Do Wolf Spiders Bite? Are they Poisonous?
Our fully inclusive guide on the scarily named “wolf spider”, their bite, and whether or not they are poisonous.
Arachnophobia is RIFE in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from it all over the country. That number is even bigger when you look at the world. But what is it about spiders that we don’t particularly like?
Today, we’re going to be zoning in on one spider in particular, the scarily named Wolf Spider. Now, the wolf spider is less talked about than, say the brown recluse or the black widow, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be watching out for it any less. Do they bite, like their name suggests, and if so, is that bite poisonous?
Read on for our fully inclusive guide on the wolf spider in which you will find out whether or not they bite, and if so, if that bite is poisonous.
What is a Wolf Spider?
First things first, we’re going to be taking a little look at the wolf spider itself.
The wolf spider is one of the most commonly found spiders, despite the fact you may not have heard this name before. The wolf spider hunts entirely alone, and in that hunt, is not required to spin a web.
There are actually more than one hundred and twenty five different species of wolf spider that have been identified up to now:
- They are also known as “ground spiders”.
- They tend to go hunting in the night – time especially.
- When it comes to hunting and biting, the two things surprisingly don’t coincide.
- However, if they are attacked or disturbed during the course of the hunt, they will bite their disturber.
In their attack of defence, they can be very quick. If you think you’ve been bitten by the wolf spider and have an allergic reaction, you should always be sure to seek medical advice.
How Can I Identify a Wolf Spider?
Identifying the wolf spider can be a little tricky, as it looks pretty similar to other kinds of spiders on the surface.
However, there are some different things you can watch out for which will help you distinguish whether or not it’s a wolf spider you’re dealing with. We’re going to list these just below.
Their Physical Appearance
The first thing you might notice if you look at a wolf spider closely, is that their body parts, eyes, and even their colour is different to their web – spinning counter parts.
Wolf spiders, like the rest of their arachnid family, have eight legs. They are laid out slightly differently, however, with two legs being on the front part, four on the sides, then two at the back.
Looking at these traits will help you to define whether or not it’s a wolf spider you are dealing with.
Tarsal Claws, and Carrying Spiderlings
Tarsal claws are one of the key elements which will help you to define whether or not it’s a wolf spider you’ve come into contact with. They have three claws at the end of each segment, whereas other spiders actually tend to have more.
The female wolf spider will actually carry spiderlings on her back, so this is another distinguishing feature to watch out for.
They Have Hairs on their Abdomen
The wolf spider has hairs on its’ abdominal region, which makes them pretty unique as other spiders do not tend to have this as a feature.
Their Chosen Habitat
Whereas the vast majority of spiders will spin their webs in their chosen spot, the wolf spiders does not spin webs at all.
Instead, these spiders tend to live in cracks and crevices, and during seasons of heavy rain they’ll even make their own space and hide within the burrows they’ve created.
Do Wolf Spiders Bite? If so, is their Bite Poisonous?
Okay, so now we’re getting to the important stuff. Do wolf spiders actually bite, and if so, is that bite poisonous?
The answer to the former part of the question is yes, wolf spiders do indeed bite. Their bites are painful, but do not tend to be dangerous, and are identifiable as they present themselves in the form of small, red dots.
It’s highly unlikely to suffer a great deal at the hands of a wolf spider bite. The exception to this would occur if you happened to be unfortunate enough to be allergic to their venom.
In biting you, the wolf spider will create two pin pricks in the skin. The bite, although known as being venomous, is not considered to be dangerous to humans.
What Does the Bite of a Wolf Spider Look Like?
Many people identify the creature they’ve come into contact with based on the mark they leave. So what does the bite of a wolf spider actually look like?
The first thing you’re likely to notice, is that the area of the bite will become quite red. Following this, some swelling usually begins to occur.
The pain of a wolf spider bite is known as being rather intense, which makes it easier to distinguish from other types of pain. This can last as long as up to fifteen days after you have been bitten.
Once you have been bitten by the wolf spider, the area will eventually go a dark colour. These bites are prone to becoming infected, which can cause some other complications along the way.
In the case of being bitten by a wolf spider, you should be sure to treat the affected area properly.
What Symptoms Might I Experience if I’m Bitten by a Wolf Spider?
If bitten by a wolf spider, it’s important you know what symptoms you could experience.
Many of these symptoms can actually be seen on your skin, so it’s important to know what to watch out for.
Some of the symptoms of being bitten by a wolf spider are as following:
- A large amount of intense pain.
- Itchiness and swelling in the affected area.
- The colour of your skin changing and becoming red.
- Further itching.
- In some cases, people will experience nausea and even vomiting.
- Feelings of dizziness.
- Your pulse rate increasing rapidly.
- The swelling of your lymph glands.
In some cases, the bitten area may begin to appear dark, and in some scenarios as we mentioned earlier, the bite may become infected which can then lead to further complications down the line.
In order to ensure you treat the bite correctly, we would always recommend seeking professional advice.
What are the Stages of Being Bitten by a Wolf Spider?
Last of all, but by absolutely no means least, we are going to be taking a look at what the different stages of being bitten by a wolf spider are actually like.
Remember, that wolf spiders will only bite you if they are provoked first. Their bite comes in an act of self – defence, and if left alone undisturbed, the wolf spider is completely harmless. So our advice would be to leave well alone!
Once you have been bitten by the spider, the effects will begin to appear, and will spread through various stages. Following this, you’ll begin to see more of the symptoms we mentioned just above.
Immediately after being bitten, the affected area will usually become red and swollen. Following this, the area may begin to turn black, and your lymph nodes could also begin to swell.
After this, you will start to feel the pain. The pain is fairly bad, and comes out in the form of intense itching, which can actually turn into a formation of blisters. In some cases, these blisters can actually burst and turn into ulcers. Yep, it’s about as pleasant as it sounds, and you should always seek medical attention at this point to nip the symptoms in the bud before they worsen.
If you get to this stage and fail to seek the right medical attention, you run the risk of the ulcers becoming worse. This stage can lead to feelings of nausea, and for some people, they can actually vomit.
In not seeking the proper medical advice, you then run the risk of further health complications. In some severe cases, there is a possibility that the formation of the red blood cells within your body will be interfered with in a negative capacity. This can lead to symptoms such as chills and a fever, and for those with severe allergic reactions, this can lead to a fatality.
Our advice? Although not dangerous to the vast majority of people, it’s no bad idea to avoid the wolf spider. If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you! They hunt primarily at night, when you’re asleep, and won’t leave webs around your home. Through the day they’ll just hide out in their chosen cracks and crevices. Easy!
However, if you are wanting to get rid of the wolf spider from your home, we would recommend calling in a pest professional. It’s best not to risk getting bitten.
Thanks for reading!
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