Wolf spiders are scary-looking spiders that sneak inside houses looking for food and shelter.
These spiders don’t pose much of a threat to humans and pets. But not preventing wolf spiders in the house can cause a wolf spider infestation.
In this guide, you’ll find out how to keep wolf spiders out of your house.
You’ll find out the entry points that wolf spiders use to sneak inside homes. This guide also reveals the natural ways to get rid of wolf spiders in the house.
And a lot more. Keep reading.
Wolf Spiders Identification
Wolf spiders are dark brown with shades of black on the upper edges of their abdomen and at the back of their heads.
The female wolf spiders grow up to 2 inches in size. The male wolf spiders are shorter, and they grow only up to 1/5th of an inch.
The biggest wolf spider in the US is the Hogna Carolinensis. It’s also known as the Carolina wolf spider. And you’ll find it in South Carolina.
Wolf spiders have shorter legs than other venomous spiders, like the brown recluse and black widows. They’ve got eight legs and eight eyes.
Two eyes are at the top of their heads, two large eyes at the middle, and four tiny eyes at the bottom of their head.
Short legs and round bodies make wolf spiders fast crawlers. These spiders can crawl as fast as 2-3 feet per second.
Wolf spiders don’t build any webs to catch their prey. They lurk and pounce on their prey or chase them to hunt them.
They got their names as wolf spiders because of their ability to hunt like wolves. But wolf spiders are solitary creatures and don’t live in packs.
Another interesting feature about wolf spiders is the way they rear their eggs.
Wolf spiders don’t deposit their egg sacs in tight corners or underneath wood and rocks like the female spider of other spider species do.
The female wolf spider will carry the egg sac on the spinnerets at the end of its abdomen. She carries the egg sac until the eggs hatch, and the baby spiders come out.
Wolf spiders can resemble tarantulas and brown recluse spiders because of their similarity in color and shape.
However, wolf spiders are smaller than tarantulas and bigger than brown recluses.
The black patches on the back distinguish them from the other spiders, like the brown recluse spiders.
Where Do Wolf Spiders Live In The Outdoors
In nature and your yard or garden, a wolf spider will hide in places like leaf litter, rocks, wood, and dense bushes.
Wolf spiders can also burrow holes in the soil and hide in there.
Wolf spiders prefer places where they can camouflage themselves.
These spiders are adaptive and live in diverse places like grasslands, meadows, deserts, dense forests, and wetlands.
Wolf spiders are nocturnal spiders. They’ll hide during the day and come out of hiding when to hunt and eat.
So, what makes wolf spiders get inside the house? Let’s find it out.
What Attracts Wolf Spiders In The House?
The presence of bugs and insects in the house attracts wolf spiders.
Another factor that can cause the wolf spider to sneak inside the home is the weather.
When the weather outdoors becomes too hot, wet, or cold, spiders can sneak homes looking for a temperate place to live.
Wolf spiders often sneak inside human homes while chasing prey or if they pick up the scents of bugs in your home.
Wolf Spiders Entry Points
The cracks in the walls, openings in the doors and windows, and open windows and doors are the common entry points for wolf spiders.
Wolf spiders can crawl through tight gaps and spaces. And they’ll not let go of any space that can let them enter inside a human home.
Where Do Wolf Spiders Hide Inside The House?
Wolf spiders will hide in places that you don’t visit often. Basements, crawl spaces, storage areas like a store room or attic, and cluttered places in your garage are the hiding places for wolf spiders.
Spiders love dark corners in cluttered areas. They hide there in those places during the day and come out at night when the lights are off.
How To Prevent Wolf Spiders In The House In 5 Steps
It’s easy to keep wolf spiders away from the house when you know why they enter your home and from where.
Here’s how you can prevent the creepy crawlies from entering your home –
Seal The Gaps And Cracks
Wolf spiders are efficient and fast crawlers. They can also squeeze their bodies to sneak through tight gaps and spaces.
Therefore, sealing the gaps and cracks in the walls, doors, and windows is essential to keep spiders and bugs from sneaking inside the home.
Also, the vents in the attic and bathroom and the entry holes of utility wires allow wolf spiders to get inside the house and hide.
Caulking those gaps and using screens to cover the big vents will prevent wolf spiders from getting inside the house.
Boric acid and peppermint oil spray repel spiders. So, sprinkling boric acid or peppermint spray in these places will also prevent wolf spiders.
Creating An Insecticide Granule Barrier Around The House
Most spiders avoid the insecticide granules that people use along their home’s perimeter to keep spiders and pests away from the house.
These insecticide granules are chemicals that kill bugs and keep them from invading the house.
Create the barrier by digging a 12-inch wide and one-inch deep ditch along the home’s exterior walls. And scatter the insecticide granule barrier in the ditch.
Sprinkle water on the granule and cover the ditch with the soil. The granules will sink inside the soil.
It’ll prevent the wolf spiders from burrowing themselves near the house and hence prevent them from sneaking inside the home.
Clean Your Home And Eliminate Clutter
The cluttered areas in your home are perfect hiding spots for wolf spiders. And clearing the clutter inside the house is vital for spider control.
So, get rid of the clutter in storage rooms, the basement, the garage, and the attic, which are the most common hiding places for spiders and insects.
Cardboard boxes filled with newspapers, clothes, and magazines are spiders’ favorite places to hide.
So, eliminate those cardboard boxes too.
Clean your basement and other dark spaces of your home that you don’t often visit with a vacuum cleaner.
Instead of regular light bulbs, use sodium vapor lights to brighten the basement and attic. Your regular light bulbs attract bugs, which in turn attract wolf spiders.
Also, use peppermint oil spray in these places to keep spiders away. Spiders hate the smell of peppermint, and it’s a good spider repellant.
Prevent Wolf Spiders From Nesting In Your Outdoors
Let’s face it. Wolf spider infestation in your yard is a precursor to wolf spiders in the house.
Wolf spiders prefer to hide in the yard debris and the dense bushes till prey and weather make them move inside your home.
So, keeping your yard clean and making it uninhabitable for them are essential to keep wolf spiders away from the house.
Begin with removing the redundant bushes and vegetation. These places are hiding spots for wolf spiders and many biting bugs.
Remove yard debris like foliage, rotting wood pieces, building materials, and other organic wastes. Also, ensure that trash doesn’t accumulate and decay in the trash bins.
Decaying wastes attract other insects. These insects attract their predators, which include wolf spiders.
Use Bug Repelling Light Bulbs
Light attracts flies and bugs. And these critters attract the wolf spider.
So, using bug-repelling light bulbs as outdoor lights will keep the prey of wolf spiders away. And that, in turn, will keep away the wolf spider from your property.
It’s the most underrated way of spider control. But many homeowners skip it.
Using the correct outdoor lighting significantly reduces spiders inside the house and on the property.
Wolf Spiders Control
By using natural pest control, you can get rid of wolf spiders in the house.
To control wolf spiders inside the house and to prevent a wolf spider infestation, you can lure the hiding wolf spiders out and entrap them.
Use Wolf Spider Traps
Spider traps play a significant role in spider control inside the house. And you’ll need to strategically place them in the dark corners of their hiding places.
So, keep the sticky traps, the mouse glue boards, or spider glue boards in places like the attic, basement, crawl spaces, garage, and in the storage section of the house.
When spiders walk on the traps, they get stuck.
Dispose of the wolf spider stuck in the traps with the help of a vacuum cleaner.
Use the vacuum cleaner to scoop the spider off the trap. Dispose of the dust bag with the spider outside your property.
Use Smells That Spiders Hate
Smells of peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus repel spiders. And using these smells is of great help in removing wolf spiders from the house.
You can use peppermint oil spray in the hiding places of wolf spiders to eliminate the wolf spider problem in your house.
These smells will also prevent the wolf spiders from entering your home.
Use Diatomaceous Earth Or Boric Acid
Both diatomaceous earth and boric acid are desiccants that kill many bugs and insects. These powders absorb the bodily fluids of the bugs and kill them by dehydrating them.
They don’t kill wolf spiders. However, they help keep spiders and bugs away.
Diatomaceous earth has got sharp particles, which are known as diatoms. These diatoms can puncture the soft bodies of the spider’s exoskeleton.
Those punctures leak the bodily fluids of the spiders.
Sprinkle any of them in the hiding places or near the entry points. Spiders don’t like it when these desiccants stick to their bodies.
Use Indoor Plants That Keep Spiders Away
Plants like lavender, basil, lemongrass, and marigold keep spiders away. The smells from these plants are very irritating for the spiders.
Grow these plants in your yard, or keep them indoors to stop wolf spiders from entering the house.
Wolf Spider Bites
Wolf spiders, like all spiders, are shy. They avoid human contact.
But wolf spiders can bite humans and pets like dogs and cats. Wolf spiders won’t specifically chase humans and pets to bite.
But wolf spider bites can occur if the wolf spider feels threatened or cornered.
As wolf spiders are big, their bites are painful. The pain from wolf spider bites is as painful as a bee sting.
You can experience pain, swelling, and itching on the bitten wound.
There’s lot of misinformation that wolf spiders bite cause symptoms like the brown recluse spiders’ bite.
To soothe them, use an ice pack on the bitten area. Follow it up by using an anti-bug bite lotion.
People who’re allergic to bug bites can show signs of anaphylaxis.
Other symptoms of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing and hives on the bitten wound.
If you’re showing these reactions after the bite, seek medical attention asap.
Should You Kill A Wolf Spider?
A wolf spider doesn’t belong to aggressive spider species. So, we don’t recommend killing them.
However, the presence of one spider in the house can signify the presence of more spiders.
There are many spider sprays available to kill wolf spiders instantly. But getting these spiders out of your house and preventing them from entering your home is more humane than dealing with them.
Never squish a wolf spider. By doing so, you can make the infestation worse.
You can break the egg sac if you squish a female wolf spider. That will cause the baby wolf spiders to scatter inside the house and hide.
Trying to squish the wolf spider can also make the wolf spider bite you.
You can always hire a pest control professional to eliminate wolf spiders hiding inside the home.
Eliminating the entry points of spiders and making your outdoors uninhabitable for the spiders are keys to wolf spider control.
They keep wolf spiders out of your house and eliminate the chances of infestation.
This guide also has hacks that you can use to make your home unappealing for wolf spiders. These hacks include reducing clutter and using repellants to keep the wolf spiders away.
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.