Wolf Spiders in Iowa
Wolf spiders are active hunters and cause the greatest concern when encountered in homes. These spiders have excellent vision, allowing them to see humans approaching them, at which point, they flee. Many wolf spiders are nocturnal and use a reflective structure to maximize vision at night. Shining a flashlight at ground level will often allow one to see the green eyeshine on this spider reflected from 10-30 feet away, depending on the spider’s size. They are rarely pests, but they sometimes wander into houses, where their large size often frightens homeowners.
Wolf Spider Habitat
Wolf spiders are active hunters that patrol the ground for insects, small spiders, and similar prey. They do not use webs to capture prey and actively hunt in the open during the day and night, often living by the thousands in leaf litter and grassy areas. Some wolf spiders build small burrows and defend a territory, others are free-roaming. Because they are so numerous, and such voracious predators, wolf spiders are a very important part of any ecosystem in which they occur. Female spiders may sometimes be seen with their young riding on their backs until they are independent enough to go off on their own.
Wolf Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers
Wolf spiders can bite, but their bites are extremely rare. While they may be fast and aggressive when hunting their insect prey, they don’t usually bite people unless they are provoked or mishandled. A wolf spider bite may be painful, but it is not generally dangerous to healthy adults. However, sensitive individuals such as children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems may have some form of negative reaction. If you are dealing with wolf spiders on your property, contact your local spider exterminators.