The Carolina Wolf Spider

Spiders are never a pleasant pest to encounter no matter how big or small they are. But the bigger they are the scarier they appear. The Carolina wolf spider is no exception.

Though the Carolina wolf spider isn’t nearly as big as a tarantula, they do possess similar traits. Both do not create webs to live in or capture their prey. Instead, they dig burrows about 6”-8” deep in the ground to hide from predators and lay their eggs. They also have what’s called setae. Setae is an irritating barb on their bodies that resembles hair. This hair allows tarantula’s to sense what is around them instead of using their eyes. Wolf spiders observe more with their eyes than the hairs.

The Carolina wolf spider is much smaller than the tarantula. Measuring in at a body length of 1.5” (or 3” with their leg span), this brown spider can be identified by the dark brown stripe on its back. Tarantula’s are identified by their 5” dark brown to black body size and the striped patterns on their long legs. With their leg span, tarantula’s can reach over 10” in size.

Both of these fast moving spiders are non-aggressive unless provoked. When provoked or handled they will bite but their venom is not harmful enough for humans. In some cases, an allergic reaction may occur along with the normal red, swollen, itchy bite. Their venom is toxic enough to paralyze their prey and harm pets. If a pet is bit by a tarantula or Carolina wolf spider, seek medical attention immediately. Their bite can be deadly to animals.

Mating is different between these two arachnids. The Carolina wolf spider starts off with the male putting on a show for the female. He will perform a dance for her and if she is flattered by it, they will mate. If she rejects it, he becomes her evening meal. After mating, the female Carolina wolf spider will dig a hole and coat a layer of silk in the burrow to lay her 100 eggs on. She will then wrap them in the silk and carry them on her back wherever she goes if she leaves the burrow.

Once the eggs are ready to hatch, she will break open the silk sac for the spiderlings to emerge. The newly hatched spiderlings then crawl to the female’s abdomen where they spend the next week maturing before being independent enough to release themselves.

The tarantula, of course, is bigger and can carry more eggs. Up to 300 at a time in fact. After mating, the female tarantula lays an egg sac that she carries with her at the front of her body between her front legs. Her eggs hatch in 14-21 days, at which time she has burrowed herself into an 8” hole and will remain there until the spiderlings are mature enough to be on their own.

These types of arachnids are hunters not trappers. So rather than making webs to catch their prey, they pounce on it and inject their venom to paralyze it. They prefer smaller insects such as ants, grasshoppers, and other spiders but will prey upon larger pests if food is scarce. They do not like human food. Birds, small animals, and reptiles are their main predators.

Tips on keeping spiders away:

  1. Trim trees, bushes, and shrubs away from structures.
  2. Keep the lawn free of debris and clutter. Spiders hide in leaf litter and clutter.
  3. Store firewood away from structures and off the ground. Spiders hide under and in between wood.
  4. Minimize clutter in the home, shed, and garage. Do not store boxes on the floor. Spiders will find an area low to the ground to spin a web to trap insects.
  5. Seal cracks. Spiders make their way indoors through small openings.
  6. Repair door and window gaps. Spiders and other insects can find their way in through gaps.
  7. Hire a professional.

Eliminating insects eliminates a potential food source for other insects and pests. This creates a safer bug free home for you, your family, and pets. Contact Safe Earth Pest Control today to get started. We have affordable plans to fit all your pest control needs. 214-321-2847