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Are Wolf Spiders Venomous? Staying Away From Savage Spiders

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Wolf spiders hail from the spider family Lycosidae and they are dark-colored and athletic pests.

Wolf spiders have eight legs and eight eyes. They deal with prey caught in webs by aggressively hunting it down with help of their sharp eyesight, potent venom, and strong body.

Wolf spiders help to control pests in our surroundings. There is no need to fear them as they are harmless spiders. They do not bite you unless you provoke them. Their bite may cause pain, itchiness, swelling, and skin issues. The venom of wolf spiders is not very dangerous to humans. It is rare that they bite humans.

They are nocturnal animals who hunt prey alone. The black widow spider and the brown recluse spider are two other species of venomous spiders. If you confront a wolf spider it is better to leave it alone. It may bite you if you provoke it. You should consult a doctor if it bites you as its venom is potent. After reading all about spiders found in basements, do read about are jumping spiders poisonous and are orb weaver spiders poisonous?

Should I be afraid of wolf spiders?

Some people are afraid of spiders. Scientists are not sure whether the fear of spiders is hardwired into us. There are different types of spiders around us. Wolf spiders are one among them. There are 100 families and over 2,300 species of wolf spiders that are present in the world. Wolf spiders are occupying different habitats and regions of the United States.  The primary identification feature of a wolf spider is its hairy body.

Wolf spiders are harmless spiders and it is rare for wolf spiders to bite humans. They provide valuable pest control around our homes and yards as they eat pests and insects in our surroundings and thus help us with pest control. These athletic spiders are strong hunters. Wolf spiders do not even need to build webs in order to catch their prey. They are nocturnal animals who spend hours stalking their prey. There is no need to fear the wolf spider as it is harmless to humans. But you should not provoke these spiders.

If you come across a wolf spider, you may think that it is poisonous because of the way it looks and walks. The truth is that wolf spiders are not poisonous but they have venom stored for attacking their enemies. The venom of the wolf spider needs to be injected into the body before it causes any harm. If the wolf spider is provoked or scared, it will attack and you need to get the bite treated as soon as you can.

Why do wolf spiders have venom?

Wolf spiders have venom because they need to kill their prey that is hunted and successfully caught. This ensures that prey caught by the wolf spider does not get away and so that the wolf spider can enjoy a delicious meal. Wolf spider bites are generally not dangerous but you should take care as the venom can be potent.

These spiders do not bite unless they feel threatened. Bites of these spiders are normally not harmful to humans but spider bites can cause soreness, swelling, or red rashes as well as allergic reactions. Spider bites can sometimes create a bump on your skin that will hurt a lot. Generally, these harmless spider bites are not known for showing other symptoms. If spider bites are too potent, they may lead to some serious discomfort.

All spiders have venom to disable their prey. But the wolf spider bite is not considered medically important. If its venom was more potent, it would create a considerable wound and may even lead to various symptoms like itching or breathing difficulty. Wolf spider bites are not as poisonous as bites of other insects.

The brown recluse spider is another variety of the spider family. The brown recluse is a venomous spider. The brown recluse is 1 in (2.54 cm) in length and is usually non-aggressive. Brown recluse spiders are also known as violin spiders because of the marking pattern on their body. This spider can primarily be found outdoors and bites when it touches human skin.

Antidotes are not available for brown recluse bites. Keeping the area clean can encourage healing faster. The bite from this spider might be painless at first but the venom is quite potent. Gradually the person feels itchy and skin turns red. In rare cases, the bite of this venomous spider can cause a coma, jaundice, blood in urine, skin allergies, and kidney failure.

The black widow is another type of venomous spider. Female black widows are approximately 1.5-2 in (3.8-5.08 cm) long with shiny red marks on the body. Only the female black widow is a bit toxic or venomous. Black widow bites can cause symptoms like a headache, high blood pressure, numbness, and muscle cramping. Prompt treatment and antivenom treatment are beneficial to overcome the dangerous situation caused due to black widow bites.

Identifying Characteristics Of A Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders represent a large family of spiders who are robust and agile hunters and they have excellent eyesight. Wolf spiders are large, athletic, and dark-colored. Wolf spiders differ from other spiders in their prey-catching method. Wolf spiders violently hunt their prey using their strong bodies and keen eyesight. Wolf spiders possess unique habits of parenting. Habits of wolf spiders invite the interest of scientists to a great extent.

Wolf spiders are commonly found in basements of homes.

Normally, wolf spiders can be seen in brown, gray, black or a bit of tan color but the highlight is the presence of dark-color markings on the body. Wolf spiders are very good in their capability to camouflage. The effective capability of camouflage helps them prey on smaller insects and reptiles. This also helps wolf spiders stay protected from dangerous predators. Wolf spiders are mostly found in North America and male spiders are generally smaller in size than females. The female wolf spider carries its egg sacs with her to protect unborn babies from predators and parasites. Once spiderlings emerge, they ride around on their mother's back until they grow enough to make it on their own. Male wolf spiders are typically smaller than females.

Wolf spiders have incredible night vision. Wolf spiders are not very poisonous compared to other insects. Wolf spiders are known for hunting in darkness. Scientists state that wolf spiders have a distinctive eye arrangement. Eight eyes are arranged around their head, usually in three rows.

These spiders are solitary creatures who like to roam around alone. For catching prey, wolf spiders roam alone at night. Wolf spiders are nocturnal. Wolf spiders generally hide in grass but they may also climb trees to catch prey to eat. These spiders are known for remaining hidden in leaf litter or in tunnels which they dig themselves or which have been dug by other animals. Many wolf spiders are seen hunting within a certain territory and then returning to their habitat for feeding. Some wolf spiders act like nomads and roam around freely as they have no fixed territory.

The sharp eyesight that these animals possess combined with their quick speed, sensitivity to vibrations, and camouflage ability allows them to be safe from numerous predators. If threatened, these arachnids can bite the attacker. Many rodents, reptiles, snakes, insects, and birds also prey on these spiders.

Can you pick up a wolf spider?

Wolf spiders are also known as arachnids from the Lycosidae family. There are more than 200 known species of Lycosidae found in North America.

If you confront a wolf spider and you make it feel intimidated, its natural instinct may be to bite you. Therefore when you come across a wolf spider, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. You must be very careful while confronting a wolf spider. A female wolf spider may carry her young one on her back. You should remove them from your house if you encounter wolf spiders in your home. It's better to call your local exterminator to safely remove the spider from your place without necessarily killing it. A wolf spider may just be passing through or moving on in a day or so. Some wolf spiders may bite you if you pick them up. They may bite you if you provoke them. It is better to leave them alone. A wolf spider bite can be similar to the bite from a bee sting.

What are the symptoms of a wolf spider bite?

Fang marks and tearing of skin will appear on your body once you are bitten by a wolf spider. The red color in the bitten area and itching are common symptoms of a wolf spider bite.

If you are bitten by a wolf spider, the bite and surrounding area will become inflamed. This is the human body’s natural reaction to the wolf spider bite. You may also experience painful symptoms like nausea (feeling sick), a rapid pulse, pain, dizziness, and death of the surrounding tissues (necrosis).  Other symptoms like swelling, itchiness, blistering, a rash around the bite, and breathing problems may also arise as a reaction to a wolf spider bite. Wolf spiders generally prefer to avoid human contact.

In the majority of the cases, a wolf spider bite feels the same as the bite of other insects. A red color may appear in the area of the bite. We cannot distinguish wolf spider bites and bites from other insects unless we see the wolf spider as they are very similar. Spider bites may seem alarming but they pose a minor risk. Dangerous situations like severe allergic reactions may occur as a consequence of the bite in rare cases.

You are unlikely to die as a result of the bite of a wolf spider but side effects can last up to 10 days. It's rare that people die from wolf spider venom. If you neglect wolf spider bites and think that you're okay, there is a high chance of death. A few people have been known to die because of the way the body reacts to the venom. Getting the bite treated by a doctor as soon as possible is a very important matter.

How are these bites treated?

There are some immediate measures to get rid of infection after being bitten by a wolf spider. If you are bitten by a wolf spider the first step you have to take is to clean the area where the wolf spider has bitten with soap and water. You can apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. If the bite is very itchy, take over-the-counter antihistamines. You should be careful to avoid scratching which can increase chances of infection. Symptoms should probably clear up after a few days. If they do not clear up, seek medical attention.

Wolf spiders are solitary and do not typically produce any webs. They do not hunt in packs. Therefore it can be difficult to detect if they are around. Check your shoes regularly to make sure that no spiders are living in them as they may hide under shoes. You should take care in places such as garages, sheds, lofts, and outdoors as wolf spiders usually hide in these places. Some spiders use piles of leaves as their house and may make grassy areas their habitat. Clean your house and yard regularly to get rid of insects and spiders.

Wolf spiders are unlikely to bite. Wolf spiders will bite people if they come into direct contact with them and feel threatened. Be careful around areas where wolf spiders might be living. That will reduce the risk of being bitten.  If you get a spider bite, seek medical attention.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are wolf spiders venomous then take a look at why are there so many spiders in my house or wolf spider facts.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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