Wolf spiders are creepy little buggers. They’ve got big hairy legs, they carry hundreds of baby spiders on their backs, and they look an awful lot like the brown recluse spider. The wolf spider is one of the larger spiders in the US and can be found across the country.
The good news is, they’re not poisonous; however, when these spiders are cornered, they will leave a fairly painful bite. So, while these insects are not particularly dangerous to have around, most people want to know pretty quickly how to get rid of wolf spiders that have taken up residence in their home. Fortunately, wolf spiders are actually good for your garden – and they tend to be happier there as well – so there are some pretty simple things that you can do to get these spiders out and keep them out.
1. Clean Your House – Inside and Out
Wolf spiders like to make their homes in shrubs and plants. If you have overgrown hedges, ivy or weeds growing up alongside your house, that’s an invitation to all kinds of critters. Trim back or get rid of any excess plant growth immediately surrounding your house. If you have piles of wood, lumber, or rocks, move them as far from your house as possible. Walk the perimeter of your house and move, discard, or cut back anything that could make an inviting home to spiders and other insects.
If a wolf spider does make its way into your house, he’s much more likely to stick around if you provide a comfortable place for him to settle. Piles of clothes, stacks of books, or other random junk give the wolf spider ideal spots to hide. Get rid of any unnecessary junk lying around and keep your house clean and free of clutter. Sweep, mop, and vacuum often, and keep messes to a minimum. By eliminating the messes around your house, you’ll greatly decrease the likelihood of wolf spiders taking up residence.
2. Shore Up Your Defenses
You can often control a wolf spider infestation simply by blocking off any potential entry points. Wolf spiders will often get into the house through poorly sealed doors or windows, so check the weather stripping around each exterior door and window, and install screens on your windows as an added deterrent. Don’t neglect the attic and basement either; make sure there are screens installed tightly around any vents or windows and seal off any cracks or holes.
The garage is often a weak point in your defenses, as the door will generally be poorly sealed. To remedy this, you can install sticky traps on the inside of the garage door to catch the spiders before they make it inside.
Finally, once the obvious entry points are sealed, walk around your house with some outdoor caulking sealant. Look closely for any cracks, holes, or fissures where a spider could potentially get in. Carefully seal up any holes that might give entrance to a wolf spider.
In addition to sealing up your home, it’s a good idea to keep your outdoor lighting to a minimum. Light attracts bugs, and those bugs will be quickly followed by spiders on the hunt.
3. Spray Pesticides
You should only turn to pesticides after implementing the tips mentioned above. The best way to get rid of wolf spiders is to prevent them from getting in at all.
If, after all your best attempts, you still have a wolf spider problem, don’t fret! There are plenty of pesticides for wolf spider control to both kill spiders on contact and keep more from getting in. Just keep in mind that wolf spiders don’t clean themselves like other insects do, so it may take a little longer for them to be affected by the pesticide.
When you spray for wolf spiders, concentrate your treatment in the areas where they are likely to be hiding. Spray your flowerbeds and hedges, and especially in spots where mulch or dead foliage has accumulated. Spray around rocks and dead limbs, in gutters and rain traps, and along walls. Finally, spray potential entry points, like windows and doors.
4. Call for Reinforcements
Finally, when all else fails, you may need to call a professional exterminator to get rid of the wolf spider infestation. A professional will have the knowledge and expertise to get to the root of the problem once and for all, and will be able to offer an effective solution to eliminate your spider problem completely.