Massachusetts Wolf Spiders: What to Know About These Hidden Giants

There are plenty of spooky or scary-looking pests in Massachusetts. Perhaps, one of the most alarming in appearance is the wolf spider. These giant spiders are one of the most common spiders found in Massachusetts homes and throughout the US. People are often frightened by their size, but are they a gentle giant or terrifying monster? We have all the information you need to know about wolf spiders and what to do if you encounter one in your home.

What Are Wolf Spiders? 

Wolf spiders are a large group of spiders—the females can grow up to 2 inches in length. You can identify a wolf spider based on their size, their hairy appearance, and their gray-brownish color with a light brown stripe across their back. 

These spiders don’t make webs—they hunt their food by chasing after it. Some will burrow in the ground to make a nest if they’re able; otherwise, they will try to find a dark, warm space to shelter in. This makes your basement, garage, and bathroom perfect habitats for them. However, Massachusetts wolf spiders are shy, nocturnal creatures, so you may not even notice you have one in your home. 

Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous? 

You may be wondering, “Are wolf spiders poisonous?” As a reminder, you don’t have to worry about poisonous spiders in Massachusetts but rather venomous spiders. Spiders such as the black widow and the brown recluse produce dangerous venom in their bite that can cause severe, dangerous symptoms in humans. 

However, despite their size and intimidating appearance, wolf spiders are not a dangerous species to humans. While they do produce venom, it is not harmful to humans unless you are specifically allergic to their bite—in most cases, it’ll be more no painful than a bee sting. They are also shy creatures that avoid confrontation if possible, so the likelihood of a wolf spider bite is low. 

How to Prevent Wolf Spiders in Your Massachusetts Home

Even though these spiders are relatively harmless, you may still not want them in your home. If you see one, your first instinct may be to squish them; however, we strongly recommend against this. If you happen to squish a female wolf spider with an egg sac, hundreds of baby spiders will crawl away from their mother—leaving you with a bigger mess on your hands. 

The best way to keep wolf spiders out of your home is through preventative measures. We’ll go over the three main ways to implement wolf spider control for your home. 

Seal Off Entry Points

Most often, Massachusetts wolf spiders will get into your home through large cracks in your walls or floor, holes in your screen, vents in your basement, or your garage. Identifying any cracks or holes and repairing them will remove several entry points for them. Use expandable caulking to seal up other possible entrances. You can also create a perimeter of boric acid around your home and by doors—boric acid is deadly to spiders and will deter them from your home.  

Clean Dark, Quiet Spaces

A close up of a semi-cluttered closet filled with books, clothes and knick knacks providing plenty of dark crevices

Wolf spiders like warm, dark, and quiet spaces to hide in. Regularly cleaning these spaces in your home will force them to move on. Be cautious cleaning these areas because other household spiders, who are perhaps more dangerous than the wolf spider, will likely also be hiding in these corners.

We also recommend removing clutter such as boxes and piles of clothes—remember, wolf spiders do not build webs, so they’ll use this clutter as a makeshift nest for themselves if it’s not removed. 

Use Spider Control Methods 

If you’ve already spotted a wolf spider in your home, you may want to consider pest control methods to remove it. Since they’re not dangerous to humans, you can use a container and paper to catch the spider and release it outside. Wolf spiders are avid insect hunters, so having one controlling the pest population in your yard may be beneficial. 

If you’d rather not risk being bit, traps and pesticides are also an option. You can buy spider-specific traps and insecticides at your local hardware store. Place the traps or spray the insecticides in areas where you’ve seen the spider or where they’re likely to be. If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, there are also natural spider repellents such as peppermint oil, lavender plants, or diatomaceous earth.

Got Wolf Spiders? Call F&W Pest Control!

Whether you’ve seen the large wolf spider or have noticed webs from other spiders around your home, F&W Pest Control is here to help. With over 85 years of experience in the Massachusetts area, we can help keep your home spider-free. We offer a quarterly plan, PestGuard Plus, where we’ll regularly treat your home for spiders and other pests—this plan even comes with same-day emergency services! Next time you see a spider crawling around your home, call the professionals at F&W for help.

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