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Wolf Spider
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Varies
ORDER: Araneae
HABITAT: Common in all terrestrial habitat, particularly prairies.

Wolf spiders occupy nearly every type of terrestrial habitat and include many of the most common and conspicuous spiders. They are particularly abundant in prairie areas and are frequently the most diverse spider group in arctic and alpine areas. There are more than 2000 wolf spider species. Wolf spiders range from about 1/2 inch to 2 inches in length, hairy, and are typically brown to gray in color with various markings or lines. Wolf spider mothers carry their large egg sacs around with them. When the young spiderlings hatch they climb onto their mother's back and ride around until partially grown. Wolf spiders are not poisonous, though as with all spiders, bites may cause reactions in certain individuals.

Habitat, Food Source(s) and Damage: The wolf spider is a common household pest in the fall when they are looking for a warm place to overwinter. They are commonly found around doors, windows, house plants, basements, garages, and in almost all terrestrial habitats. They do not spin a web but roam at night to hunt for food. Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the unmistakable violin-shaped marking behind the head. The wolf spider is shy and seeks to run away when disturbed. Spider control is best done on a one-to-one, as needed basis. A general spray for spiders is not recommended unless the infestation seems severe. Tolerate what you can, spray with an aerosol what you can't.

References and Resources: Please contact your local county extension office for current information; www.ento.okstate.edu; www.ext.vt.edu.