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Wolf Spiders vs. Black Widow Spiders: Which Is More Dangerous to Maryland Residents?

Posted on: October 21, 2015

Seeing a spider crawling around your home is never a fun experience, even if you aren’t afraid of them.

Some are too fast to catch, while others look so terrifying that you don’t even want to go near them. This becomes a problem when the spiders in your home are harmful to humans.

At that point, you need to take steps to get rid of the 8-legged pests.

But before we talk about Baltimore pest control methods, let’s compare two common spiders in Maryland and discuss which one poses more of a threat to you and your family.

 

Wolf Spiders vs. Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spiders

Black widow spiders are among the easiest to identify because of their distinct, hourglass-shaped marking. Typically, the marking is bright red or orange and the rest of their body is solid black.

Although the black widow spider’s bite typically just feels like small a pin prick, it can be dangerous due to the venom that the spider injects into your body.

If you’ve been bitten by a black widow spider, you’ll likely experience extreme muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and cramping. You could even experience difficulty breathing if the bite causes mild paralysis of the diaphragm.

If you spot a bite on your body, don’t panic.

Although these bites should be taken seriously and require immediate medical assistance, they aren’t fatal 95% of the time. That being said, keep in mind that a black widow bite is particularly dangerous for the elderly, the ill, and children.

If there’s a black widow spider in or around your home, it’s probably hiding in a dark, damp place like an outdoor shed, a woodpile, or the cracks in stone walls.

Always look for spiders in these areas, and if you’re feeling uneasy about sticking your hand in a dark place (like the corner of a shed or the inside of a shoe), put on a pair of thick gloves first.

 

Wolf Spiders

With their large size and hairy body, these spiders have quite a startling appearance. They are often black or brown in color with lighter-colored stripes or splotches.

Their name comes from their wolf-like tendency to quickly move across the ground, hunting down and eventually attacking their prey.

Luckily, their prey doesn’t often include humans – mostly, they just chase after insects and other spiders. And, while wolf spiders look pretty scary, they are rarely aggressive unless threatened or handled.

However, if a wolf spider does manage to sink its fangs into your skin, you’ll probably notice some physical trauma and itchiness at the site of the bite.

If you’re allergic to spider bites, you could also experience unpleasant physical symptoms like dizziness and nausea.

Other than that, the worst thing about a wolf spider’s bite is the pain associated with it is similar to that of a bee sting.

If there’s a wolf spider in or around your home, it’s probably hanging out around your doors/windows or in your basement or garage.

They can also be found in wood piles, so wear a thick pair of gloves if you’re going to be rearranging or moving a pile!

Which is more dangerous to Maryland residents – a wolf spider or a black widow spider?

Most people would agree that wolf spiders are the scarier-looking of the two, but the black widow is much more dangerous.

Why?

Because a wolf spider bite isn’t fatal unless the victim suffers an allergic reaction to it. Black widow bites, on the other hand, can be fatal, even for a victim who is not allergic.

Since both of these spiders can be problematic for Maryland residents (especially in the fall!), it’s important that you take steps to prevent either of them from entering your home. To do this, you can choose an experienced Baltimore pest control company or try some DIY options.

 

Tips for keeping spiders out of your Maryland home

Ready to learn how to protect your household from unwanted 8-legged visitors? Here are a few things you can try:

Tidy up.

We’ve already discussed how both wolf spiders and black widow spiders like to hang out in woodpiles. So, remove any woodpiles and other debris from your yard. At the very least, keep the debris as far as your home as possible.

As far as tidying up the inside of your home, pick up any piles of clothing, shoes, or similar items on the floor.

You may want to shake each item out before you handle it extensively. That way, any unwanted spiders fall to the floor instead of crawling onto your skin.

Install door sweeps.

Since you can’t use caulk to seal off the bottom of your door, consider installing a door sweep. Make sure it fits properly so it can serve as a barrier of entry for any spiders trying to crawl under your door and into your home.

Store your items properly.

If you store your belongings in cardboard boxes, you may want to consider switching to plastic bins. That way, a spider won’t be able to enter through the cracks and make a home among your stored items.

If you’d rather stick with your cardboard boxes, be sure to seal off any cracks and holes completely with packing tape.

Get rid of webs.

If a spider has spun a web in your house, get rid of it. Often, this will cause the spider to move to a different area.

If you’ve found a web indoors, try using a broom or a vacuum to eliminate it. If you’ve spotted a web outdoors, you can try either of those options or a water hose.

Seal cracks in walls.

Search your home thoroughly for cracks in the walls – often, those are the entry points spiders use to get inside a building.

Once you’ve located the cracks, get some caulk and use it to seal them up.

 

What should you do if you see a black widow spider or a wolf spider in your home?

Sometimes, even the most thorough preventative measures won’t keep spiders out of your home.

When that happens, it’s important to be cautious and keep a safe distance from the spider. After all, some bites can be deadly.

You can try using a flat object, a vacuum, or a spider-killing spray to eliminate the creepy creature, but it’s often best to leave the extermination process in the hands of qualified Baltimore pest control professionals, especially if you’ve encountered a spider with harmful venom (like the black widow!). Otherwise, you could end up angering the spider and becoming its next bite victim!

 

If you want to get spiders out of your home, consider choosing our Baltimore pest control team today.

We know that a spider sighting can be quite unsettling, so our experts take great care to remove them all from your home. That way, you can get your peace of mind back and keep the spiders from ever returning.

Let’s talk about your pest control needs – contact us today!

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