have a complete look or a 360-degree view of the surroundings to catch their prey or protect them from bigger predators.

Where Do Wolf Spiders Live?

  • Wolf spiders mostly prefer a habitat of dry shrublands and other warm terrestrial grasslands. They are found everywhere in common dwelling places of humans. They are also considered as pests in the US, as the major number of species are found in the US.
  • The records prove that there are about 125 to 150 species of wolf spiders widely distributed in regions of California, Texas, Arkansas etc. Also, the wolf spiders of Texas and Arkansas are considered as one of the largest, dangerous and deadly spiders of all wolf spider species.
  • Different varieties have their own unique places to dwell. For example, The wolf spiders of Kentucky and Arkansas prefer large coastal sand dunes and other spiders live commonly near mountain and large terrain herb fields and some dwell on water beds and gravel beds.
  • Spiders in Virginia prefer to live in alpine meadows and deep root grasslands.
  • Wolf spiders generally build deep burrows to live in and they have a circular trap door in the top to trap the prey readily if any passes by.

Identification of a Wolf spider

It is really tough to distinguish wolf spiders from other web building spiders. But wolf spiders are really distinct when it comes to swift movement and hunting capacity.

wolf spider bite

Here I give you some clues to identify a wolf spider! just have a look at the following steps.

1. You will have to look at its physical characteristics and unique features!

As I mentioned above, have a look at its body parts, eyes and the shades of colors available on its upper body. Also, have a look at the number of legs it has. Because wolf spiders exactly possess eight legs ( 2 on the front part, 4 on the sides and 2 on the back pointing like needles).

2. Have a look at the location of eyes on the body!

The location of eyes is a distinct characteristic feature of a wolf spider as they possess 3 rows one after the other. There are 4 eyes on the first row followed by 2 in the second row and 2 in the third row. Now what distinguishes the wolf spider from the other varieties of spider is that the 2 eyes in the second row or the center part of the body will be much larger say 2 to 3 times than the others.

3. The presence of hairs on abdomen!

Tarantula, an arachnid which belongs to the class of therophsidae is often confused with wolf spiders as they too possess hairs. But wolf spiders are a way unique as they possess hairs on its abdomen part. Also, some common wolf spiders are a way smaller than tarantulas as they are comparatively larger in size and shape.

4. The presence of Tarsal claws and Spiderlings!

The presence of Tarsal claws is a defining characteristic of a wolf spider because they are the end segments of a spider’s legs. A wolf spider has three claws at the end of each segment. Other arachnids possess a number of claws. Also, the female wolf spiders possess spiderlings attached to their back. These are some of the unique features that are common only to wolf spiders which will help you to easily identify wolf spiders.

Wolf spiders vs Brown Recluse Spiders

Now the common confusion that arises among the people is how wolf spiders are different from brown recluses? And the most trending query is Wolf spiders vs Brown Recluse Spiders. So, I will give you an accurate answer.

wolf spider bite vs brown recluse

The wolf spiders are much different from brown recluses. Wolf spiders generally are called “wanderers” as they hunt even on open and ground surfaces. Whereas brown recluses are rarely found wandering on the surfaces, as they rarely hunt in a daytime and prefer to hide and attack at the night.

A brown recluse, when watched carefully, has only six eyes and they have an unusual marking on its cephalothorax region(ie. spiders have a unique characteristic of fused head type and thorax together called cephalothorax). Thus it is also witnessed that wolf spiders are really fast and swift… when compared to brown recluses.

Are Wolf Spider Poisonous? 

Are wolf spiders really poisonous? It is a frequently asked question everywhere.

After reading this post, you will be answering this question whether wolf spider bites are really poisonous or simply treatable with sufficient ways.

What Does A Wolf Spider Bite Look Like?

  • The appearance of a wolf spider bite looks like two deep pinpricks with swollen and reddish dots around it.
  • Their venom is not lethal to humans, but it can prove to be absolutely painful. Therefore a wolf spider bite can be as scary as their looks depict!!..
  • The tear marks are clearly visible from the attacked area, mainly if larger species among wolf spiders bite!!
  • However, it is not that dangerous when compared to that of a Black widow spiders or a Brown Recluse’s bite.
  • Blisters around the affected area are rare.. but again, it all depends on the physical body type and their sensitivity towards spider bites.
  • Sometimes, you may notice lesions and tissue deaths due to which you may feel numb.If so, there are chances of wrong identification of spiders. Seek medical attention immediately , if it happens so!!!..
  • Have a look at the below wolf spider bites pictures.
wolf spider bite

Credits: Andrew Hoffman

What Are Wolf Spiders Bite Symptoms?

Let us have a look at some of the symptoms of a wolf spiders bite.

  • Firstly don’t panic and just observe the affected area.
  • A wolf spider bite is generally painful and itchy with vigorous reddish color around the affected part.
  • It can cause allergic reactions and even lead to swelling of Lymph, thyroid glands and even Necrosis around the skin in extreme cases.
  • The sharp needle-like fangs can cause alarming pain and the pain generally last up to 2 to 5 days. However, in extreme cases, it can persist even up to 10 days.
  • When not treated immediately, it leads to dizziness, Nausea, Fever, and chills. So the first immediate action to be taken is to visit the nearest clinic and consult your doctor.
  • Let’s check the wolf spider bites pictures.
Wolf Spider bite

Credits: David

How To Kill or Get Rid of Wolf Spiders, If You Encounter One?

Here I listed the 5 best ways to kill or get rid of wolf spiders. Follow any one of the below methods and get rid of those poisonous spiders.

1. Set a wolf spider trap!

Setting a trap for wolf spiders are a great way to kill and get rid of spiders. It is one of the easily available methods, as they involve making of simple card papers or floorboards. Place them on the floor applied with some pesticide. They work the best for wanderers like wolf spiders which move primarily on land.

2. Getting a dog or a cat to do the action!

Believe me.. after a lot of research I am writing this. Cases reveal that a dog or cat can actually threaten even large spiders, as anything moving on the ground is a game for them. Among them, the dogs can actually hunt better than cats.

3. Pesticides for your rescue!

There are pesticides which actually kills or gets rid of wolf spiders coming into your dwelling place. e. Just have a look and make sure that these do not come in contact with your skin or eyes and also keep it out of reach from the children. It is because they involve direct spraying from the containers.

A.EcoPCO-ACU insecticides.


  • Kills the Following Crawling Insects On Contact Only: fire ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, German & American cockroaches, cat fleas, cellar spiders, wolf spiders, brown dog ticks, European earwigs, carpet beetle larvae, field crickets, pantry pests, nuisance ants, centipedes, millipedes, silverfish, pillbugs & sow bugs
  • Kills the Following Flying Insects On Contact Only: house flies, southern house mosquitoes & lady beetles
  • Fast knockdown/kill
  • No bait contamination
  • Ideal alternative for pyrethrum aerosols.

B. Ultrasonic Rodent killer


  • WHAT PESTS WILL IT REPEL AWAY? – It’s mainly designed as a repellent for rodents, spiders, mice, cockroaches, rats, insects, ants & spiders. However, many customers have reported amazing results with water bugs, earwigs, crickets, fleas, ticks, scorpions, silverfish, centipedes, mites, bed bugs, bats, squirrels & raccoons!.
  • SAFEST PEST CONTROL SOLUTION – Unlike expensive pest control services that cost thousands of dollars, messy mouse traps or toxic poison sprays that are harmful to pets – this eco-friendly solution permanently puts an end to your pest removal problems. Its 100% safe around your pets & kids.

4. Maintain your surroundings and home as clean as possible!

Now this is one of the very important aspects to get rid of wolf spiders greatly. Clean your surroundings regularly and trim the grasses, bushes and hedges to prevent wolf spiders to just make a living space. Avoid using attractive and bright lamps in the outdoors of your homes to prevent insects creeping in, as it attracts wolf spiders greatly!

Replace the CFL’s with sodium and yellow lamps as they attract comparatively fewer insects. Remove the rocks, wood logs or piles.. as they can create a warm and suitable places for wolf spiders to dwell in.

5. Seal the patches!

  • Sealing the cracks is an important method to be followed. Just go to your home and have a look at all the walls and screens.
  • Replace the broken window panes and screens to prevent cracks and holes which prevent spiders to creep through.
  • Use weather stripping to doors to prevent wolf spiders to just sneak through inside.
  • Recondition your walls which have holes or cracks by applying cement and close the gaps and holes.

Wolf Spider Bite Treatment

Wolf spiders bite can be effectively and easily treated at home in normal conditions. Some of them are as follows.

  • Wash and clean the wound with an antiseptic solution or soaps.
  • Just move the affected part of your body mildly so that swelling can be prevented and it also encourages blood circulation.
  • Tie or wrap a clean cloth around the wound tightly, so that the spider venom does not spread and affect the other parts.
  • Take pain killers to just have a temporary comfort. But it will not help you in a longer run. So the best thing to do is to visit your medical consultant immediately.
  • An ice cube wrapped in a cloth dipped in cold water can also be used as a compress, as it can provide you a soothing effect!
  • A snug or a pressure bandage can also be used to wrap it around the affected part.
  • A small amount of Plaster of Paris can be taken and mixed with water. Now apply it over the bite. It can greatly help you to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • There is no requirement of Anti-venom injections in 90% of the cases. In case, the person bleeds heavily, then rush the victim to the nearest clinic and provide him with such anti-venom injections. They reduce the spreading of Antigens injected by the wolf spider.
  • Finally, do not discard the Culprit spider. Kill and save the spider which has bitten and identifies its nature and it bites so as to provide the suitable medications mentioned above.

The above-mentioned methods are not required every time for a spider bite. However, I have listed the methods for all the possibilities and extent of bite.

Some Common Wolf Spiders

Let us just have a look at some of the common wolf spiders and their natives!

Wolf Spiders in Texas

  • The most common wolf spider found in Texas is the “Rabid wolf spider”.
  • Rabid wolf spiders are generally big as things are usually big in Texas.
  • The males are smaller when compared to females but relatively attack faster than females.
  • They are generally confused with other spiders. These wolf spiders have two dark stripes over their body and they depend on their eyesight for hunting, unlike other spiders.
  • These texas spiders still cannot differentiate between your fingers and an insect.
  • One very important aspect is that they really contribute in controlling the insect and pest population.
  • These are really common in Texas, as they can be found near door hinges, backyards, rocks, and in between wooden logs.
  • They are commonly called “Backyard Bushcraft” due to their very common presence.

Carolina wolf spiders (Hogan Carolinensis)

  • These Carolina wolf spiders are large, huge and possess dark strips on their bodies with eight huge eyes of disproportionate sizes.
  • The Females dig holes or small burrows to lay their eggs and wrapped with a silk sac. The hole can be almost 8 to 9″  or 150-300 mm deep.
  • They are found to be almost “Nocturnal” as reported by the native people, as they are mostly found in night time rather than the day time. It is because these spiders are also dependent on their eye for hunting at night time.
  • These carry their egg sac enclosed with spiderlings on their back, whenever they move out for hunting.
  • These spiders may seem deadly, but they can just cause some itching or probably some allergy at the maximum, when you are bitten. But these spiders occasionally carry some venom, which can be removed once you are treated with medicines or injections.
  • So it is advisable that not to handle these Carolina spiders with bare hands.
  • These spiders have a capability of reflecting light. So just try out flashing a light on their eye level. You will observe that they reflect it on you!!

I hope you must have gained a lot of knowledge reading this article regarding wolf spiders bite, treatment, identification, getting rid of wolf spiders, and some common wolf spiders that you are bound to encounter. Meet you all with some articles ahead. Feel comfortable in feeding your comments.

About the author

Anantha Krishnan

Anantha Krishnan is a well known Consultant. He is trained in the Advanced Integrated Meta-Medicine & Meta-Healing, Relationships, Parenting, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Health issues, Diet and Nutrition.
His main goal is to make people understand the simplest of scientific things and provide valuable information about health to every members of the world through his writing.

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