Wolf spiders are a common find here in Idaho. These hairy arachnids can grow up to 35 mm in body length and their bodies are commonly patterned in black, gray and brown hues. Wolf spiders are swift moving especially when attacking prey. There are a lot of spider species that are similar in appearance, the wolf spider often gets mistaken for the Brown Recluse.
If you find yourself not knowing which one you are dealing with try to pay attention to the way the spider is moving and the surrounding it is in. Wolf spiders are quick and can be found wandering around open spaces. The Brown Recluse usually tends to be alone, in dark areas that are not disturbed often and are rarely seen out in the open.
Wolf spiders do not spin webs, instead they have burrows. The burrows may have an open entry or they may have soft silken doors. During wet seasons some wolf spiders will you small pebbles or twigs to “close” the entry and help with flood water. In the fall when the weather starts to cool is the time when wolf spiders are often found indoors. They are trying to find a warm place to make home for the cold winter. Female wolf spiders lay approximately 100+ eggs, which they encase in a silk sac. Wolf spiders are protective of their eggs and carry these sacs on their spinnerets. Once the eggs are ready to hatch the female will rip open the sac and the spiderlings will emerge and crawl onto her body. The female wolf spider will carry her spiderlings on her body for a couple of weeks, until the spiderlings are ready to set off and fend for themselves.
If you are finding more than just a few wolf spiders in or around your home you may have an infestation, in which case it would be best to call a pest professional to help properly resolve the situation.