I swatted at it and the spider fell down on me with all its babies, which seemed like hundreds of them. A big, sloppy hunk of spider hit me square in the eye, and no amount of swiping with my fingers or shirt could remove it. If the mother is disturbed, however, the babies often flee in all directions. For example, I should not have hit the huge wolf spider on my house with a weed wacker. And it’s been years since I squished a wolf spider. I will always wear eye protection when weed-whacking in the future. Cross spiders are quite common outdoors throughout the Pacific Northwest. I captured it and called the University of Connecticut, just down the road from me, and a professor there confirmed it was a wolf spider. A citrus oil mixture might also work if you're not a fan of peppermint. Spiders want to AVOID you. I won't kill them; I catch and release them. mojo1957: I saw a wolf spider once relaxing on our reclining chair here in Connecticut. Wolf Spider. His short fiction has been featured in "Northwest Passage Literature and Arts Review." Just like stink bugs and spider crickets, wolf spiders are accidental intruders in homes. In addition, my wife has vowed to stop using Windex on spiders. I put a cup over them then slide a piece of paper or cardboard under the cup and carry them outside," wrote Terry Mayer, Pinehurst, North Carolina. A lie sent her to prison for 6 years. The length of the wolf spider measures around 1 – 30 mm (0.04 – 1.18 inches). 1. It scared the life out of me because I had a 3-year-old at the time. They are also quite aggressive. Final note: Just as I was finishing this article, I heard a loud scream from downstairs. I know, that was not cool. They are mostly harmless to humans but are feared because of their large size and their fierce namesake. More than three thousand different types of wolf spiders exist today. The Carolina wolf spider (H. carolinensis) is the official state spider of South Carolina, designated as such in 2000. Wolf spiders are large and hairy ground-dwelling spiders. "When I was a Girl Scout at Camp Potomac Woods, wolf spiders would gather inside our tent, near the top, and out of our reach. drpickerel: I’ve never seen one bigger than maybe a quarter, didn’t know they got so big. The wolf spider is known for their camouflage body color. Black widow webs are fairly shapeless and thin. In the Washington region, wolf spiders grow from one to three inches in length, including their legs, but the Carolina wolf spider can span more than four inches with its legs. I should have also included in my previous article that I released the spiders outside, a great distance from my home. They are harmless to humans, and can be very friendly, as our sons found out — they had some pet spiders for a while — they are as curious about humans as we are about them. Love, hate and fear filled the reader comments on my article on wolf spiders. At night, we'd stare up at the spiders from our cots and try to convince ourselves they'd eat mosquitoes and bugs so it was actually good to have wolf spiders in the tent with us. Washington State University provides some Northwest spider identification services. Widows are found mainly in dry areas like piles of wood, crawl spaces and rock piles. It was so big it looked like it was about to ask me for a bottle of beer. They catch all the smaller pests we don’t want. In fact, they can be beneficial, eating up all the other bugs in your home. Many different kinds of spiders live throughout the Pacific Northwest — both native and introduced. justbecauseIcan: I’ve seen one in my basement . She looked completely jeweled with all of those little, glowing eyes! The demonlike arachnids invading our homes this time of year are wolf spiders, but they are not as threatening as they appear. They instinctively know contact with humans is a death sentence. As we watched quietly, she evidently decided we weren’t a threat and signaled them to come back. CC: Thank goodness for spiders...nature’s pest control and amazing creatures. What they look like: There are more than 200 species of wolf spiders found around the country, and they can range in size. Gooey, liquid spider spread across my eyeball. They have eight eyes, eight hairy legs and two sharp fangs that inject a mild venom - nonlethal to humans, although the bite may cause swelling or a slight fever, comparable to a wasp sting. KevinDyer Getty Images. But not the poisonous brown recluse or black widow spiders. You don’t have anything better to do. WonderfulWorld: One of the coolest things about spiders is that they have no musculature. Where a few species are dangerous, most are relatively harmless and will never bite a human — if they are even physically capable of doing so — unless provoked. A wolf spider has eight eyes arranged in three rows on its large head. Going forward, I promise not to use a weed wacker on a spider, and I will always wear eye protection. Fascinating to see it maintain a silk drag line while moving, stopping occasionally to anchor the line as it went. Western Exterminator Company: Spiders of the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Northwest Insect ManagementHandbook, Washington State University: How to identify (or misidentify) the hobo spider, Nature Mapping Program: Cross Spider Facts, Burke Museum: Myth: Wolf Spiders Live Indoors. The body of a wolf spider is divided into two parts. And wolf spider guts in the eye are much better than a sharp stone, as one reader pointed out. Hobos are very similar in design to some harmless Northwest spider species, with only microscopic differences. Dirty Rat: Spiders are great. They move by pumping fluid from one part of their bodies to the part that needs to move. Others had a more level, rational take on the wolf spider, which arachnologists would be quick to point out, are harmless. When I returned home from camp, a giant wolf spider ran out of my suitcase. Male and immature widows have white or yellow stripes and are less venomous than adult females. They don't spin webs but instead run down or ambush their prey. As the old adage says “the enemy of my enemies is my friend”; I do not cotton to mosquitoes and other biting critters although I am rather fond of bees, wasps, hornets .... Vordivan: They are super cute! Generally I call it by name, ‘Sammy Spider’, wish it well and proceed with doing the laundry. They eat bad bugs. As summer transitions to autumn, cooling temperatures prompt them to seek cover and find mates, which ultimately leads them to discover cracks and holes in homes. A common entry point for the spider is under doors. Mixing a few drops of pure peppermint oil, which can repel spiders, with water and spraying the mixture indoors (kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and other areas you'd prefer to be spider-free) could also be effective. The best way to keep wolf spiders out of your home is to caulk cracks and holes in the foundation and outer walls, and to add weather stripping to doors and windows. So with this feedback and information from our readers, I hope we all have a greater appreciation of spiders, including the wolf spider.

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