Is That a Wolf Spider or a Brown Recluse? Here’s How You Can Tell the Difference

HomeBlogIs That a Wolf Spider or a Brown Recluse? Here’s How You Can Tell the Difference

Spiders are often brown in color, and this can make them very difficult to identify. Most people prefer to have no spiders in their home at all, but the brown recluse spider often tops the list of the types of spiders no one wants to find in their house. A brown recluse spider isn’t only creepy, but its bite can be extremely dangerous. Wolf spiders are often mistaken for brown recluses, and while they do occasionally bite, their venom is not as serious as that from a brown recluse.

Is That a Wolf Spider or a Brown Recluse? Here’s How You Can Tell the Difference

Here’s a quick guide:

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse bites are one of the most dangerous spider bites in the United States, in addition to being quite painful. These spiders can be found in the midwestern and southern central United States. The coloring of brown recluses is, of course, typically a solid brown color, but a recluse can be distinguished from other brown spiders by a dark violin-shaped marking on its abdomen. The brown recluse is about the size of a quarter. These spiders have long, smooth, and slender legs with fine hairs, which also differentiates it from the burlier wolf spider.

A brown recluse, notably, only has six eyes. However, getting close enough to a potential brown recluse in order to determine the number of eyes it has can be risky due to the danger of its bite, so it’s best to use other methods for identification, or, better yet, call in a professional exterminator to check out the scene.

Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders are generally larger in size than brown recluses. A wolf spider can appear as gray, brown, black, or tan in color. This color is usually accented by dark splotches or stripes on their bodies. Wolf spiders have eight eyes, as is common with spiders. Due to their habit of hunting at night, you’ll most likely see a wolf spider after dark.

Wolf spiders have a wider range than brown recluses and thankfully prefer natural environments to indoor spaces. Occasionally, a wolf spider may wander inside seeking shelter or warmth. These timid arachnids prefer not to bite, but if provoked, they may strike. Their venom is significantly weaker than that of the brown recluse. A bite from a wolf spider usually results in some pain and eventual itchiness.

What Next?

Spider sightings in your home can be frightening and you may want to call in an exterminator to properly deal with a potential brown recluse or wolf spider problem. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about how we can help rid your home of pests.