Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous?

October 4, 2013 | By More

are wolf spiders poisonousAre wolf spiders poisonous? That might be your first question when you chance upon one, particularly a large wolf spider who has a multitude of baby spiders on its back. That concern is a valid one, and has evolved as we evolved together with the spiders, but then, is there really a cause of concern?

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous – What Is Poison?

A poison is a substance that when ingested or absorbed can harm a living thing. As for humans, we can get poisoned by a variety of substances, including organic and non-organic materials. Common elemental poisons to us are lead, arsenic, and mercury. Common compound poisons are carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. There are a lot of what can be poisonous to humans, so, are wolf spiders poisonous?

Wolf spiders are actually not poisonous. Instead of asking the question are wolf spiders poisonous, we should be asking if wolf spiders are venomous instead. We often interchange the use of venom and poison but in fact, they are technically different. The difference will be discussed as follows:

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous – Poison VS Venom

Wolf spiders, like all other spiders have venom, but that does not make them poisonous. A poison has to be absorbed or ingested to cause harm, a venom is injected to cause harm. We can say that snakes are venomous, and a puffer fish is poisonous, and that will be correct. Both venoms and poisons are called toxic substances and are classified under toxins.




Mode of Transmission -through injection by a venomous creature -through contact and absorption with poisonous substance or surface

-through ingestion of poisonous substance

Severity -mild to fatal -mild to fatal
Lethal Dose -depending on type and amount -depending on type and amount
Usual Form -liquid -liquid




Venoms and poisons can cause a plethora of symptoms, from the mild ones such as nausea or dizziness to the more severe ones leading to shock and death. If you may have ingested some poison or believe that you have been exposed to some, it is imperative to contact your physician or poison control unit immediately. If you have been bitten by a snake, stung by a bee, stung by a wasp, or bitten by a spider, then you have been exposed to venom and must contact your nearest animal bite center as soon as you possibly can.

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous – Know When You Have Been Bitten

A wolf spider’s bite may look reddened and elevated, that is because the body will react to it in an inflammatory manner. If the one bitten have sensitivity to the venom or it’s a large wolf spider with lots of venom, the reaction might be worse and can be accompanied by swollen lymph glands, darkening of the area around the bite, nausea, dizziness and rapid pulse. These symptoms can last a week up to 10 days. Once you have identified that you have been bitten, it is best to contact your health care provider particularly if you are not sure what really caused the bite and if symptoms are on the worse side.

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous – The Answer

Wolf spiders are not poisonous but they are venomous. They inject venom to whatever prey they are able to successfully hunt. They need the venom to kill the small insect or animal that they managed to trap or hunt.

The venom of the wolf spider is not enough to kill a human being, however, the bite is of course very painful, and usually, the bigger the wolf spider is, the nastier the site of the venom injection will be. The site of the venom injection can get inflamed and can get infected. There are also cases wherein the bite caused a necrosis of the surrounding tissues. Necrosis is also known as tissue death.

Both infection and necrosis can cause serious complications. So, while the wolf spider’s venom may not kill a human, the complications that can arise from a wolf spider bite can do so.

Are Wolf Spiders Poisonous – The Conclusion

Wolf spiders are not poisonous, but they are venomous. All the 2000-3000 types of wolf spiders have venom of some kind and can cause harm to whoever or whatever living creature that got injected with it, including humans.

To conclude, once bitten by a spider or any other creature for that matter, it is better to seek professional help and opinion instead of waiting for things to worsen while asking yourself “are wolf spiders are poisonous?” It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Category: Basics

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