Have you ever tried to swat a big, hairy spider, only to seedozens of little spiders go scurrying around the floor? It was probably a female wolf spider, who carries her newborns on her back. This is just one of several fascinating, yet freaky facts you should know about wolf spiders. They live all over the world, so chances are you may encounter one—or dozens!—in your home someday.

What Do Wolf Spiders Look Like?

Wolf spiders have a distinct, frightening appearance. These hairy,eight-legged arachnidshave a sturdy build, and femalescan be up to 35 millimeters in length. Due to their brown, black, orange, and gray coloring, they camouflage themselves easily outdoors. They have eight eyes, two of which are extremely large, and a set of giant fangs that inject venom into their prey.

Hunting Habits Of Wolf Spiders

Unlike other species of spiders, wolf spiders do not build webs. Like the mammal that gives them their name, they hunt their prey, usually stalking it in the dark with help from their excellent night vision. These athletic spiders are speedy enough that they can chase down their dinner, but they can also ambush it from a strategic hiding spot. Once they pounce, they will trap their prey in their legs and then roll over onto their backs to inject venom before they feast.While this family of spidersmostly eat insects and other spiders, some females are large enough to eat vertebrates such as amphibians and reptiles.

Wolf Spider Habitat

Wolf spiders live all over the world, including near your home. In residential areas, these ground-dwellers often live in burrows and hang around underneath piles of leaves, stacks of firewood, stones, and other debris. They will occasionally come inside houses to hunt or shelter, and once inside, they may decide to stay. Typically they are found near windows and doors, or in basements and garages, often hiding beneath furniture or other objects stored on the floor. Because of their aggressive hunting techniques, you will likely notice a wolf spider infestation when you see them scurrying across the floor in pursuit of their dinner.

Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous?

In general wolf spiders prefer to flee rather than attack humans, but they will bite when threatened or handled. Fortunately they aren’t venomous spiders, but the site of the bite can become red and inflamed. So while they are not dangerous, they are a nuisance—and a scary one at that. Mother wolf spiders carry their egg sacs with them, attached to their spinnerets—if separated from the sac, they become more aggressive as they search for it. And, as mentioned before, new mothers carry their babies on their back—if you attempt to capture or squash a new wolf spider mother, you may end up scattering her babies all over your house.

How To Get Rid Of Wolf Spiders

If you have spotted wolf spiders in your home, contact McCarthy Pest and Termite Control today. With our six-point inspection process, we will determine the best course of action for exterminating them from your home and protecting it against future invasions.