Wolf spiders are arachnids in the Lycosidae family. Although they rarely grow larger than 1.5 inches, wolf spiders are solitary, ferocious hunters that prefer chasing or ambushing their prey, just like wolves do!

Since they’re considered wanderers, you shouldn’t be surprised if you encounter one in or near your house. But, after all, nobody wants them in their homes, right?! Especially if one has smaller pets, which, we all know, are always extremely curious to check everything that moves in and outside the house. If you’re in a region with habitats wolf spiders prefer, you should learn everything about their behavior and lifestyle. And, more importantly, what’s up with their venom? Is it poisonous?

Here are the questions we’ll answer today:

  • Are wolf spiders dangerous to your pets?
  • Is their venom poisonous to pets?
  • Can they harm people?
  • How can you keep them away?

Read on to find out the answers!

Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous to Dogs or Cats?

Wolf spider on cactus eat bee.
Wolf spiders aren’t considered aggressive creatures.

Piboon Suwankosai/Shutterstock.com

Wolf spiders aren’t considered aggressive creatures, but since pets can naively play with one of these arachnids, they will most likely feel threatened and will attack. Since they are venomous, small dogs and cats risk being affected by the toxins.

Since wolf spider venom is primarily “designed” to paralyze small prey, large dogs may only have mild symptoms. Smaller animals, on the other hand, may experience more severe adverse reactions.

Moreover, wolf spider bites can lead to bacterial infections if the bite is not disinfected. Since insect and arachnid bites on dogs and cats can often go unnoticed, these pets are more prone to developing secondary infections. Some pets may also be allergic to a wolf spider’s venom and develop concerning symptoms.

Since wolf spiders often check people’s houses when they look for prey, your pets can easily stumble upon one of these small arachnids. We recommend scheduling regular house check-ups to see if you have any uninvited guests. If your pet is spending time outside, you should keep an eye on them if possible or thoroughly check their skin and fur once they’re done playing. This way, if a wolf spider has bitten your fluffy one, you’ll spot the bite quickly and get your dog or cat the necessary treatment.

Wolf Spider Bite: Dog and Cat Symptoms

If you notice your cats or dogs holding their paw up in the air, limping, or insistently licking a spot on their skin, something has likely bitten them. However, it would be almost impossible to determine if it was indeed a wolf spider that had hurt your pet unless you knew they were common in your area or you’d recently spotted one.

If your pet is curious enough to approach and sniff a wolf spider, the arachnid may also bite it on its nose.

Wolf Spider Bite: Dog and Cat Treatment

If you notice your pet exhibits behavioral changes, raises its paw in the air, limps, or has a noticeable red bump, you should check with your veterinarian if there’s anything you can do to help it. The vet may either ask you to come with your pet for a check-up or request you to monitor the little one for the rest of the day. If new, more severe symptoms appear, you’ll probably have to go to the vet anyway.

Besides this, make sure to clean and disinfect the wound to avoid any bacterial infections.

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous to Humans?

Tiger wolf spider
Wolf spider venom isn’t considered poisonous to humans.

Judy Gallagher / Creative Commons – License

No, wolf spider venom isn’t considered poisonous to humans. However, the bite may hurt, swell, and itch. The pain should disappear within a few minutes, the swelling within a few hours, and the itching within a few days. You should address your doctor if symptoms persist or others like fever, dizziness, or headaches appear. Besides this, cleaning the wound is crucial to avoid bacterial infections. 

You should monitor your symptoms thoroughly if you have allergies, as allergic people may experience more severe reactions.

How to Keep Wolf Spiders Away

Wolf spiders are small arachnids and love getting into people’s houses! After all, they’re called “wolf spiders.” They prefer chasing or ambushing their prey, and your house may be a great place to look for food! They’ll likely visit garages, basements, and sheds if they can get inside a house. Since they don’t like climbing, they’ll move on the ground, most probably beneath the furniture or against baseboards.

Here’s what you can do to keep wolf spiders away from your house:

  • Get rid of any insect or bug problem you have; since wolf spiders love feeding on insects, you’ll make your house unattractive to them if there is no food source in it. A study shows that some wolf spiders primarily feed on flies in the Diptera order, true bugs in the Hemiptera order, and other spiders.
  • Keep your garden clean; mow tall grasses, use insect killers on your lawn, and clean up debris.
  • Install bug screens on all the doors and windows; don’t forget to check them regularly for cracks.
  • Seal all the cracks! Wolf spiders are small and can fit in the tiniest holes!
  • If you must bring wood piles inside, always check them for spiders and insects outside.
  • Use a vacuum or a broom to clean their favorite hiding spots.
  • Don’t keep storage boxes because wolf spiders love dark, closed spaces!

However, if you are not a spider enthusiast and don’t want to deal with this issue alone, you can always contact a professional team that will check your home and make it spider-free.

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