The Guide To Wolf Spiders In Arizona: Are They Venomous?

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One wolf spider in Arizona is considered the largest species in North America: The Carolina wolf spider, Hogna carolinensis, which can reach up to an inch in length! These nocturnal arachnids are quite hairy and can be identified by the dark marks along their legs and body. Keep reading to discover how to identify wolf spiders in Arizona, their habitat, and if they should be feared.

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What do Wolf Spiders in Arizona Look Like? 

Wolf spiders are easily identified by their large size, hairy bodies, and gray to brownish color. Dark brown patterns can be found along their back accompanied by a black underside. Some people have difficulty differentiating between a wolf spider and the various recluse species. Wolf spiders roam freely while recluse species conceal themselves in voids, rarely encountering humans. Furthermore, the recluse spiders in Arizona are seldom seen indoors, preferring desert environments. Female wolf spiders are also frequently seen carrying their egg sac on the tip of their abdomen or with their little spiderlings riding on their back. If you encounter a spider and you aren’t sure about the identification, contact a pest control professional for a proper ID. 

Another distinguishing characteristic of the wolf spider is how its vivid green eyes are arranged in three horizontal rows. The shiny green comes from tapetum lucidum which is found in its secondary eyes. It reflects light through the retina and contributes to wolf spiders having impeccable eyesight. The most common type of wolf spider found in Arizona is the Carolina wolf spider, which can be identified by its orange coloring on the sides of its abdomen and orange-colored fangs.

How Big Do Wolf Spiders in Arizona Get? 

Like most spiders, wolf spiders have a long torso and eight legs. On average, they grow between ¼ inch to about 1 2 inch long, making them 1/4th the size of tarantulas. 

What do they eat? 

Interestingly, wolf spiders don’t create webs, but chase down their prey.  Their name comes from the misconception that they hunt in packs like wolves do. In reality, they are loners; seldom meeting or interacting with members of the same species. When they do cross paths, they try to intimidate each other until one backs down. Violence may result, sometimes ending in one spider eating the other. In addition, males have to be careful during mating as females may make them a post-mating snack. Carnivorous in nature, wolf spiders inject venom, which liquefies their prey, before sucking out the fluids. They target other invertebrates such as grasshoppers, ants, other spiders, and insect eggs. 

Where to find them in Arizona? 

Wolf spiders are nocturnal, often found outdoors hiding under rocks, piles of leaves, or in rotting trees. Although they prefer to be outside, they can find their way inside your home when hunting for food or a mate. When indoors, you typically find wolf spiders in windowsills, basements, garages, along your walls, or nestling in houseplants. Wolf spiders are poor climbers so tend to stay down low near the floor.

How long do they live? 

Females lay eggs and carry them in a case for roughly 30 days. Then, up to 100 spiderling hatch and climb onto their mother’s back.  After another 30 days, the young spiders head off on their own. In terms of longevity, female wolf spiders can live a few years, while males often live less than a year. 

Arizona Wolf spider bite 

Wolf spider bites are incredibly rare, but like any other spider bite, they can be painful. You may experience mild pain, swelling, and a good amount of itching. The pain shouldn’t last long, the swelling will quickly subside, and the itching will last a few days. 

Are they venomous? 

Wolf spiders are venomous, but they are not considered dangerous to humans. However, it is possible for humans to have an allergic reaction to their venom. If you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure they receive immediate medical attention: 

  •  Cramping or tightening of muscles around the bite area 
  •  Trouble breathing 
  •  Fever 
  •  Shaking 
  •  Weakness 
  •  Dizziness or headache 
  •  Nausea and vomiting
  •  Rash spreading away from the bite 
  •  Abnormal sweating 

Preventing Wolf Spiders from Entering Your Home 

Wolf spiders aren’t seeking out ways to get inside your home. They prefer the outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you won’t stumble across one running along your baseboards or under a pile of clothing. We recommend the following measures to prevent wolf spiders from entering your home:

  1. Clean and vacuum your home thoroughly on a routine basis.
  2. Replace incandescent light bulbs near the entrances of your home with yellow or sodium vapor lights. Night-flying insects are less attracted to these forms of light which often attract spiders.
  3. Make sure all window fittings are tightly sealed. 
  4. Be certain all firewood is stacked a good distance from your home. 
  5. Cut back all shrubs and tree branches away from your home. Greenery can be an excellent way for spiders and other creepy crawlies to enter your home.
  6. Reduce piles of clutter such as clothing, newspapers, and boxes from areas such as attics and basements that are relatively undisturbed. Clutter piles can become the perfect hiding place for spiders and insects to reproduce and start infestations. 

How to get rid of wolf spiders 

When it comes to getting rid of wolf spiders in Phoenix, your best bet is to contact a reputable pest control company. They have the skills and tools to safely get rid of wolf spiders from your property. The steps below can help control wolf spiders: 

  • Remove all excess pools of water from your property. Standing water attracts thirsty spiders or other pests to your yard. Be sure to take care of all leaks or other moisture issues. 
  • Seal all gaps around your home’s foundation, doors, and windows to keep spiders from finding their way inside. 
  • Remove any piles of debris from your yard. This includes leaf or mulch piles, fallen tree branches, or woodpiles. These piles can become excellent hiding spots for spiders or a variety of other insects. 
  • Keep the grass in your yard well-manicured and fill in any holes on your property. 

Wolf Spiders in Arizona Conclusion 

Wolf spiders are extremely common, not only in Arizona but throughout the United States. While they are mildly venomous, they generally don’t pose any threat to humans. If you feel wolf spiders or other pests are taking over your Phoenix area home, contact Blue Sky Pest Control. Our team of professionals has years of experience dealing with all Arizona pests. We’ll customize a plan for your specific pest problem and implement it for fast and effective results.

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