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Do Wolf Spiders Eat Brown Recluse? (Read This First!)

When you have kids and pets in the house, every spider looks like an evil one. Here we will clarify if wolf spiders can eat brown recluse spiders, identify them, and many other essential facts you may want to know. 

After reading this, you will think twice before squashing any spiders again.

Do wolf spiders eat brown recluses?

Wolf spiders can eat brown recluses, but that doesn’t happen often. Brown recluses are smaller (¼ – ½ inches) than wolf spiders (½ – 2 inches) and do not stand any chance most of the time. Wolf spiders are harmless to humans and pets and are effective pest controllers. 

Wolf spiders are fatally agile hunters and can beat most of the spiders. They are fast runners and depend on eyesight for hunting. They usually hunt in the nighttime.

Brown recluse is one of the most feared spiders for their venomous bites. In the wild, their most prominent hunters are wolf spiders. Even though wolf spiders in your home do not ensure there can’t be any brown recluse too.

There are about 2300 species of wolf spiders, and they cover most of the world’s land. Different species have different characteristics, looks, and hunting behavior. 

On the other hand, brown recluses have about nine species throughout the USA. Here is where it becomes confusing. Many wolf spiders can look brown and have some similarities with brown recluses.

However, it is easy to identify those spiders with some simple knowledge. 

Wolf spiders are not picky when it comes to food. Brown recluses are nothing but a food source to them. If a brown recluse comes in front of a hungry wolf spider, that should be the end of his life most of the time.

Wolf spiders are more successful in catching land insects that can’t fly. It is very tough to beat them in speed and run away. 

Although, if the wolf spider is not hungry, it can just ignore any potential prey. So, you can’t guarantee that wolf spiders will eat up all the brown recluses from your house. But, there is no doubt that wolf spiders are amazing pest controllers and harmless to humans.

They also hunt crickets, cockroaches, flies, grasshoppers, ants, termites, and many other insects.

Do wolf spiders fight brown recluses?

No, wolf spiders most likely will not fight brown recluses. Besides, the battle between wolf spiders and brown recluses is uneven, and wolf spiders will win most of the time. 

If we look from a spiders’ perspective, both wolf spiders and brown recluses are venomous to each other, and any bite from anyone can bring the end of the other. But the wolf spiders have the size and speed advantage.

However, an underage smaller wolf spider will always avoid brown recluses. 

Are wolf spiders enough to remove brown recluses from your home? You can’t be sure, but wolf spiders may be helpful.

If there are many other insects and bugs to hunt, wolf spider and brown recluse may ignore each other until food source becomes scarce.

Are brown recluse and wolf spiders the same?

Brown recluse and wolf spiders are from a completely different genus of spiders, but they may look similar to those who don’t have much idea about them.

Professional pest control specialists get many calls claiming a brown recluse in their house. But most of the time, it turns out that it was some species of wolf spiders.

Identifying those spiders is essential but, there is not much to fear about a brown recluse if you see one in your home. Those spiders will only bite to defend themselves. 

Check your clothes and shoes before wearing them, and there should not be any problem no matter how dangerous it is. Well, it’s not a good idea to live with venomous spiders. Call professional pest controllers or take steps to control them by yourself.

Do wolf spiders mimic brown recluse fiddle?

There are so many species of wolf spiders, and some of them can look similar to brown recluses. 

But if you have some basic knowledge about them, there should not be any problem distinguishing them. Wolf spiders don’t intentionally mimic brown recluses like some spiders mimic ants.

Brown recluses can be light brown, dark brown, or blackish, and hundreds of wolf spiders have similar colors.

There are some disturbing pictures of brown recluse bites on the internet. Its bite can indeed cause necrosis and tissue breaking. But in most cases, brown recluses do not bite that way. They try to save their venom for their prey. 

Although there is no quick antidote for brown recluse bites, there are no cases of losing life from the 80s.

Do wolf spiders look like brown recluses?

Wolf spiders do not look like brown recluse spiders. But some wolf spiders can look a bit similar to brown recluses.

There are significant differences in size between them. Wolf spiders can be ½ to 2 inches without legs, while brown recluse spiders are about ¼ to ¾ inches. 

However, looking at the size of a spider is not the best way to identify it. An under-aged wolf spider can be similar in size to a brown recluse and vice versa.

Most wolf spiders have stripes in their body while brown recluses don’t have any lines. Let’s discuss the differences and identification techniques in the next part.

What is the difference between brown recluse and wolf spider? 

It is essential to learn the difference between those two spiders as one is harmless while the other can cause severe damage, especially to olds and youngs. Here is a detailed list of differences between them.


Wolf spiders can be pretty giant and often mistaken as tarantulas. Wolf spiders can be ½ to 2 inches, while brown recluse is about ¼ to ¾ inches.

Wolf spider and brown recluse spiders’ size can vary depending on the species, but mostly the size stays within the margin above.

So, if you see any spider more giant than 1 inch, it can’t be a brown recluse. Young wolf spiders can be smaller and easy to mistake as brown recluses.


Wolf spiders are hairy, while brown recluses have smooth bodies. The abdomen size is slightly larger in wolf spiders, and their legs are thicker and muscular than the brown recluse.

Brown recluses have round-shaped abdomens, while wolf spiders have a pointy belly.


Wolf spiders have stripes on their back, but a brown recluse doesn’t have any lines on its back. Brown recluse has one shade of brown in his body. 

Brown recluse has a violin shape on its head. It is a unique mark to identify a brown recluse.


Both wolf spiders and brown recluses are active hunters. They do not make webs and wait for prey. They hunt insects by quickly catching them.

Between wolf spiders and brown recluses, wolf spiders are more agile. Wolf spiders look scarier, but both the spiders are timid and avoid human interaction.


Wolf spiders and brown recluses do not depend on webs to catch prey.  They don’t use the web to move or hunt. 

Wolf spiders make an egg bag with their web, and brown recluses can use the web to attract partners in their mating season.


Brown recluses have cytotoxic and hemolytic venom, which can cause tissue necrosis in humans. But with proper treatment, it’s possible to minimize the venom damage.

Wolf spiders have mild venom, which is not dangerous for humans. However, it can be problematic for those who have an allergy.

Can wolf spider and brown recluses mate?

No, wolf spiders and brown recluses do not inbreed. They are entirely different types of spiders, and both have other processes to attract partners of their species.

It is quite impossible to cross those spiders naturally. If someone keeps those spiders together, wolf spiders will eat the brown recluse most of the time.

What other spiders do wolf spiders eat?

Wolf spiders eat smaller spiders that have no effective defense against them. But they prefer other risk-free prey. If there are available food sources, wolf spiders will not strike upon brown recluse or black widow spiders. 

Although those spiders are easy to catch and eat, a small bite can be fatal for the wolf spiders. So, they usually don’t want to hunt venomous spiders if there are other options. 

What eats brown recluse spiders?

Some animals can be helpful to protect your house from brown recluse spiders and other venomous spiders. Birds, lizards, frogs are effective in controlling pests from your home.

In the wild, the natural predators of brown recluses are,

  • Chickens
  • Wolf spiders
  • Spider wasps
  • Centipedes
  • Praying mantis
  • Robins
  • Wrens
  • Frogs and
  • Lizards

Final thoughts

Wolf spiders can help to reduce brown recluses as well as other pests. But it’s better to ask help from pest control professionals if you have venomous spiders in your house. If an unknown spider bites you, catch the spider in a jar and visit a nearby hospital asap.