Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous to Humans?
Updated: May 22
If you’re from North America, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a wolf spider dozens of times. These spiders are native to North America, and there are more than 200 species of wolf spiders roaming around freely. It’s more or less in human nature to be vigilant around spiders, and many people aren’t sure how to react when they stumble upon a species they don’t know much about. Unfortunately, the first instinct is just to squash them and move on with your life, but rest assured that’s rarely the right thing to do. If you’re interested in learning more about these eight-legged creatures, whether they are dangerous, aggressive, and poisonous – this article should give you a better idea of how to react and what to do in case you meet face-to-face with one of these solitary arachnids.
Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous?
Before we answer this question, it’s a good idea to cover the difference between poisonous and venomous, since the vast majority of people use these terms interchangeably. By definition, venomous animals cause harm to their prey by injecting their venom via their stingers, fangs, or barbs. On the other hand, poisonous animals are dangerous if their poison gets absorbed by the body of their prey. Some examples of poisonous animals include frogs and monarch butterflies. Venomous animals are usually predators, including wasps, brown recluse spiders, snakes, jellyfish, and more. Wolf spiders are venomous but not poisonous. That means that they inject their venom into their prey in order to paralyze it.
Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous to Humans
Wolf spiders are not necessarily particularly dangerous to humans since the amount of venom they can administer is not enough to jeopardize your health. In fact, a wolf spider bite is generally considered to be as dangerous and is as painful as a bee sting. As you can tell, getting bitten by a wolf spider is definitely not a comfortable experience, but then again, it is pretty harmless compared to other bug bites. There have not been zero medical cases with severe consequences as a result of wolf spider bites in modern history. The very few people that have had issues with wolf spider bites did so because of an allergic reaction. So basically if you’re not allergic to wolf spider bites, you should be fine.
Are Wolf Spiders Aggressive?
The level of their aggressiveness depends on a few factors – are they currently hunting? Are they protective of something? Do they sense a threat? In general, wolf spiders are quite aggressive, but usually towards their prey rather than humans. In most cases, when they sense a threat, wolf spiders will retreat rather than put up a fight. However, when cornered and out of options, wolf spiders won’t hesitate to bite you.
What do Wolf Spiders Bites Look Like
In most cases, wolf spider bites look like other bug bites. You will probably end up with a swollen, red, and itchy bump that will gradually subside in the next couple of days. As mentioned, since these bites look very similar to other bug bites, you won’t be able to determine whether it’s a wolf spider bite unless you actually saw the spider and witnessed the bite. In case you start experiencing breathing difficulties, dizziness, or you notice a red line extending from the bite – visit a doctor as soon as possible because you might be going through an allergic reaction.
How to Treat a Wolf Spider Bite?
Fortunately, you don’t have to go through a complicated process in order to treat a wolf spider bite. Clean the bite with soap and warm water, place a bandage over it to prevent potential infections, and that’s it! If it’s a typical bite and you are NOT allergic, it will go away in the next day or two.
How to Avoid Getting Bitten?
Wolf spiders are typically quite shy and introverted, so you won’t end up being chased by one. In fact, if you don’t interact with wolf spiders, chances of getting bitten are next to zero. One other thing you can do in order to prevent their presence is to keep your home free of clutter. Another thing to pay special attention to is any dark corner. Wearing long-sleeved clothes is also a pretty effective preventative measure.
What to do When You See a Wolf Spider?
If you don’t want to get bitten, don’t touch or pick up the spider. On top of that, you should NEVER attempt to squash it since doing that can lead to releasing dozens if not hundreds of spiderlings especially if the spider is an egg-carrying female. Your best option is to pick it up with a broom and dustpan and take it outside. In case you’re dealing with an infestation, hire a crew of professionals to do pest control for spiders! If you would like to know more about bugs, spiders, and pests, in general, don’t hesitate to read our other articles!