Wolf Spiders

My wife is not fond of spiders and those that enter our house are quickly sentenced to death; of course, I am the designated executioner. Last week, she spotted a wolf spider on the family room rug and, when I grabbed it with a napkin, eight or more tiny young scurried from its body, soon to meet their own fate if they remain indoors.

Wolf spiders are common in gardens and around human structures. Unlike the web spinners, they run down their prey, haul it to a secluded spot and devour it, a behavior for which they are named. Females lay their eggs in sacs that remain attached to their abdomen; once hatched, the young ride on her body for a period of time, feasting on one another or on other morsels of food derived from her victims.

In gardens, wolf spiders usually establish a silk-lined den from which they conduct their hunting forays. Since they destroy many harmful insects, their presence is welcomed by most gardeners, at least by those not victims of arachnophobia.