Wolf spiders are the type of arachnids you don’t want to mess with. They don’t pose threats like the brown recluse and black widow, but killing them in the wrong way will cause the start of another spine-chilling infestation. Learn how to kill wolf spiders the right way using the three strategic methods we will discuss in this post.
As homeowners, the sight of a spider will trigger our immediate reflexes to squash and stomp them immediately.
However, doing that to wolf spiders, especially to the female ones will add more fuel to the fire. Learn more about the behavior of these palm-sized spiders so you won’t be wasting your time and energy on unproductive pest control measures.
Why You Should Not Squish Wolf Spiders?
Wolf spiders carry their spiderlings on their back. After the eggs hatch from the lower abdomen of the mother wolf spider, the baby spiders will climb on top of their mother for the first few days or weeks. Once the hundreds of spiderlings are ready for the world, they will eventually detach from their mother.
A video from the National Geographic wolf spider feature shows how killing a mother wolf spider sends hundred of its spiderlings to run across the room below.
Warning: People with arachnophobia should not watch the video below. Viewer discretion is advised.
How To Kill Wolf Spiders Without Causing Another Infestation?
Now that you know something about the parental behavior of wolf spiders, you can now gear up for a more careful approach in pest control. While you can hire professionals to do the job for you, you can save so much money by doing the following methods yourself:
#1 Set Up Wolf Spider Traps
Glue traps are a fool-proof method for sneaky wolf spiders since they catch their prey by running. It is the best step if you want to steer clear from using chemicals inside your home.
The trusted glue trap brand by most homeowners is the Catch Master Pest Trap. A lot of people swear by this wolf spider trap due to the following benefits:
- Strong glue that can catch anything from small insects, palm-sized spiders, roaches to snakes.
- Easy to dispose
- Peanut butter scent
- Catch anything that runs around their house
Pro tip: Do not spray any insecticide or spider repellent before placing the glue trap. Otherwise, it will lose its purpose since there’s a high chance that the critters have fled from your house before your place the raps.
How to make a DIY spider trap?
If you want to save some dollars and love the DIY stuff, you can also make your wolf spider trap using the good old duct tape. Here’s how:
- Cut two 12-inch duct tape and place the sticky part away from the cardboard.
- Attach them in place by sticking two pieces of duct tape on both ends.
- Place it next to the suspected wolf spider nests or under some appliances where they can scurry around.
The only challenge in using glue traps is placing them where there is a high spider or bug traffic. This means you have to observe where they frequent.
Signs of wolf spider nest
Here are some signs where these sneaky wolf spiders are hiding:
- Spider webs on the window or door crack with a hole that serves as their door.
- Dark areas where there is high bug or roach traffic.
- Cluttered and undisturbed areas like garage or basement
#2 Spray Insecticides
Wolf spiders have three pairs of eyes, no wonder why they have one of the sharpest eyesight among the types of spiders. If some saw how you captured some of their friends using your glue traps, they will probably look for another nest. With that, you’ll need to use a pesticide.
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are two effective pesticides that can kill wolf spiders and other insects. Pyrethrin is a botanical pesticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers. It is toxic to insects but degrades fast when exposed to sunlight.
Pyrethroid, on the other hand, is a chemical that mimics the structure of pyrethrins. It is more toxic than pyrethrin and lasts longer in the environment, providing a longer residual effect.
Bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and cypermethrin are all types of pyrethroids that are used by commercial manufacturers as active ingredients for their insecticide brands in the market. Here are some of the best wolf spider killers that you can try:
- Reclaim/IT Insecticide (pest control maintenance spray)
- Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer (pest control maintenance spray)
- TERRO Insect Killer Aerosol Spray (Instant kill)
- Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol (Instant kill)
- CSI Bifen L/P Insecticide Granules (2 to 4 months residual effect)
For more details about the best pesticides for wolf spiders, check out this post.
#3 Spread Insecticide Dust
Wolf spiders are different from other spider varieties because they play their hunting game on the ground. You can use this advantage by placing insecticide dust where you usually see them running around. Try using Delta Dust and spray it in cracks and hard-to-reach areas using a duster.
In most cases, one out of the three methods mentioned in this post can already deal with a mild wolf spider infestation. However, if they already grew a community of spiderlings in your house, you better use all three measures to ensure that you can stop their growing population.
How To Keep Wolf Spiders Out For Good?
Once you reclaim your home from your unwanted crawling tenants, you should not neglect the most crucial part of pest control – wolf spider prevention.
There are two reasons why spiders are attracted to your house. First, they seek warmth and protection during the cold fall and winter seasons. Second, they found some delicious snacks crawling around your house.
Focus on what you can control before the seasons change by doing the following prevention tips:
#1 Block Their Entry Points
Keep the sneaky spider out by sealing every crack, crevice, or hole in your house. Since wolf spiders are good at burrowing into weather strips or other light covers, you should add a mesh before covering the holes.
You can use old steel wool or a copper mesh to serve as another layer of protection in case they succeed in removing the first layer of caulk.
If wolf spiders always come into your house when the seasons change, they are probably entering the tiny space under your doors or windows.
Make sure to weatherstrip your windows and add a door seal under the door to keep them out. Door seals are not only a solution for pest problems but also for keeping the cold air out during the cold season.
#2 Get Rid of Their Food Source
The competition for food outdoors is very high for arachnids like wolf spiders. So, when the opportunity knocks and they see a single bug entering your house, their hunting instinct comes in full alert.
The main diet of wolf spiders include:
- Roaches/ water bugs
- Insect eggs
- Millipedes or centipedes
- Flying insects
If you have an infestation of roaches, beetles, or ants in your home, expect that the next infestation will be that of wolf spiders. To get rid of these critters out of your house, you must deal with the bugs by doing the following steps:
- Turn off your porch lights that attract flying insects at night
- Improve the ventilation of your basement because most bugs love a moist and humid environment.
- Fix leaking gutters, drain pipes, and faucets
- Cover open sewage pipes and sewers
- Remove stagnant water in your bathroom and sink
Improve the drainage around the perimeter of your house using a french drain
#3 Clean up, clean up, clean up
We can’t stress enough how sanitation greatly affects the efficiency of pest control for wolf spiders. Cleaning and decluttering your space will discourage bugs and wolf spiders from staying in your home.
Here are some tips for a bug-free garage, basement, or storage area:
(1) Bugs love staying in cardboard boxes. Roaches, in particular, love sticking their egg capsules on boxes, and wolf spiders may use them as shelter. Prefer using plastic containers with covers for a cleaner look.
(2) Take advantage of your wall space and hang your tools and gym equipment to reduce the clutter on the ground.
(4) Organize your tools by function and frequency of use. Place the ones you usually use in a location where you can immediately see them. That seasonal stuff should be stored in a cabinet or at the highest level of a rack.
#4 Cover Cracks and Holes on The Walls
The presence of bugs and wolf spiders in your house is a sign for you to keep up with your home repair and maintenance. Cement the holes and cracks on your concrete walls and fix your sidings. Replace rotten wood and get rid of any water damage around your house, and you’ll surely save a lot more from doing it today than later.
#5 Plant Wolf Spider Deterrents Around Your House
While we love the fresh scent of herbs like peppermint, wolf spiders and most soft-bodied insects hate them. To keep bugs and spiders off for good, plant peppermint around your house to keep them away. Other herbs that you can plant are:
- Citrus fruit trees
The good thing about planting herbs is you’re not dealing with your pest problem, you’re also adding a refreshing smell around your home.
If you don’t have a green thumb and find it hard to grow some herbs, you can spray a diluted vinegar solution in your home to deter spiders.
Know Your Enemy: What Makes Wolf Spiders a Tricky Insect To Kill?
Contrary to the stigma against spiders, the wolf spider is a gentle beast. They only freak people out because of their alien-looking appearance.
However, no matter how gentle a spider can be, having it inside your home where you sleep, eat and bathe is an uncomfortable feeling.
For a more successful pest control for these gentle beasts, learn more about the features and behaviors of wolf spiders below:
Wolf spiders are about half the size of your palm ranging from 1 to 2 inches. They have six eyes wherein two of them are larger than the others. Oftentimes, these two eyes are the ones you see at night staring at you across the room.
Wolf spiders have shorter legs compared to brown recluses, They have a stout body and have some markings that allow them to camouflage in their habitat.
Wolf spiders are not the aggressive type of spiders. They have venom but are not lethal to humans. They only bite when provoked.
Unlike a typical spider, a wolf spider does not spin webs to catch its prey. Instead, it spies them in a distinct area and runs after them when they’re close.
Wolf spiders live outdoors and lead a solitary life burrowing in the ground. You may often find them in:
- Yard debris
- Flower beds
- Firewood pile
Wolf spider bite: Is it deadly?
The bite of a wolf spider is mildly painful and not deadly. You may feel a bit of itchiness and swell on the affected site, but it will subside immediately. However, some people are allergic to wolf spider venom, which will require the attention of a medical practitioner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the easiest way to kill a wolf spider?
The easiest way to kill a wolf spider is to spray it with TERRO Insect Killer Aerosol Spray and Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol. You can also set up glue traps in the house to catch them without getting bitten.
What kills spiders instantly?
Spiders die instantly when they touch a contact insecticide that contains pyrethroids, like bifenthrin, deltamethrin, or cypermethrin. You may also squish them with a slipper or swatter but don’t do it with wolf spiders. Squishing a wolf spider will only spread hundreds of their spiderlings across the room.
What is the best spray for wolf spiders?
The best aerosol sprays for wolf spiders are TERRO Insect Killer Aerosol Spray and Pyrid Insecticide Aerosol. Professionals also use Reclaim It for routine pest control and wolf spider prevention.
Does vinegar kill wolf spiders?
Yes, but it takes two to three days for them to die. The acetic acid in vinegar kills wolf spiders while the smell deters them, as well as other bugs.
What attracts wolf spiders in the house?
Wolf spiders brave their way into your house in pursuit of the bugs that live in your house. They also need warmth during the cold season. In some cases, they may visit your home as they wander around without an agenda.
Should I kill wolf spiders in my house?
There are pros and cons to keeping a wolf spider alive. They are professional in controlling the populations of roaches and other smaller ones in your home.
However, they can also be terrifying, especially when you spot them at night or when they grow in population. You can kill them if you’re afraid of spiders. However, if you pity killing wolf spiders, you may capture them in a bottle and release them in the wild.
Are wolf spiders poisonous?
No, wolf spiders are not poisonous. Their bite might sting a bit, but it will not cause serious health conditions.
How far can wolf spiders jump?
Wolf spiders rarely jump, but they sprint when touched. They only jump when they pounce on their prey to kill it.
What are wolf spiders weak to?
They are weak against pyrethrins and pyrethroids, which are the active ingredients in most commercial pesticides.
What happens if you get bit by a wolf spider?
The bitten area will hurt a bit and swell. After a few hours or a day, the swelling will subside, and your skin will go back to normal with a little bit of scar from the bite.
We hope you learned how to kill wolf spiders through the methods we mentioned in this post. If you are a brave soul, you can opt to catch and release them in the wild. Wolf spiders are more gentle than they look.
However, if you’re done with the nightly stare-down with these critters in your house, it’s to have them off your house. The downside of having them around is attracting a bigger predator that feeds on spiders like rodents and big lizards.
If you find this post helpful and informative, please don’t forget to share it with your friends, especially those with arachnophobia.