Your basement is one of the favorite places for spiders to hide in your home.
And for solitary spiders like wolf spiders, your basement is where they want to be.
In this guide, you’ll find out how and why wolf spiders get inside the basement.
You’ll know the particular reasons that you might have never thought that attract wolf spiders.
And most importantly, you’ll learn how to get rid of wolf spiders in your basement without risking yourself to wolf spider bites.
How To Tell If A Spider In Your Basement Is A Wolf Spider?
Wolf spiders are dark brown; to a novice, they can look like venomous brown recluse spiders.
However, some elements in the wolf spider’s anatomy can help you tell it’s a wolf spider.
The first, which many people ignore, are the two big eyes in the middle of the wolf spider’s head.
Wolf spiders have eight legs and eight eyes. The center row at the wolf spider’s head has the biggest pair of eyes.
Another way to identify the wolf spider is by the size of its legs. The brown recluse spiders have long legs with a bend in the middle.
The wolf spider’s legs are shorter than the brown recluse spider’s. And wolf spiders are fatter than brown recluses.
There are also marked dark patches on the wolf spider’s head and abdomen, which are not present in the brown recluse spider.
Signs Of Wolf Spider Infestation In The Basement
There’s no sign of wolf spider infestation in the basement or elsewhere in your home, except for their physical sightings.
Unlike the other spiders that hide in the basement, such as the more dangerous spiders like the brown recluse and the black widow, the wolf spider doesn’t spin webs to hunt their prey.
Wolf spiders chase their prey or lurk in the dark and pounce on them.
That’s why wolf spiders hunt creepy crawlies like roaches and beetles more than they hunt flies.
And a female wolf spider doesn’t deposit her egg sacs in voids, gaps, cracks, and behind furniture.
Female wolf spiders carry the egg sac on their abdomen. They also carry the baby spiders on their abdomen for a couple of months till the babies are capable enough to hunt.
So, there’s no way you can tell there’s a wolf spider in the basement unless you physically see them.
Wolf spiders are nocturnal. They’ll remain hidden during the day.
So, chances are that you might not even notice a wolf spider in the basement during the day.
Wolf spiders will come out of hiding during the night. Wolf spiders hunt in the dark.
Despite being solitary creatures, the presence of one wolf spider can signify that there are more.
How Do Wolf Spiders get In The Basement?
The cracks and gaps on the walls, the gaps between the basement door and floor, and the basement vents are the entry points of a wolf spider.
Wolf spiders are efficient and fast crawlers. They can squeeze their bodies to crawl through gaps and cracks thinner than their bodies’ thickness.
What Attracts Wolf Spiders In The Basement?
The weather outdoors and insect infestation in your house draw the wolf spider inside basements and homes.
Outdoors, the wolf spiders hide in leaf litter, yard debris underneath rock and wood piles, and dense vegetation.
When the weather becomes too hot and dry during the summer, the wolf spiders can sneak inside the basement, looking for a milder place to hide.
Wolf spiders, like many other spider species, love the cluttered, dark corners of your home.
That’s why wolf spiders prefer places like the basement, garage, attic, store rooms, and other cluttered areas where there’s less human footfall to hide.
But there’s a catch.
Many homeowners have noticed wolf spiders in the storage section underneath their beds and inside their closets and wardrobes.
So, if the place is cluttered, receives less to no light, and has human footfalls, it’s a perfect hiding place for the wolf spider.
Where Wolf Spiders Hide In The Basement?
Wolf spider’s nest is in the wall voids, underneath the clutter, and inside cardboard boxes in your basement.
They’ll not hide in places like underneath basement sinks or in areas that are easily accessible to us humans.
They can also hide between the rear of the basement furniture and the wall where the space is tight.
So, any tight nook or corner, cluttered, dark spaces, and stuffed cardboard boxes can be a hiding place for most wolf spiders.
How To Get Rid Of Wolf Spiders In The Basement
A sticky trap is your best bet to eliminate the wolf spider problem in the basement and from your home.
Keep a few sticky traps at places like crawl spaces, along the baseboards, and near the hiding places to remove wolf spiders.
Glue boards, like the mouse glue boards, are also helpful in entrapping a hiding wolf spider.
There are traps like pheromone traps that are also available.
Pheromones are chemicals that bugs release. They’ve got a scent that the hunting spiders, like the wolf spiders, pick up to track and hunt other bugs.
These pheromone traps lure the spider out of hiding and make it step on the trap only to get stuck.
You’ll need to keep the traps near your basement in the evening and let them remain there the entire night.
Dispose of the sticky trap with the wolf spider stuck on it outside your property.
However, be careful. Don’t touch the wolf spider. It can bite.
So, it’ll be best to use a jar on the wolf spider and flip it over, so the spider gets inside the jar. Do not touch the wolf spider at any cost.
To repel spiders, use a spider repellent like peppermint oil spray in the nooks and corners of your basement and on the basement door and vents.
You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth and boric acid in those areas to keep the spiders out of the basement.
But do them after cleaning your basement, removing the clutter and cardboard boxes, and sealing the gaps and cracks on the basement walls and floors.
Cleaning, removing the clutter, and getting rid of other pests and insects in the basement are vital for wolf spider control.
You may also hire pest control experts if there are multiple wolf spiders in the basement.
Should You Kill Wolf Spiders?
Are wolf spiders dangerous? No, wolf spiders are harmless. They’re shy and avoid human contact.
A wolf spider’s first reaction on encountering a human or animal is to run away and hide.
Also, wolf spiders in the basement will hunt other insects and pests in your basement. That will lead to fewer insects in the basement.
Wolf spiders can bite. But their venom is milder (to the extent of being harmless) than more dangerous species like the black widows and brown recluse.
So, it doesn’t make any sense to kill wolf spiders. Instead, you should use the methods to prevent wolf spiders from entering your home and basement.
Wolf spiders’ bites are as painful as a bee sting. But a wolf spider bite will not trigger any adverse reactions in your body unless you’re allergic to bug bites.
However, you must eliminate wolf spiders in your home and property. It’s because it can lead to a wolf spider infestation.
To remove an infestation when there are multiple spiders, it’s always best to hire a pest control professional.
Wolf spiders enter the basement in search of prey and to hide when the weather outdoors becomes too hot, cold, or wet for them.
Most spiders, including wolf spiders, prefer cluttered and dark places. So, places like your basement and garage are their favorite go-to places to hide.
Using wolf spider traps like the sticky traps in your basement entraps the wolf spider by luring it out.
But you should also ensure that your outdoor area, like your yard or garden, doesn’t harbor wolf spiders.
And you should also make your house and basement unattractive to spiders by using spider repellants to keep wolf spiders out.
Preventing wolf spiders from entering your house and basement is the best way to control wolf spiders.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.