4 Ways to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders - wikiHow (2024)

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1All-Natural Solutions

2Getting Rid of Wolf Spiders Outdoors

3Preventing Wolf Spiders Indoors

4Chemical Treatments

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Co-authored byChris Parker

Last Updated: May 29, 2024Fact Checked

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Wolf spiders are robust, brown spiders ranging in body size from 0.04 to 1.18 inches (1 to 30 mm). These spiders are ground-dwelling hunters that frequently hide in dark corners and shadows. Their bites might be painful but are non-fatal and generally harmless compared to more serious spider bites. However, wolf spiders can still become major pests if an infestation suddenly occurs in your home or yard. If you need to get rid of wolf spiders in your house or workplace, here's what you should know.

Method 1

Method 1 of 4:

All-Natural Solutions

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  1. 1

    Place sticky traps around the house. Lay out a sticky trap in any area you suspect wolf spiders to be lurking in, paying close attention to dark, hidden corners.[1]

    • These traps consist of little more than heavy cardboard with extremely sticky glue pasted on them. Wolf spiders and other pests get stuck on the glue as they step onto the trap. They become unable to move and die of starvation.
    • Place glue traps in the corners of basem*nts and garages. The traps should also be placed beneath and behind furniture, as well as on both sides of any door that leads to the outside.
    • Keep these traps out of reach of small children and pets. Kids and pets could get stuck in these traps, and removing these traps can be a difficult process.
  2. 2

    Use an organic pesticide. Plant-based pesticides made with hexa-hydroxyl won't kill wolf spiders, but they will kill the insects that spiders eat, so they can help reduce the number of spiders in the area.[2]

    • These insecticides come as a dust or powder that can be sprinkled beneath furniture, in dark basem*nt corners, and other dimly-lit areas.
    • Hexa-hydroxyl is also pet-safe and people-safe.


  3. 3

    Hunt wolf spiders down. If you plan on killing the spiders one-by-one, the best way to do so it to track them down by shining a flashlight in the darkest corners of your home at night.[3]

    • You can also track the spiders down outside by shining a flashlight into overgrowth, patches of woods, and dense shrubs.
    • Wolf spiders have discs located in the back of their eyes. These discs are reflective, enabling them to see at night. It will also reflect the light from your flashlight, making these spiders easy to track in the dark.
  4. 4

    Trap wolf spiders in a container. When spotted, place a plastic container or cup over the spider and slide a heavy, firm piece of board beneath the cup, moving carefully to prevent the spider from being able to crawl out.

    • Release the spider outside as soon as possible. Make sure that you release it far away from the perimeter of your home so that it does not crawl back inside as soon as it is free.
    • Use a glove when trapping and picking up wolf spiders to reduce the risk of being bitten. While wolf spider venom is not usually toxic to humans, getting bitten can still sting considerably. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to the venom, and wearing gloves will prevent a possible reaction from occurring.
  5. 5

    Kill the spider with a broom. When you see a wolf spider, strike it with a standard broom to kill it.

    • You can also use a shoe or other solid object to squish the spider. Similarly, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck the wolf spider up.
    • Since wolf spiders are rather large, you can usually kill the adults with a broom. Smaller spiders are more likely to slip through the bristles of the broom, making brooms less effective as a weapon.
  6. 6

    Wash spiders away.[4] Use a strong jet stream from a garden hose to scare wolf spiders away outside.

    • Water will not kill a wolf spider, but a strong blast of it will be enough to scare it away and may deter the spider from coming back.
    • In addition to blasting any wolf spider you see with water, you should also spray beneath roof eaves, window ledges, patio and porch roofs, and decks.
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Method 2

Method 2 of 4:

Getting Rid of Wolf Spiders Outdoors

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  1. 1

    Rid your yard of clutter and debris. Clear away piles of grass clippings, leaves, firewood, mulch, or compost.[5]

    • Dark places attract wolf spiders, which hide in these areas during the day. By exposing as much of your yard as possible to sunlight, you make the area relatively unappealing to wolf spiders.
    • Clear away as much debris and clutter from your yard as possible. Even objects like empty planters, stones, and grills can provide a dark hiding place that will attract wolf spiders.
  2. 2

    Remove vegetation from the perimeter of the house. Move shrubs and other heavy, ground-covering plants away from the building.[6]

    • Wolf spiders love to hide in dark places, and low vegetation is among the wolf spider's favorite hiding spots.
    • If possible, remove all heavy ground-covering plants from the yard. If this is not possible, you should at least move these plants away from the perimeter and to the outer perimeter of your yard to draw the spiders away from your home.
  3. 3

    Seal cracks and holes in the outer wall.[7] Make sure that all cracks and gaps leading from the outside in are patched up, preventing wolf spiders from sneaking in.

    • Use caulk to fill in gaps, holes, and cracks in the side of the foundation or along the exterior wall.
    • Add weather stripping to doors and windows to minimize the risk of allowing a wolf spider to sneak in beneath.
    • Patch up broken window screens or replace the screens completely.
  4. 4

    Install insect screens. Tightly fix a fine-mesh screen over all vents that lead to the outside.

    • Pay special attention to foundation vents. While wolf spiders can get into your home through attic vents and chimneys, they are primarily ground-dwelling hunters and are most likely to enter in through vents and crawl spaces along the foundation of the building.
  5. 5

    Remove or change your outdoor lighting. Lights on the outside of your house attract flies, moths, and other insects at night, providing an appealing food source for wolf spiders.[8]

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  1. 1

    • Keep your lights turned off as much as possible to limit the number of insects drawn to your home.
    • Draw your blinds or shades closed to keep indoor lighting from flooding out.[9]
    • Switch to sodium vapor lights instead of standard outdoor lights. These lights have a soft yellow hue which is less likely to attract bugs.
    • This is an especially effective control method against wolf spiders. Wolf spiders hunt at night, so the less food available to the at night, the less likely they are to hang around.

Method 3

Method 3 of 4:

Preventing Wolf Spiders Indoors

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  1. 1

    Vacuum your home regularly. Use a broom or vacuum cleaner to regularly clean inside.[10]

    • Sweeping and vacuuming the floor removes crumbs that may attract insects. Since insects are a food source for wolf spiders, having fewer insects will mean less food for wolf spiders, which will deter the spiders from lingering in the area.
    • Pay close attention to any area where you see spider webs. Removing webs discourages spiders from resettling in the same area.
  2. 2

    Get rid of cardboard boxes. Ditch boxes made from cardboard in favor of airtight containers made from plastic.

    • It is especially important to rid basem*nts, attics, closets, crawl spaces, and other dark areas of cardboard boxes. Wolf spiders are drawn to dark areas, making them more likely to find their way to a cardboard box if it is placed in the dark.
    • Airtight plastic containers are difficult for wolf spiders to sneak into, but a cardboard box is far easier for a wolf spider to squeeze inside.
  3. 3

    Fill in the gaps. Apply caulk around tiny cracks and cables that lead to the outside.

    • Even if you filled in the gaps outside, it is still wise to do so inside, as well. There are some gaps that may not have been visible from the outside that you might be able to spot more easily inside.
    • Start from the bottom of your home and work your way up. Wolf spiders are most likely to hang around basem*nts and crawl spaces, so spider-proofing these areas is most important. Gradually work your way up, finishing with the attic.
  4. 4

    Cut down on clutter. Wolf spiders are drawn to dark spaces, so cleaning up piles of magazines, dirty clothes, books, and boxes is one of the best methods you can use to prevent yourself from getting surprised by a wolf spider later on.

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Method 4

Method 4 of 4:

Chemical Treatments

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  1. 1

    Use chemicals specifically labeled for spider control. Since spiders are not insects, many generic insecticides may not have a strong effect against wolf spiders.[11]

    • A pesticide specifically labeled for wolf spiders is even better, but most chemical products designed to work against spiders will work effectively.
    • Chemicals designed to kill spiders immediately will only exterminate spiders already in the home. These measures should be used in conjunction with measures designed to prevent wolf spiders from sneaking in for maximum effectiveness.
    • Residual chemicals provide more long-term effectiveness and may be more helpful if you have difficulty preventing spiders from getting into the building.
    • Residual pesticides sprinkled on the ground work better against wolf spiders than many other spider varieties. Many spiders travel along webs and walls, and as a result, they rarely cross over barriers made with residual pesticides. Wolf spiders hunt on the ground, however, so they are more likely to step into a residual pesticide.
  2. 2

    Look for an insecticide containing pyrethroids. These usually include residual insecticides that are sprayed or sprinkled.[12]

    • Pyrethroids are a family of chemicals made from pyrethrum flowers. Insecticides made with pyrethroids are common and usually the most effective against spiders of all varieties.
    • Common pyrethroids used in household insecticides include bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin, and tetramethrin.
    • Aside from pyrethroid insecticides, insecticides containing deltamethrin, cypermethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, or bifenthrin are also generally effective against wolf spiders.
  3. 3

    Scatter boric acid. Sprinkle a small amount of boric acid in dark corners, cracks, and under floorboards and furniture.[13]

    • Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate, is a white powder used for insecticidal, industrial, and other purposes. It is relatively non-toxic for adult humans, but it may pose a threat to children and pets.
    • The chemical is abrasive, cutting into the exterior of the wolf spider and causing it to leak bodily fluids. It also acts as a stomach poison. The spider gets it on its legs and ingests the poison as it grooms itself.
  4. 4

    Spray outdoor pesticides around the perimeter of the home. Using pesticides around the foundation will create a barrier, preventing wolf spiders from crossing through.

    • Do not spray firewood piles. If you do, throw the firewood away afterward. It is unsafe to burn firewood treated with pesticides.
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Community Q&A


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  • Question

    How do I deter spiders from building webs across the sidewalks or doorways?

    Get some peppermint oil and mix it with some water and spray it around your doorways. They hate the smell. You can do the same with lemongrass oil for mosquitoes.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow


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  • Question

    Will lemon scented bleach kill wolf spiders?

    4 Ways to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders - wikiHow (27)

    Community Answer

    It's more of a repellent than a killer. Since I switched to lemon bleach cleaners, I've seen a drastic reduction in my unwanted visitors indoors. I also spray bleach around my door frames at night to keep them out.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
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  • Question

    Can I sprinkle lime on my garden to kill wolf spiders?

    4 Ways to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders - wikiHow (28)

    Community Answer

    It won't kill them, but it can serve as a repellent. Lime-scented washing detergent would work as well. Also, another repellent is peppermint oil, peppermints, or anything peppermint-scented. Any citrus rind works as well.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow


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      • A fly zapper kills on one zap and/or injures it so you can shock it.


        Helpful4Not Helpful0

      • Hire professional exterminators. If you have a major wolf spider infestation, you might need the help of professionals who are trained and licensed to use more powerful chemicals.


        Helpful2Not Helpful3

      • Do not squish the spider. A female wolf spider is the only spider that will carry its babies on its back for a week or so after they hatch. They just look like little bumps, but to be more careful, do not squish them or many more young spiders will crawl out. If they crawl out, you will have more spiders to deal with!

        • If you do end up squishing a female wolf spider and babies escape, either suck them up with a vacuum cleaner or spray them with pesticides that will kill them. Some babies may happen to get away, and so you will have more spiders to kill - which is why you should avoid stepping on wolf spiders or accidentally squishing them in any way.


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      Things You'll Need

      • Caulk
      • Insect screens
      • Weather stripping
      • Sodium vapor lights
      • Broom
      • Vacuum cleaner
      • Plastic storage containers
      • Spider-specific pesticides
      • Boric acid
      • Sticky traps
      • Flashlight
      • Garden hose
      • Gloves

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      About This Article

      4 Ways to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders - wikiHow (44)

      Co-authored by:

      Chris Parker

      Founder, Parker Eco Pest Control

      This article was co-authored by Chris Parker. Chris Parker is the Founder of Parker Eco Pest Control, a sustainable pest control service in Seattle, Washington. With over seven years of experience, Chris specializes in Integrated Pest Management and doesn’t use any chemicals for pest removal. He offers removal services for ants, rodents, fleas, spiders, wasps, and more. Chris is a certified Commercial Pesticide Applicator in Washington State and received his bachelor’s from the University of Washington. This article has been viewed 484,409 times.

      6 votes - 100%

      Co-authors: 25

      Updated: May 29, 2024


      Categories: Featured Articles | Spider Control

      Article SummaryX

      If you need to get rid of wolf spiders, clear away any piles of grass clippings, leaves, firewood, mulch, or debris, which can provide places for the spiders to hide. Similarly, move shrubs and other heavy, ground-covering plants that are near the perimeter of the building. Seal up any cracks and holes in the outer wall, and add weather stripping to doors and windows so the spiders can’t get in. For tips on using chemical treatments to get rid of wolf spiders, keep reading!

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