The Lovely Wolf Spider

large wolf spider
large wolf spider | Source

The Wolf Spider is a beautiful spider that can live in peace alongside humans while being a benefit to whatever home they live in. We have had many Wolf Spiders in or near our home and never once did we have a problem with them. We normally leave them alone and let them do their work of killing unwanted pests such as flies.

I have even caught and given flies to a young Wolfie. I remember the biggest one I ever saw landed right on my chest one night. My dog was acting like something was in or near my blankets that should not be and when i flipped the blanket over, a huge Wolfie leaped out and landed on my chest. I froze. I called dad and asked him to bring me a plastic gallon pickle jug. When he brought it to me i slowly and carefully put the mouth of the far over the spider. He never moved. once he was in the jar i slid a paper plate between myself and the jar mouth, then took him outside and released him. He was as big as my fist at least.

He could have bitten me...But he didn't. We have had many of these spiders in our home over the years and not once have we been bitten by one. Perhaps it is because we do not threaten them or cause them harm. they are a very beneficial spider, killing many unwanted and even dangerous insects.

Wolf Spiders have no problem taking out a Black Widow. We have quite a few of those nasty spiders under our trailer. I would gladly encourage Wolf Spiders to live and breed near my home, knowing they are capable of taking out the Black Widow and they are not aggressive towards humans if you leave them alone. I have seen videos of people holding them while they have babies clinging to their backs...yet they still didn't bite.

Wolf spiders can be as big as Tarantulas, or have long thing legs...they are gray or brown with black markings on them. They are often confused for a Brown Recluse.


As you can tell from the above photo, the Brown Recluse is brown and has a slight transparency to its legs. You will also note the shape of a violin upon its back. Wolf Spiders tend to be hairier and do not have the violin pattern on their backs. Brown Recluses have a nasty bite while the Wolf Spiders bite might be painful but is not dangerous. Another spider that is good to have around the house if you have Brown Recluses is the common jumping spider. Even against a bigger opponent, the jumping spider has the advantages, as they can jump and have great eyesight.

Two spiders you do not want around the home...the Black Widow and the Brown recluse, can be taken care of by two spiders you do want around the home...the Wolf Spider and the common jumping spider.

Comments 14 comments

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA

Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen one. I wonder which type of spider we do have.

Ghost32 5 years ago

We love our wolfies, too, and we've got a lot of them. I don't understand the common confusion between the wolf spider and the brown recluse, though. To us, they look nothing alike (except for having the usual 8 legs, of course).

Voted up and a bunch!

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

Barbara, there are at least 2000 species of Wolf Spider. try googling wolf spider images and see if you recognize any. and Ghost, i to do not see the resemblance...but folks who do not like spiders and choose not to get very close to one, might not realize how different they look.

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

oh yeah...thank you for the vote...glad you liked it.

Cyndi Barnier profile image

Cyndi Barnier 5 years ago from South Carolina

A definite vote up! I'm a big fan of the arachnid and glad to see you're writing about them. We have lots of Wolf Spiders here in SC and they can be quite large (and kind'a scary for those that are not fans). Many years ago I sat on the couch one day (I was very pregnant at the time) unbeknownst to me a mama Wolf had just had her babies inside the couch...I was surrounded!!! The old wives tale...something scares you when you're pregnant your baby will come out looking like the thing that scared you! Well, obviously is isn't true as my daughter turned out to be beautiful...not looking anything at all like the hairy things crawling upon me & the couch. Thanks for the memories!

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

wow...that might have freaked me out just a little to suddenly have baby spiders swarming over me. glad to know you love them to. thank you for reading and for the vote up

ShalahChayilJOY profile image

ShalahChayilJOY 4 years ago from Billings, Montana

Thanks for the information on spiders. I hope I don't see any images in my sleep though. As big as your fist? I could have used some of those wolfies when I lived in a trailer I did not know was infested with widows until I saw first one hanging down from the ceiling over the kitchen sink, then another hanging over the bathroom sink. When the landlord got an exterminator the space under it was filled with widows. I guess I can just thank God my son and I and our dogs were never bitten though there were literally hundreds, no joke, under that trailer!

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

hi Shalahchay, i know how oyu feel about them blackies...yet one day i discovered a large black widow between a dresser and the head of my bed. i could not get to her. she was there til we moved out and never once came onto my bed or attempted to "interact" with me. i guess so long as i left her alone she was willing to leave me alone. however i most certainly hope i never have to crawl under our trailer as like you we have way to many under there. i just thank GOD they stay under there. have a wonderful night and thank you for coming to read and comment on my hub.

jpeck20 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. My son is 8 and has been making wolf spiders his friends for a few years now. He has not once been bitten despite them being manhandled. I have to say my son is great with them though. He has clear vials he puts them in and feeds them flies or crickets. Most people look at me as an irresponsible parent for letting him play with these creatures but I don't find the harm in him learning to nurture nature.

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

hi is never to early to teach our children to nurture nature. as long as YOU know your child and that the "nature" is not dangerous. thank you for coming by and reading and commenting. have a great day.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Wolf spiders are more common in the South. I had an experience with some when I had only lived in Texas for a year. I lived in a downstairs apartment right next to a pasture full of horses. My apartment was infested with wolf spiders of all sizes, from dime size all the way up to what must have been the grandmama of them all -- bigger than a dinner plate. Yes, and even when my husband threw his steel toed work boots at it an hit it with both, it was only stunned because of its hard exoskeleton. Now I wish I'd taken a picture.

Lying on an ordinary household dustpan, the body of the spider was bigger than many large field mice, and the legs hung off the dustpan about 3 inches. I still cringe when I think about it because I unknowingly walked barefoot past it several times before my husband got home that day, my foot getting as close as 1/2 inch every time.

You are correct in that wolf spiders are useful spiders and kill lots of less pleasant insects and when they're big enough, will no doubt kill mice too. While they usually don't bite, their bite will often cause necrosis. Any creature will defend itself if threatened.

I don't object to the ones that get no bigger than 2.5 inches or so across, but bigger than that and I have to draw the line. The bigger ones usually live outdoors in the pastures and fields, but sometimes we encroach on their territory, and like many other creatures, they are bound to explore or make use of the space they have left as best they can.

Voted up, useful, and interesting. Will share.

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

wow Au Fait....i think your spider wins over mine in size, lol. i can see how it might freak one out...especially if they had ever watched the movie Arachnophobia. that was a creepy movie, lol...had big ol spiders that didn't die easily. i never knew the wolf spiders bite could cause necrosis...learn something new every day. i though the brown recluse causes necrosis.

any, thank you much for stopping by and reading, commenting, voting and sharing. have a lovely day.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Necrosis is rare with wolf spiders, but does happen occasionally. I don't want anyone to think it's a forgone conclusion that a wolf spider bite will cause necrosis. It probably won't, but there is the rare possibility. Only a couple of cases have been documented. Most of the time wolf spiders are useful spiders as tlmcgaa70 has pointed out in this hub. I actually like them so long as they don't get so big they cause nightmares!

tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

ahhh, i see now, thank you for clearing that up...and as much as i like them to, i prefer them to stay under a giant size lol.

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