Babies on Back: Identifying the Wolf Spider

Wolf spider on white background

Imagine this: you’re walking to the kitchen to get a late-night snack when you find a spider in the middle of the floor. It’s not one of those benign Daddy Long Legs – it’s big and dark and roughly the length of a Twinkie. Your brain goes into autopilot, and you run to grab your nearest and heaviest shoe. It’s worked for other bugs, hasn’t it? That’s what you keep telling yourself as you approach the spider and slam your boot over it. That should be the end, but you’re suddenly horrified to find a rippling wave of tiny spiders rushing out from underneath your shoe. There are hundreds of them, all moving frantically in different directions and gradually taking over your kitchen.

Yes, this is a horror story just in time for Halloween. It’s also a very real possibility if you cross paths with a wolf spider and react without thinking. If you take a moment to stop and look over the bug that has invaded your home, you can avoid casting yourself in a one-person scary movie. Inman-Murphy can help residents of the Memphis metro area make sure the only creepy spiders in their home are Halloween decorations.

Identifying the Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders are often mistaken for other, more dangerous spiders, mainly the black widow and brown recluse. They all have two body parts (the cephalothorax and abdomen) and large, fang-like chelicerae. What separates them in many cases is the size – brown recluses are about the size of a quarter, while wolf spiders can be three, sometimes even four inches depending on the region they’re found in. Wolf spiders are also one of the only members of its species that don’t live on a web. Instead, they run to catch their prey with a staggering gait of two feet a second. That’s how they manage to catch and eat larger insects and other, smaller spiders.

The most distinctive quality of the wolf spider, though, would have to be how the female carries her young. There is no web to store her eggs, so instead, she moves about the environment with her egg sac on her abdomen. Once they hatch the babies stay in their makeshift carriage, so at nearly any point in time the mother wolf spider has hundreds of spiderlings hanging on her wherever she goes. So if some unsuspecting passer-by gets a fright and disturbs or tries to squish the mother, the babies will scatter in all directions. Not a fun sight for anyone, so what can you do to keep from ending up in that person’s unfortunate, spider-covered shoes?

DIY Spider Control Strategies

Spiders are inevitable living around Tennessee, but there are things you can do to control the access these eight-legged nuisances have to your home. Some of these tips are things that are good to do anyway, like sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis and keeping closets and other undisturbed places free of clutter. Because all spiders – wolf spiders included – like little nooks where they can sit and wait for their next meal. In that same vein, we also advise moving any firewood or other piles of debris away from the exterior of your house, as well as trimming low-hanging branches or anything else that a spider can use as direct access to your home.

These are all easy precautions to take, but if you do all that and still find yourself running a “Mommy and Me” for wolf spiders and their many, many children, Inman-Murphy can help!

Spider Control with Inman-Murphy

Halloween is a great time to go out and get scared, but when you get home you want a place you can consider safe and free of any giant spiders. Home remedies can be useful in spider prevention, but there comes a time when you need professional help. Inman-Murphy has expertise in long-term spider control. A happy ending for your no-longer horror movie. To get a free quote, contact us today!

What to do If You’ve Been Bit by a Spider: Symptoms, Signs & Treatment

what to do if bitten by spider_ signs and symptoms of spider bites

Have you ever gotten a bug bite but had no idea what bit you? Mosquito bites are fairly common and recognizable. But what about a spider bite?

All spiders have fangs and some spider fangs can break through human skin and inject venom causing harm. Spider bites most often occur in self-defense when a spider feels trapped, such as in a boot or in your sheets. While most spiders are harmless and irritation from a bite goes away in less than 24 hours, dangerous spiders include the black widow, brown recluse, hobo, wolf, and camel spiders.

To know for sure if you’ve been bitten by a spider, it’s important to know the symptoms so you can get the right treatment. The good news is, serious medical complications and deaths from spider bites are not common.

Spider Bite Signs & Symptoms

It can be hard to figure out which type of spider bit you because it may not be noticed until hours after it happened. Spider bites can be similar to a regular bug bite: red, itchy, and inflamed. Depending on the type of spider, bite symptoms can range from mild to severe. The intensity can depend on the type of spider, the amount of venom injected, and your body’s sensitivity to venom.

The following are general symptoms of a spider bite:

  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Mild pain

Symptoms of a serious spider bite, such as a bite by a black widow, brown recluse, or wolf spider, include:

  • Burning and pain at the bite area
  • Pain spreading to the chest or abdomen
  • An increase in sweat and saliva production
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Numbness
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever, chills, body aches
  • Dark blue or purple color at the center of a bite resulting in an ulcer
  • Death to a sizeable area of the skin causing a deep scarring ulcer
  • Possible allergic reaction in children

Spider Bite Treatment

If you suspect a spider has bitten you and you have the spider, bring it with you to your doctor so they can determine the best treatment based on the species. Take the following steps to care for a spider bite:

  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Use a cold, damp cloth or ice to apply a cool compress to the site.
  • If the bite is on an extremity, elevate the area where the bite is located.
  • Avoid scratching the bite area. The more you scratch, the itchier and more inflamed it can become.
  • Take an aspirin or acetaminophen and antihistamines to relieve pain or swelling in adults. Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers.

If spider bite symptoms are severe or progressively worsen over 24 hours, seek medical attention right away.

Are spider infestations an issue in your home? Professional pest control can keep dangerous spiders away. Contact Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control for a free pest control estimate.

How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your House this Fall

How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your House this Fall

As the seasons change, spiders may begin to make their residence in your home. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the number of unwanted spiders who enter.

Here are a few tips to help keep spiders out of your home this fall.

Seal Up Cracks

Spiders sneak into your home through small cracks in the walls or windows. Look for small cracks throughout your home where spiders may enter and seal these cracks with caulking material. This can also be useful around wires, cables, and faucets that run to the outside.

Keep Plants and Shrubs Away From the Perimeter of Your Home

Spiders love to hide out in trees, shrubs, and plants. Trim back trees or shrubs and remove plants to keep spiders from crawling from the vegetation and into small cracks in your home.

Keep Your House Tidy and Clean

Clutter and mess give spiders plenty of spaces to hide. A clean home offers them less of a reason to stay. Vacuum and sweep your floors and wipe down counters. Avoid dirty dishes in the sink and clean up leftover food. Remove clutter and dirty shoes from dark places where they can hide.

Vacuum Spiders and Webs

Get rid of spiders and their eggs right away by vacuuming up spiders and nests. This is helpful when you see a spider or two, but this may not help if you have a spider infestation. In this case, professional help may be needed.

Call a Professional Exterminator

Having a spider or two in your home this fall is no cause for alarm. But if you notice an influx of spiders in your home, you may have a spider infestation. A professional exterminator can come to your home to help control this problem.

Do you have a spider problem in your home? Call us right away to schedule an appointment for a professional exterminator. We’ll get rid of your spider problems so you can rest at ease.