Are You Spotting Wolf Spiders Around Your Houston Property?
Some people are afraid of spiders, and then some people have a severe fear of spiders, also known as arachnophobia. If you’ve ever seen the 1990 horror-comedy film “Arachnophobia,” you’d probably fear spiders yourself. The movie was not about actual events; however, if the conditions are right, spiders of any species can and will infest your Houston home.
There are 3,000 species of wolf spiders globally, and they have all adapted to living in various habitats. It’s common to find them in deserts and jungles and mountains and backyards. Here in Houston, we deal with wolf spiders. These pesky eight-legged creatures are in your garden or back yard– they’re also inside your home! Yikes!
So if you see these spiders in your home, it only poses the question of why; why wolf spiders are finding their way into your home. The answer to that question can actually be a couple of things, but just as humans need food, water, and shelter to survive, so do wolf spiders.
Shelter: Weather and Temperature Conditions
Here in Houston, the weather, temperature, and conditions vary at different times of the year. They call the summer months ‘oppressive,’ while the winter months are generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 47°F to 95°F. With the varying conditions of the area, it’s only natural for wolf spiders to seek shelter.
Food: Other Insects
Food is the primary reason you likely see wolf spiders in your Houston home; good news to the spiders but is a cause for concern for you. Ultimately, this is a sign that you not only have a spider problem on your hands, but you also have another pest problem on your hand completely separate from spiders. Insects like crickets, ladybugs, grasshoppers, ants, and flies are food sources for wolf spiders. So if you’re noticing an increase of these types of insects in or around your home, you can rest assured knowing that wolf spiders will soon follow if you’re not seeing them already.
Water: Leaking Pipes or Other Water Sources
Your home is already giving wolf spiders the two basic needs of shelter and food, so it’s only natural to wash their food down with a bit of water. If your home has the slightest bit of moisture or water source that’s accessible to them, they’ll want to hang around. Things like leaking pipes or even other sources like kiddie pools or bird baths are things that these spiders find very attractive. Once you eliminate water sources, whether that means making a few home repairs or proper storage habits, you won’t see wolf spiders in your home foraging for water.
Your home is not the place for wolf spiders. The moment you see them in or around your home, you need to call your local Houston pest control immediately before a small wolf spider problem becomes an infestation.
Wolf Spiders: Identification & Habits
The wolf spider didn’t get its name because it looks like a wolf per se, although it does have similar physical features. Their namesake is reflective of their predatory behavior in the way they stalk and hunt their prey. These spiders are swift nocturnal ground hunters with keen eyesight, making them very dangerous to their prey. This behavior is because these spiders don’t spin webs to catch their prey. Ironically enough, wolf spiders are non-aggressive unless they feel threatened. The good news is that though their bites are venomous, they’re not lethal.
Physically, wolf spiders are often mistaken for tarantulas, as they’re both relatively large and hairy; however, wolf spiders are easily distinguishable with these features:
- Eight eyes arranged in three rows
Two sharp fangs
Grayish-brown in color with lighter gray stripes
Union Jack marking on its back
Can range from ¼ to two inches in length
Eight hairy legs
There are more than 3,000 species of wolf spiders, and they are throughout the United States. They’re adaptable to various habitats but are commonly in wooded areas, open grasslands and fields, and homes. You’ll likely find wolf spiders hanging around windows, garages, doors, and basements in your home.
Common Ways Wolf Spiders Enter Houses
While wolf spiders certainly aren’t welcome in our homes, they sure know how to make an entrance. It’s only natural that when you discover spiders in your home to wonder how, why, and where. Did they get in through means that perhaps could have been avoided? Potentially. Learning potential entry points of your home will help you be that much closer to keeping wolf spiders out of your home. Let’s take a closer look at the ways they get inside.
These are the most common ways wolf spiders get inside Houston homes. Prevention is what's critical here. You’ll want to seal up any cracks in your foundation, make sure your doors and windows close properly, replace any worn-out weatherstripping, and install door sweeps.
Another common way wolf spiders may get inside your home is by hitchhiking. They don't stand outside holding one of their legs out to catch a ride, but more so from hiding in your belongings. These spiders may hitch a ride inside boxes if you’re moving or in toys that your children bring indoors from playing outside. If you’re an outdoorsy person who enjoys camping, these spiders can also hide in your camping gear—anything you carry inside your home from outside increases the risk of finding wolf spiders in your home.
Once you ensure the exterior of your home is free from holes or cracks and implement other prevention methods, you’ll be able to protect your home from wolf spiders. However, pest control services and regular inspections are the ultimate forms of protection.
At Modern Pest Control, we offer a free inspection of your home and a service guarantee. We’ve been in the pest control industry since 1952 and know all about wolf spiders. Give us a call to ensure your home is pest-free.
Four Expert Tactics On Dealing With Wolf Spiders
As easy as it is to say ‘don’t panic,’ we at Modern Pest Control know that’s easier said than done when you run across a wolf spider. This spider species is relatively large, but they’re also extremely fast, so you can expect to see one and stand on a chair out of complete fear. The good news is that though wolf spiders have a scary appearance, they’re a non-aggressive species unless they feel threatened– regardless, they still don’t belong in your house.
When dealing with wolf spiders, you can do a few things on your own:
Wolf Spider Powders: Wolf spider powders contain pyrethroids which are great for exterminating wolf spiders. You’ll want to sprinkle it in your yard and around your home, particularly in dark corners or under furniture. It works in the way that when a wolf spider walks across the powder, it damages its exoskeleton and poisons its stomach.
Organic Pesticides: There are plant-based insecticides on the market containing hexa-hydroxyl. These types of insecticides are safe for children and pets. It comes in powder or granules, and you apply it with a granular spreader. This form of pesticide sometimes requires water to activate, so you’ll need to check the manufacturing label. If it does require water to start, it will be best to utilize it before the rain.
Wolf Spider Spray: With wolf spider spray, you’ll want to spray the insecticide around the exterior of your home and drain and exterior gaps. The spray is supposed to create an invisible barrier that the spider will walk across, tracking the insecticide on itself and eventually dying from it.
Wolf Spider Traps: Wolf spider traps are pieces of thick card or cardboard with a very sticky adhesive substance similar to mouse or cockroach traps. The goal of this method is for the wolf spider to walk across it and get stuck on it, which will lead to death by being disposed of or starvation. The only thing to remember is that you will have to be the one to dispose of the trap or have someone else do it for you if it’s a bit too unsightly for you.
While these methods are effective, unless you know how to properly use these products or even where to use them, they will only prove ineffective. You’ll need to call Modern Pest Control for effective wolf spider treatment.
Total Spider Prevention Programs For Houston Residents
As they say, prevention is always better than the cure. Always. So, when it comes to wolf spiders, the goal is for them not to get in your Houston home in the first place. The great news about wolf spiders is that they’re relatively easy to get rid of and even easier to prevent because they don't belong to a colony. Here are a few things to avoid wolf spiders from entering your Houston property.
- Eliminate Clutter And Debris: Before wolf spiders enter your home, they’re outside hiding under or behind things like leaf piles, firewood, and even toys. Removing these hiding places from your yard will leave them nowhere to hide. Inside your home, keep clothes and toys off the floor. Maintaining a tidy home will help keep your home wolf spider-free.
Vacuum Regularly: By vacuuming regularly, you’re helping eliminate any lingering pests in your home, which are also food sources for wolf spiders.
Keep Windows Closed: An open window invites insects to come inside. Once insects come inside, wolf spiders are sure to follow. If you like opening your windows and taking in the fresh air, consider installing window screens.
Seal Any Openings Or Cracks In And Around Your Home: Cracks and crevices are the number one way insects get inside your home. By sealing these entry points from insects, you’re also sealing off wolf spiders. Remember, they go wherever their food source is and will hunt them down even if it means they have to enter your property.
Eliminate Cardboard Boxes: Yes, cardboard boxes come in handy when moving and even for storage; however, they make great living spaces for wolf spiders. If you’re using cardboard boxes for moving, properly dispose of them or recycle them when finished. Consider switching those out for plastic containers with locking lids if you're using them for storage; this will also protect your personal belongings from other destructive pests like clothing moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish.
The bottom line is that a wolf spider infestation is entirely preventable. With a few home maintenance efforts and cleaning habits, your home will be pest-free. Keep in mind that these efforts will prove useless if you already have wolf spiders in your home. If that’s the case, you need to contact Modern Pest Control for safe and effective spider control in Houston.
We know all their favorite hiding places, and we understand how to eliminate them promptly, allowing you to get back to living your life. Don’t let wolf spiders run you away; call us, and we’ll run them away! Give us a call to schedule your free inspection or learn more about our effective home pest control and commercial pest control services.