Texas is not the best state to live in for arachnophobes, as the state is home to more than 900 documented species, including the southern black widow and the brown recluse, which are the only two spider species in the country that are considered dangerous to humans. If that is not frightening enough, a second widow species was recently introduced into Texas, and it is already proving to be a problematic pest within households. This species is an African native commonly known as the brown widow, and while it is not as dangerous as its black widow relatives, several case reports have documented serious medical complications and hospitalizations that resulted from brown widow bites. In addition to medically significant spider species, 14 large, hairy and overall unsettling-looking tarantula species can be found in Texas, as well as a whopping 238 wolf spider species, many of which closely resemble tarantulas. Unlike tarantulas, however, wolf spiders are abundant in urban and residential areas throughout Texas where they frequently wander into homes, sometimes in large numbers. In fact, it has been said that in Texas, at least one wolf spider is always within 5 feet of a human.The most fear-inspiring wolf spider species in Texas is commonly known as the rabid wolf spider, and this species is not just large in body size, it is also one of the few spider species that is aggressive toward humans and will bite without provocation.
Wolf spiders prefer to dwell in grassy open areas, which makes residential lawns their natural habitat. According to officials with the Texas A & M extension office, hundreds of thousands of wolf spiders can inhabit one single yard in Texas, and their hunting behaviors keep them moving constantly, so it is no surprise that wolf spiders are the most commonly encountered spiders in Texas homes. At nearly 2 inches in body length and a four inch leg span, rabid wolf spiders tend to give people a scare when they are encountered. Despite their intimidating appearance, wolf spiders are like tarantulas in the sense that their bites are not considered medically harmful. The bite of a rabid wolf spider is reported as being intensely painful, but severe skin reactions and systemic symptoms almost never result from their venomous bites. The pain from a wolf spider bite can last for up to 10 days, and a few cases of tissue necrosis have been documented as a result of wolf spider bites. Numerous cases of secondary infection and systemic symptoms, such as nausea and fever, have been documented as occurring in response to wolf spider bites. The vast majority of wolf spider bites only cause minor swelling and pain that lasts for several minutes to a few hours.
Have you ever sustained a bite from a wolf spider?