Brown Recluse vs Wolf Spider | The Differences

Brown Recluse vs wolf spider

How To Tell If It's A Brown Recluse Or A Wolf Spider

At Alta Pest Control, we recognize that the presence of spiders in and around your home can be an unsettling and daunting experience. The mere thought of eight-legged creatures weaving their intricate webs may send shivers down your spine. In the world of arachnids, two species, in particular, tend to sow confusion and concern – the brown recluse and the wolf spider. As experts in pest control, we understand the importance of dispelling uncertainties and providing you with the knowledge needed to identify and manage these arachnids effectively.

Identifying spiders can be a tricky business, but there are distinctive features that set the brown recluse and wolf spider apart. Before we dive into the differences, let's explore some characteristics that can help you determine the species.

The Brown Recluse Spider:

Brown Recluse vs wolf spider
Brown Recluse


Brown recluses, ranging from 6 to 20 mm, are relatively small spiders.


They are identifiable by a distinctive violin-shaped mark on their back near their head, a key characteristic. This marking is often referred to as the "fiddleback" or "violin" pattern, and it is one of the characteristics used to identify the species. The neck of the violin points toward the rear of the spider. This violin pattern is a reliable feature for distinguishing brown recluses from other spiders.


Brown recluses possess six eyes, arranged in pairs of two. Despite this multiple-eyed configuration, their vision is not as acute as some other spider species.


Brown recluses prefer dark, secluded spaces. They are often found in quiet corners, closets, and unused areas within homes. Outdoors, they may inhabit woodpiles, sheds, or debris.


The brown recluse is venomous, and its bite can cause tissue necrosis in severe cases. However, bites are rare, and the majority of encounters with brown recluses do not result in bites.


As the name suggests, brown recluses are reclusive by nature. They are nocturnal hunters, preferring to stay hidden during the day and emerging to search for prey at night.

The Wolf Spider:

Wolf Spider vs brown recluse
Wolf Spider


Wolf spiders are generally larger, with a body length ranging from 10 to 35 mm.


They often display a patterned appearance, blending shades of gray, brown, and black. This camouflage helps them blend into their surroundings.


Wolf spiders boast eight eyes arranged in three rows, with two large eyes in the center. This arrangement contributes to their excellent vision, making them effective hunters.


Wolf spiders are versatile and can be found in various habitats. They often dwell in grassy areas, gardens, and around the perimeter of structures. Unlike brown recluses, wolf spiders do not build intricate webs to catch prey.


While wolf spiders are venomous, their bites are usually not dangerous to humans. Bites may cause mild discomfort, similar to a bee sting.


Wolf spiders are active hunters, relying on their excellent vision to chase down prey. They do not construct webs to catch food; instead, they actively pursue insects on the ground. Wolf spiders are known for their maternal instincts, with females carrying their egg sacs and later their spiderlings on their abdomen.

Now, let's address some common questions that may arise when dealing with these arachnids.

What attracts wolf spiders in the house?

Wolf spiders are hunters and are attracted to areas with a high insect population. If you've noticed an increase in their presence, it might be an indication of an underlying insect issue in your home.

Are wolf spiders or brown recluse spiders aggressive?

Neither wolf spiders nor brown recluse spiders are inherently aggressive towards humans. They are more likely to retreat than confront, but like any creature, they may bite if they feel threatened. However, both species are generally not considered aggressive unless provoked.

Should you squish spiders? Why not?

Squishing spiders may release harmful toxins or allergens, especially in the case of the brown recluse. Additionally, killing spiders may disrupt the ecosystem in and around your home, as they play a vital role in controlling insect populations. Moreover, squashing a spider can lead to an unexpected consequence – the release of a bunch of baby spiders. These tiny arachnids can quickly scatter and find their way into the cracks and crevices of your home, potentially exacerbating your pest issue. So, before you reach for that shoe, consider the broader implications and opt for more sustainable pest control methods.

Why Choose Alta Pest Control To Get Rid Of Spiders?

  • Guaranteed Services: When you choose Alta Pest Control, you are opting for guaranteed services that ensure effective results. Our commitment is to provide lasting solutions, giving you peace of mind knowing that your pest issues will be resolved thoroughly.
  • Timely Scheduling: We understand the urgency of pest problems, and that's why we offer timely scheduling options. Our goal is to address your concerns promptly, ensuring that your home is free from the nuisances caused by wolf spiders or brown recluse spiders.
  • Comprehensive  Approach: Our trained professionals are experts in identifying and addressing various pest issues. We take a comprehensive and eco-friendly approach to spider control, considering the delicate balance between cohabiting with nature and maintaining a safe home environment.
  • State-of-the-Art Techniques: At Alta Pest Control, we pride ourselves on utilizing state-of-the-art techniques to manage infestations. Our methods are not only effective but also designed to minimize any potential harm to your family, pets, or the environment.

Investing in professional pest control becomes imperative when faced with arachnid dilemmas. Alta Pest Control stands as your reliable partner, offering expert solutions to keep your home spider-free and ensuring your peace of mind remains intact. With guaranteed services, timely scheduling, and an eco-friendly approach, we are committed to delivering exceptional results and safeguarding your home against unwanted invaders. Contact us today for reliable spider control services!


The Ardent Pest Control Solution

As a family-owned business, Ardent Pest Control has been working together for the last 10 years to eliminate pests in peoples homes. In 2012, we set out on a mission to provide safe and effective pest control solutions for our clients. We are committed not only in the quality of service but also with sustainable practices that will help you save money over time while protecting your home or business from critters like cockroaches and termites!

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