CHICAGO — Now that the weather is cooling, a giant spider invasion could be coming into your house.
If the cracks on your home’s perimeter aren’t sealed, eight-eyed wolf spiders — some longer than an inch, and others carrying a batch of live young on their backs — almost certainly will enter your domain.
“It’s a simple pest control principle: Seal all cracks and entryways into your house,” said Allen Lawrance, the invertebrate specialist at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. “Anywhere an ant or cockroach can get in, a spider can get in.”
As the weather cools, the spiders will be leaving their outside habitats, like lawns, brush and areas close to ponds for warmer surroundings. A household is the obvious choice.
The spiders will crawl into your dwelling, but they also can jump onto you as you pass by, hitching a ride.
Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don’t spin webs to catch prey. They usually hang out near the ground.
Female spiders are a bit larger than the males. Both have eight eyes, including two larger ones. They use the vision to find food.
The females carry eggs on their back and also the hatchlings for a bit.
Lawrance said if you find a spider, try not to squash it. Instead, catch it in a cup and place it outside. The spiders eat other pests like ants, flies and mosquitoes, he said.
Lawrance said the spiders can be difficult to spot outside, but if you have a light source, shine it toward the ground. The wolf spider’s eyes will appear as “tiny little jewels,” Lawrance said.
“It creeps some people out, but I think it’s kind of neat,” he said.
The spiders will bite when provoked, but it’s rare. Their bite is somewhat irritating, Lawrance said.
Here’s why you shouldn’t squash a pregnant female wolf spider: