For those of us with arachnophobia, wolf spiders may seem like creatures from nightmares. Rod Franzen had a personal encounter with one earlier this year when he saw a wolf spider with numerous babies on her back and even touched it. The sight of the babies scattering and then settling back on their mother’s back amazed him.
Wolf spiders, according to Orkin Canada, can be found almost anywhere. While they may rate high on the “ick-o-meter,” they are not to be feared. In fact, they are beneficial to have around as they eat insects, including pests, making them an important part of the environment. They have also been known to eat other spiders.
Handling a wolf spider may result in a bite, but their venom is not strong enough to be lethal. The bite usually feels more like a pin prick or bee sting. Wolf spiders are robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight. They live and hunt alone, and they do not spin webs. Some are opportunistic hunters, pouncing on their prey or chasing it over short distances. Others wait for passing prey near their burrows.
These spiders prefer to hide in locations where they can easily pounce on their next meal. However, they are not very aggressive towards humans and are unlikely to pounce on a person. The mother spider carries her young on her back until they are large enough to fend for themselves.
So, while wolf spiders may look intimidating, they play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature by controlling insect populations. Their presence should be appreciated rather than feared.