Spiders can be intimidating creatures, especially for young children. Teaching students the basics can help them to better identify and understand dangerous spiders. When teaching students about wolf spiders, you must make sure you cover what they look like, where they live and what students should expect if they are ever bitten.

Appearance

Wolf spiders have excellent eyesight.
Wolf spiders have excellent eyesight.

Wolf spiders are dark brown with thick hair covering their bodies and legs. They look similar to the Tarantula. They are large and can reach about 4 inches including their legs. They do not hunt in packs because they prefer hunting alone. They have outstanding eyesight, using all eight of their eyes.

Hunting

A wolf spider with a grasshopper.
A wolf spider with a grasshopper.

The wolf spider differs from other spiders in one key way. They do not use webs to catch their prey. That might sound strange because everyone associates spiders with webs. But wolf spiders hunt, instead of capturing. They are ideal hunters, usually ambushing their prey. Their meal of choice is the cricket, but they will eat cockroaches and beetles. If there are spider webs around your home, rest assured they are not made by the wolf spider.

Habitats

The Texas rabid wolf spider.
The Texas rabid wolf spider.

Wolf spiders can be found all over the U.S., and there are at least 125 known species. This makes them very common. The two states that have the most sighting of these types of spiders is Texas and California. There is even one particular species in Texas called the rabid wolf spider, and it is the biggest spider in the state.

These spiders like to live in warm places where prey is common. Be cautious around doorways, windows, garages, attics, basements and near potted plants.

Bites

A wolf spider's  bite is venomous and can take days to heal.
A wolf spider's bite is venomous and can take days to heal.

Being able to identify wolf spider is important because they are venomous. A bite from this spider can cause swelling, itching and pain. If a child, elderly person or someone with a medical condition is bitten, they need to seek medical attention immediately. The bite could take days to heal.