Wolf spiders are often seen roaming in homes, raising concerns about whether they pose a threat to people sleeping in their beds. These hairy arachnids can measure from 1/2 inch to 2 inches long and sport various markings or lines in shades of brown, grey, or black OSU Extension Service.
These creatures typically reside in the great outdoors, but may sometimes wander indoors in search of warmth and shelter, particularly before winter hits Home & Garden Information Center. While their appearance may be intimidating, wolf spiders are not known to cause significant harm to humans, and their presence in a home does not indicate an infestation.
Understanding Wolf Spiders
Habitats and Adaptations
Wolf spiders are adaptable arachnids that can inhabit various environments, such as grasslands and deserts. Some examples of adaptations include:
- Nocturnal behavior, enabling them to hunt under the cover of darkness and avoid extreme temperatures
- Excellent eyesight to locate prey and avoid predators
Hunting and Prey
These spiders rely on their powerful physical abilities to catch prey, as opposed to web trapping. Key hunting features include:
- Ability to jump, allowing them to target and capture prey efficiently
- Preference for insects as prey, including crickets and ants
Wolf spiders exhibit distinctive physical characteristics, such as:
- Body length ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches 1
- Hairy appearance and brown to gray coloration, often with various markings or lines 1
Comparison between wolf spiders and other spiders:
|1/2 inch to 2 inches long 1
|No web trapping, hunt on the ground
|Some use webs to capture prey
|Jumping, powerful legs
Wolf Spiders and Human Interaction
Wolf Spider Bites and Symptoms
Wolf spiders can bite if mishandled or trapped next to the skin1. A bite from a wolf spider typically results in:
- Initial pain
- Potential localized swelling1
Potential Threats to Humans
Although wolf spiders are not considered poisonous, they pose some potential risks to humans2, such as:
- Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the venom.
- Fear and anxiety: People with arachnophobia may experience increased stress around wolf spiders.
|Severity of Bite Symptoms
|Dangerous to Humans
|Other Household Spiders (e.g. Black Widow)
|Moderate to Severe
It’s important to remember that wolf spiders are more afraid of humans than we are of them. They are unlikely to climb into beds or seek close contact with humans. Keep a respectful distance, and the likelihood of an interaction resulting in a bite is minimal.
Presence of Wolf Spiders in Homes
Wolf spiders are commonly found in various environments, including homes. They are usually attracted by:
- Food: An abundance of insects and other small creatures in or around the house.
- Shelter: Gaps or crevices that offer hiding spots and protection.
It is important to keep homes clean and seal any entry points to minimize their presence indoors.
Common Hiding Places
These spiders tend to hide in different places within a house, such as:
- Basements: Moist or damp areas, especially near walls.
- Corners: Quiet and undisturbed corners, both high and low.
- Window/Door Frames: They may enter through windows and doors, especially if there are gaps or weak screens.
While it’s rare for wolf spiders to climb into beds, they could potentially do so when seeking shelter or food. It’s crucial to address any possible infestations to minimize the likelihood of these spiders climbing into beds or other areas where people reside.
|Accessibility for Spiders
|Reduce moisture, seal gaps in walls or floors
|Regular cleaning and decluttering
|Medium to High
|Check window seals, screens, and door frames
Use these tips to minimize the presence of wolf spiders in your home and prevent them from accessing your bed or other living spaces. Remember, although their bites are not dangerous, it’s best to avoid direct contact and handle them cautiously.
Do Wolf Spiders Climb into Beds?
Reasons for Crawling into Beds
Wolf spiders may climb into beds for a few reasons:
- Searching for prey: Insects are often attracted to the warmth and shelter of beds.
- Comfort: Beds provide a darker and cozier environment for wolf spiders to rest.
Although wolf spiders are ground-dwelling and usually prefer burrows, they might still find their way onto your bed.
To prevent wolf spiders from climbing into your bed or any other furniture, follow these measures:
- Keep your bedroom clean and clutter-free.
- Regularly vacuum floors and furniture, including underneath the bed.
- Seal exterior cracks and crevices to reduce hiding places.(source)
- Reduce other insects that serve as food for wolf spiders.
- Install tight-fitting door sweeps and screens in windows.
Pros of prevention measures:
- Decreases the likelihood of wolf spiders entering your bedroom.
- Creates a cleaner and healthier living space.
- Reduces other pests and insects.
Cons of prevention measures:
- Requires regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Might not guarantee complete elimination of wolf spiders.
In summary, while wolf spiders might occasionally crawl into beds, keeping a clean and clutter-free environment can help reduce their presence and give you a more peaceful night’s sleep.
Controlling and Reducing Wolf Spider Presence
To reduce the likelihood of wolf spiders climbing into your bed, take measures to control their presence within your home. Start by sealing exterior cracks and crevices to minimize hiding spots. Regularly vacuum both spiders and their webs to keep them under control. Maintain a clutter-free indoor and outdoor environment to remove potential habitats. Install tight-fitting door sweeps and screens in windows to prevent spider access.
Using natural repellents can be an effective way to keep wolf spiders out of your living spaces. Some options include:
- Keep food covered: Storing food in sealed containers reduces the number of insects in your home, which can attract wolf spiders searching for a meal.
- Adjust lighting: Change exterior lighting to sodium vapor bulbs, as they are less likely to attract insects that serve as food sources for wolf spiders.
- Introduce natural predators: Encourage ownorage_poplatory birds or other natural predators to your garden to help maintain a balance in the ecosystem and reduce the wolf spider population.
Professional Pest Control
In severe cases or continuous infestations, you may need to opt for professional pest control. Some methods of dealing with wolf spiders are:
- Insecticide barriers: Apply insecticides around the exterior perimeter of your home, along with entry points, to create a barrier against infiltrating wolf spiders.
- Insect traps: Set up traps for the insects that wolf spiders prey on, thus reducing the food source and making your home less appealing to them.
- Expert assistance: Consult a pest control professional to assess the infestation and recommend the most effective treatment plan.
In conclusion, taking preventive measures and focusing on non-chemical control options can help you maintain a wolf spider-free environment and avoid waking up with unwanted nighttime visitors in your bed.
Benefits of Wolf Spiders
Wolf spiders, an abundant spider family found in various environments from grasslands to forests, are often misunderstood creatures. Despite their intimidating name and appearance, these spiders offer several benefits, mainly due to their predatory nature.
Predators: Wolf spiders act as effective natural predators for insects and other arthropods, which helps in controlling pests in gardens and farmlands. Their hunting strategies include stalking and ambushing their prey, without needing webs.
Beneficial: The presence of wolf spiders in your environment can be advantageous by reducing the population of pests, such as flies, mosquitoes, and various plant-eating insects. This, in turn, contributes to a healthy ecosystem and supports plant growth.
Pests: Although some people might regard wolf spiders as pests due to their occasional indoor presence, they are not harmful to humans and pets. Their bites, though they cause some pain and redness, do not lead to severe medical consequences and typically subside within 24 hours1.
In conclusion, while it’s normal to feel uneasy about wolf spiders, these creatures play an essential role in maintaining balance in ecosystems. By being aware of their benefits, we can learn to appreciate their presence and understand their importance in nature.
Wolf spiders are known for their athleticism and hunting abilities, rather than web construction1. As such, it’s uncommon for them to climb or seek refuge in beds.
- Unlikely to be found in beds
- Rely on hunting, not webs
These spiders typically prefer undisturbed, calm environments3. Therefore, a bed with regular human activity is generally not an appealing habitat.
- Favor undisturbed areas
- Avoid human activity
However, like any spider, it’s not impossible for a wolf spider to occasionally find its way onto a bed. To minimize the likelihood, maintain a clean living space and remove any clutter where they might hide.
- Cleanliness is key
- Remove hiding spots
In summary, while it’s unlikely for wolf spiders to climb into beds, acknowledging their preferences and maintaining a tidy environment can further reduce risks.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Wolf Spider with Egg Sac
Large brown spider with blue pearl egg sack
March 31, 2010
Last weekend when the weather was hot and dry I decided to weed-whack all the tall weeds in the driveway. Upon completion of the task, my eye caught a blue pearl scooting along the cement. I quickly grabbed a camera and snapped 2 shots. The spider was a brownish color, appox 1.5″ dia (including leg span). A co-worker said it might be a brown recluse? Dude, I hope not!
This is a female Wolf Spider, and she is perfectly harmless.
Letter 2 – Wolf Spider and brood walk on water
Location: Adirondacks (NYS), swimming pool
June 27, 2011 7:30 am
I live at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate NY, and have several of these 2-4” leggy, brown spiders floating on my swimming pool. I think I saw one in the office of my house a few weeks ago.
My online research tells me they are Fisher Spiders, and are harmless.
I am attaching several photos. I believe these are females carrying eggs on their abdomens.
Appreciate your input.
Signature: Best wishes, Lori
You mistaking this Wolf Spider and her brood for a Fishing Spider is understandable, because they look similar. The behavior of carrying the spiderling brood on the abdomen is a characteristic of Wolf Spiders and not Fishing Spiders. Fishing Spiders are able to walk on water and dive beneath the surface to escape danger as well as to catch prey, however, they are not the only spiders that can walk on water. Wolf Spiders are also able to walk on water because of the way the spider’s weight is distributed over 8 points because of the 8 legs.
Ugh! I am not fond of any arachnids but strongly dislike Wolf Spiders … and sadly, I am in charge of the swimming pool!
Thanks for your note, Daniel ~
All the best,
Hi again Lori,
We feel we must lobby for the Wolf Spiders. They are harmless, and they exhibit such strong maternal care for their young. Surely they must have some features you can find redeeming.