Being terrified of spiders is a perfectly normal human response. Seeing one in your house can feel like an attack. It might even trigger your fight or flight response; you might feel moved to defend your castle against the eight-legged invader – squish now and ask questions later. But wait, hold on. If it’s a wolf spider in your house, there are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t squish it.
What Do Wolf Spiders Look Like?
Wolf spiders are one of the most common types of spider and you can find them inside or out. They’re mostly brown, with black markings on their legs and body. They have eight long legs and can vary in size quite a bit; adult wolf spiders can be about the size of a quarter, to several inches from leg to leg.
Wolf spiders don’t spin webs, so if it’s in a web you know it’s not a wolf spider. They spend most of their time in hiding, but come out when they’re hungry.
Benefits of Wolf Spiders in the Home
Which would you rather have in your home? A timid wolf spider that just wants to hunt for food and keep to itself, or an obnoxious fly that buzzes around everywhere and gets in your face? When you squish a wolf spider, you’re choosing the fly.
Wolf spiders eat flies and anything else they can run down – pests that have no beneficial purpose in your home. They eat ants, fleas, earwigs, even bed bugs. Outdoors, large wolf spiders will even kill and eat insects and small birds. In your home, the wolf spider is like a tiny little exterminator that patrols your home doing a bit of pest control every day. Now, a wolf spider won’t control an all-out pest infestation – you’ll need a regular-size exterminator to help with that – but it’s good to know the wolf spider is on your side.
Wolf spiders are almost never aggressive with humans. When you see a wolf spider in your home, you can be sure that it is far more scared of you than you are of it. If you do get bit, it may hurt a bit like getting a shot. But wolf spiders are not venomous. Wash the area with warm soapy water and you should be fine in a few days.
Babies on Board – Wolf Spiderlings
Another excellent reason not to squash a wolf spider is that it may be carrying baby wolf spiders (spiderlings). When wolf spider eggs hatch, the spiderlings climb on the mother’s back and she carries them until they’re large enough to hunt for themselves.
If you squish a wolf spider that’s carrying her young, you may inadvertently send dozens of her babies into different cracks and crevices of your home. Counterintuitively, this may create more of a spider infestation in your home than if you had left it alone. This is because only a few of her young would typically survive to adulthood when the brood is left to develop naturally. When they split off, many more may.
Be Sure It’s a Wolf Spider
Before you decide to leave a wolf spider alone, make sure you’re sure it’s a wolf spider. It can be easy to mistake a wolf spider for a much more dangerous spider like a brown recluse or a black widow. By all means, if you see a brown recluse or black widow in your house, squash it with a shoe or spray it with some insecticide. Their bites are extremely painful and venomous and you don’t want them lingering around.
How to Prevent Wolf Spiders in Your House
Wolf spiders don’t intentionally come into your house. They’re hunters, and they follow the food. That’s why the best way to prevent wolf spiders in your house is to prevent other pests in your house. If you remove the food source, the wolf spiders won’t come inside. Or the ones that do come inside will quickly starve.
Pest prevention is an entirely different conversation, and one we’d be happy to have with you. Some basic principles include keeping your home neat and tidy, not leaving food out, and sealing cracks so they can’t enter in the first place – but there’s so much more to it than that. Each house offers its own unique pest control challenges, and at Springer Professional Home Services we take pride in our ability to solve them.
Give us a call today to chat with one of our experts or get a quote on spider extermination services.
Preventing House Spiders
All of that being said, it’s perfectly reasonable if you don’t want to share your home with a colony of spiders, harmless as they may be. Luckily there are a few easy steps you can take to make your space inhospitable to spiders and other pests.
- Keep the outside of your home clear of things like firewood, debris, shrubs and vines. These are all places where spiders like to gather, and if they’re touching your home, it gives them easy access to get inside.
- Seal any cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home with caulk or weatherstripping.
- Keep your house clean with regular sweeping and vacuuming, which will help to remove spider webs, eggs, and insects that spiders feed on. This creates a space that’s less appealing for pests in general, which includes house spiders.
Effective and Eco-Friendly Spider Removal in Central Iowa
If you’ve done everything right and still find yourself constantly combating house spiders, it might be time to bring in the professionals. At Springer Professional Home Services, we’ve been providing the highest standards of pest removal services since we were founded in 1989. But unlike our competition, we work with the state of the environment in mind and consciously choose to utilize integrated pest management principles. That’s why when you work with us, you’re not only making the best choice for your home – you’re making the best choice for the ecosystem of your community. That’s the Springer promise for homes in and around Des Moines. Contact us today to learn more!
Why You Shouldn’t Squish Wolf Spiders in Your House in Des Moines
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