Wolf spider on concrete | American Pest Management

Most types of spiders are harmless and don’t pose a huge threat to humans. However, there are two particularly dangerous types of spiders in Kansas: the black widow and the brown recluse. Both of these spiders are known for their defensive biting, and their bites are known to cause severe symptoms. If you are not regularly spraying your home for pests, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with what these spiders look like along with their behaviors and habitats. Learning what to expect when you find a black widow or brown recluse can help you react properly to keep yourself safe.

Recognizing Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders have quite a reputation as some of the nation’s trickiest eight-legged creatures. Here are some easy-to-spot traits that can help you identify them:

  • Color and Markings: These spiders are usually pretty dull colors, with their brown bodies. Look for a distinctive violin-shaped mark on their body, which is known as the cephalothorax.
  • Size Comparison: A fully grown brown recluse can reach up to about 11 mm in length, or roughly the size of a quarter.
  • Non-Confrontational Nature: Brown recluses aren’t typically looking for a fight. They would rather avoid humans altogether unless they feel threatened. In those cases, they might resort to biting.
  • Bite Effects: While most bites result in mild symptoms. It’s important to note that some serious cases can lead to blisters, pain, and even tissue necrosis (cell death). It is best to be cautious around them.

Recognizing Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders are proficient hunters and possess distinct characteristics that set them apart from other spiders:

  • Color and Markings: They are typically larger spiders with brown, black, or grayish markings on their bodies. These spiders can reach up to 1 ½ inches in size.
  • Disposition: Bites from wolf spiders are rare for humans unless they are provoked or mishandled. Although generally not dangerous to healthy adults, a wolf spider bite can be painful and may cause redness and swelling. 
  • Hunting Behavior: Unlike spiders that build webs to catch prey, wolf spiders actively hunt, chasing down and pouncing on their prey.
  • Habitat: These spiders often live in grass and leafy piles. Some wolf spiders build burrows, which they protect, while others roam freely.

Brown Recluse vs. Wolf Spider infographic | American Pest Management

Behavioral Differences

Understanding the behavior of these spiders is crucial for your safety:

  • Brown Recluse Spiders: Brown recluses tend to be solitary creatures, avoiding humans whenever possible. They usually only bite in self-defense, preferring to escape rather than confront.
  • Wolf Spiders: Wolf spiders, while also preferring solitude, are not aggressive towards humans. They actively hunt for insects and will generally avoid confrontation unless provoked or cornered.

Prevention of Spiders in Your Home

Luckily, bites from these spiders are generally rare. If you spot these spiders or suspect an infestation, contact your local pest exterminators with American Pest Management. With over 43 years of experience, our comprehensive inspections and long-term solutions ensure your home remains spider-free, prioritizing your safety and peace of mind.

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Brown Recluse vs. Wolf Spider Serving Manhattan and Wichita

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