Most everyone has heard of wolf spiders, but not everyone agrees about the degree of danger that they pose to humans. Although wolf spiders are relatively large spiders that appear frightening to many people, most wolf spider species have not been associated with medically significant bites. There do exist some case reports telling of severe wolf spider envenomations, and it is possible for their bites to lead to tissue necrosis. However, such instances are exceptionally rare and are most often attributed to South American wolf spider species. Despite the generally agreed upon notion that wolf spider bites are harmless to humans, these spiders have been known to inflict painful bites. There exists numerous wolf spider species that dwell all over the world. In the state of Texas, it is not uncommon for residents to encounter one of the biggest wolf spider species ever documented. This species is officially known as Rabidosa rabida, but they are more commonly referred to as Texas rabid wolf spiders, or simply rabid wolf spiders.
The body of a rabid wolf spider grows to be around an inch and a half in length, but their four inch leg span makes these spiders a common source of fear. It is common for people to mistake rabid wolf spiders for tarantulas, as rabid wolf spiders are not only large, but most appear to have slight hair growth as well. Although this species’ common name may sound menacing, the rabid wolf spider is not only harmless to humans and pets, but they are often considered beneficial due to their habit of hunting and killing insect pests. It is for this reason that gardeners do not mind these spiders hanging out in their flower beds.
Rabid wolf spiders dwell in grass and gardens in residential areas, giving them easy access to homes where they are often found during Texas winters. While the rabid wolf spider’s bite is not considered to be a medical threat, this spider’s large presence in yards, gardens and homes make wolf spider bites relatively common. The pain of the rabid wolf spider bite has been described as being a little more painful than a wasp sting. Symptoms of their bites vary from individual to individual. For some people, a rabid wolf spider bite will begin to heal after a day or two, for others, a continuous itching sensation near the site of the wound may last for weeks.
Have you ever spotted an unusually large wolf spider?