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Wolf Spider invasion?

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by EShell, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. EShell

    EShell Arachnopeon

    I live in central Virginia, not far from Lake Anna, on a wooded lot adjacent to pasture land. It's an older house and not very tight at all.

    Over the last few days, I have literally been invaded by female wolf spiders. They're about 1-1/4" leg span, and a very dark brown, almost black.

    Taking them back outdoors is getting to be a daily routine, and I cupped 5 yesterday evening in the kitchen. I opened my front door two nights ago, and had 13 between my storm door and my regular wood exterior door. That was interesting....

    Last night, I went outside, walked around the house with a flashlight and counted 80 (eighty!) wolf spiders on the brickwork, around the windows and screens and between doors.

    Anyone know why they are doing this?

    In all this activity, I have only seen one male, and he was nowhere near the females.

    It's been raining here for what seems like weeks, are they just headed for higher ground?

    Do they hibernate in colonies and could they be just looking for someplace to winter over?

    My wife, normally very tolerant, is getting nervous about putting her foot down on one in the dark and threatens to start vacuuming invaders - her standard problem solving method for things that will fit into the tube...

    Is there something I can do to help them, set up some kind of shelter or something?

    Is there a market for them, LOL?
  2. Frost

    Frost Arachnopeon

    What's up EShell, to tell you the truth I have no idea and I don't know too much about true spiders. How long has that house been there? How long have you been there?
  3. Shrike

    Shrike Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Sounds like a bad Syfy movie.
  4. loxoscelesfear

    loxoscelesfear Arachnoangel Old Timer

    It's the time of year more than anything. Once the cold sets in, wolf spider activity will crash for the most part. Best thing to do is block door cracks and whatnot so the spiders don't get in so easily. They are very common spiders. As you found out, flash light @ night reveals many. They may find your foundation enticing for a place to overwinter. They do not hibernate in colonies though.
  5. EShell

    EShell Arachnopeon

    Thank you for your replies!

    Frost, the house is about 25 years old and I've been in here since late winter. Didn't notice a mass exodus last spring, but there's a lot I don't notice.

    Shrike, LOL, it IS like a bad horror movie. I just came in from shining the light around again tonight. Eyeballs everywhere shining back at me. As I play the fading light down the back of the house, it is easy to see 20 or more sinister black shapes lurking on each of the four sides, probing crevices, moving slightly just as my head turns away, eyes glowing green, creeping around, step by step... :eek:

    loxoscelesfear, you're probably right. I figured they're looking for a place to winter too. Odd they're swarming the house, though, must be attracted to the interior lights shining out through the windows. I shine the ground & trees for 75 yards around and see nothing, but on the sides of the house and about 10 feet out into the yard and flower beds, you couldn't swing a dead cat without mashing a spider. I'd bet that there are a hundred specimens out there. I've only removed three from indoors tonight, but it's cooler and we have the windows down and the main doors closed.

    Husbandry question: What is an average lifespan for one of these spiders? I suspect most of the females are all full grown, though there are a few smaller specimens here and there that may be younger. I wondered if I nabbed a couple now, how would they do indoors over the winter.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  6. Frost

    Frost Arachnopeon

    So it was all a surprise to you? Maybe these species knew about this home/shelter for awhile and have always gone there?
  7. Vfox

    Vfox Arachnobaron

    This happens at my house each spring and each fall. They are looking for mates in the spring I'd imagine but in the fall certainly for a place to over-winter. In the past two weeks I've seen well over 300 on my front porch alone. And it's not really that big. I keep moving them (and sadly killing some) but each night the porch is covered in them. We are somewhat used to it now but when we first moved here it gave me and my wife a bit of a start. Honestly she still isn't cool with it, but hey, they are just here to sleep. :p