Spiders are a common nuisance found worldwide. They come from the arachnid family. There are more than 37,000 species of spiders found around the world. Some, such as the common house spider, are harmless. Others, such as the black widow and brown recluse, are considered deadly. Some species are commonly heard of, including the jumping spider, tarantula, and orb weaver. Others are less common and not frequently heard of, such as the ghost spider. Some favor outdoor areas, like garden beds, while others like sneaking their way into homes.
Depending on where you live, several species are known to invade homes. One is the rabid wolf spider. When people hear the term “rabid wolf spider”, many people are left questioning what this species is and if they’re true to their name. Are they dangerous? Are they rabid?
What Are Rabid Wolf Spiders?
Rabid wolf spiders are known scientifically as Rabidosa rabida. However, some people also refer to them as the wandering spider and sometimes as the Texas wolf spider or texas spider, most likely because they are common wolf spiders in Texas. They can also be found in other states, such as Oklahoma, Nebraska, and in between. They have even been found in places like Maine and Florida. Rabid wolf spiders received their name from how they move – erratically and fast.
They are common spiders that favor woodland areas, cotton fields, and buildings. They prefer hiding in sheltered places, such as those beneath litter or in holes and under rocks. Occasionally, they can be observed around ponds. They don’t stay in one place for too long and like to wander; hence their name, “wandering spider”. Unlike other spiders, rabid wolf spiders don’t spin webs.
Rabid wolf spiders are hostile toward most other beings, including humans, animals, insects, and even other spiders. Rabid wolf spiders have several forms of communication. They can release pheromones and receive communication through vibration in their webs.
The rabid wolf spider is a frequent traveler, always on the move. They have adapted to moving as discreetly as possible, usually by staying low in brush and under debris. This helps them avoid predators as they’re on the move. However, there are still some predators they must be cautious about, including other wolf spiders, dogs, cats, and snakes.
Rabid wolf spiders play a mostly insignificant role in the ecosystem. However, they help control other pest populations. Female rabid wolf spiders are protective mothers who often carry their egg cases with them, attached to their spinnerets. In cases where they must drop the egg sac, they become frantic in their return to search for it.
What do rabid wolf spiders look like? Rabid wolf spiders are mostly light brown. However, they do have some distinguishing marks. They have two thin brown lines cascading down their sides, two thick dark lines that run alongside their heads, and a dark brown center line on their abdomen. A rabid wolf spider’s eyes can reflect light, similar to how a dog and cat’s eyes can reflect light.
Rabid wolf spiders have four large eyes, with two sitting in the front and two behind. Texas wolf spider size can vary. Females can grow to be around 0.63 to 0.83 inches in length, while males are usually around 0.43 to 0.47 inches in length.
What do rabid wolf spiders eat? Wolf spiders are known for being much like their namesake when hunting, meaning that they stalk their prey from a distance, much like wolves and other wild dogs. Unlike other spiders, rabid wolf spiders don’t spin webs to catch their prey. Instead, they are active hunters who like stalking and then chasing down their prey.
Rapid wolf spiders are carnivores who favor small prey, such as crickets, ants, grasshoppers, and other spiders. They don’t eat solid food but will slurp out the liquefied insides of their prey.
Rapid wolf spider life cycle. A rabid wolf spider’s life cycle begins at hatching. As the eggs hatch, the offspring ride on their mother’s abdomen until they can fend for themselves.
Breeding happens around late summer into early fall. Females can produce anywhere from 168-365 eggs. Many rapid wolf spiders can live up to two years. Some species can even live longer than that.
Are Rabid Wolf Spiders Dangerous?
Despite its name, the rabid wolf spider poses no real threat to humans. They’re pretty harmless, though they can be a little scary, especially for people with arachnophobia.
Do rabid wolf spiders bite? Many people would assume that rabid wolf spiders bite, but it’s not that black and white. Despite their size, scary qualities, aggressive behavior, and name, rabid wolf spiders don’t go out of their way to bite humans. Rabid wolf spiders generally only bite when backed into a corner and feel threatened.
When these spiders bite, they can be painful but are usually deemed safe enough to go on without medical intervention and heal on their own. This also means that their bites are not poisonous, nor do they carry rabies.
Rabid wolf spider bites can also cause some swelling and itchiness, but these are usually short-lived and only occur due to the bite and not from venom.
Rabid Wolf Spider Prevention
If you’ve seen rabid wolf spiders scurrying around inside your home, you’re probably wondering how to get a wolf spider out of your house and prevent them from getting into your home.
The best preventive step you can take to ensure wolf spiders don’t enter your home is to ensure that your home is properly sealed. This means sealing any cracks and crevices on your home’s foundation and ensuring that your windows and doors fit snugly when closed.
You can also use glue traps to help remove any current rabid wolf spiders lurking around your house. If you suspect you have a significant infestation, you may want to contact a professional pest control company to help.