Insect Hunter with Eight Eyes
The Wolf Spider is one of our more common spiders here in Nashville, Tennessee. Their name is appropriate as they are very adept hunters and run down their prey, rather than spinning webs to capture them. Most of the time you will only spot one; alone scurrying through the house on the prowl as a sole hunter. So, they do not hunt as a pack, like wolves, but they are efficient predators at stalking, killing and eating other prey insects similar to a wolf.
Wolf Spiders are often feared when spotted due to their size and speed. Most common species we see range in size from very small up to 2” in diameter when splayed out with legs extended. However there are species of the Wolf Spider called the Hogna Carolinensis that can grow to more than twice this size. The Wolf Spider we most commonly see is brown or grey in color with lighter shades of grey on the bottom side of their bodies. They have stripes on the top sides of their bodies that run lengthwise and appear hairy or fuzzy with hairs that line their bodies and down their legs. These hairs give them a very strong sense of feel along with hooks on the end of their legs that help them cling to surfaces and aid in hunting. Another identifying characteristic, if you happen to get close enough, is the fact that they have eight eyes. This multitude of eyes are in a pattern of four smaller eyes on the bottom, two large eyes on the top and two small eyes on the side. As you can imagine, with so many eyes looking in every possible direction, they have very good eyesight which aids in their ability to hunt effectively. Another characteristic of the Wolf Spider is that rather than laying egg sacs for their young to develop and hatch in a particular spot, they carry their young. The female will carry the egg sac on the underneath of her abdomen until they hatch. Then the tiny spiders will hang on underneath her for up to two weeks, until they are large enough to survive on their own. That is why many have been scared, stepped on a Wolf Spider, only to see dozens of small spiders emerge and scurry off (surprise!).
The color, body type, eyesight and speed are meant to help them in their natural habitat. The Wolf Spider typically lives outdoors in amongst woodpiles, brush, areas of mulch and fallen leaves. This is where they live, breed and hunt without the use of a web. The Wolf Spider will stalk, attack, and eat other insects strictly on their legs and naturally created qualities to help them survive without the use of a trap or web. The problem for most humans is that just like many insects, they find their way into our homes through cracks and crevices. Inside the house they have free reign to hunt down any other insect that has also invaded our home. It actually makes it a little easier, since many of our floors, countertops and furniture are clean surfaces making it very easy for them to use their keen eyesight to spot, hunt and kill. This can actually help us, as they feed on Cockroaches, House Flies, Black Widows and even Brown Recluse. So, if you can stand to see this intimidating spider lurking in your home, it can actually be a natural pest control against more dangerous and venomous spiders and disease carrying roaches.
Wolf Spiders only bite out of self defense, are not aggressive and try to avoid us. However they can become a Nashville Pest Control issue if populations are not kept in check. So, if you have an abundance of these night hunters prowling your home, give Certified Pest Control a call. Our Local family is happy to give a free quote to properly diagnose and implement our year round pest protection program. Choose Local – Choose Certified Pest Control.