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The Wolf Spider War - a Short Story

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DW, an Army vet, has published 9 novels. His day job is teaching elementary school. In his spare time, he camps with his wife of 30+ years.


A Little Background

Generally speaking, as residents of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of North Carolina, we have learned to live with our exoskeletal neighbors to a great extent. We try not to bother them, and they usually leave us alone.

There are exceptions, of course. Ants who infiltrate the house, in violation of our understanding, are quickly and effectively eradicated. We have two acres of woods for them to live in. They need not seek sustenance or shelter inside our home.

Bees, wasps, and hornets of all kinds are welcome in our yard and woods. We do our best not to interfere with their comings and goings. Should one come into the house, we do our best to encourage it to leave unharmed.

Other flying insects are dealt with according to the threat they pose. Mosquitoes, for instance, are obliterated at the first sighting.

Roaches of any kind found inside the home are swiftly dealt a fatal blow.

One of our favorite arachnid neighbors looks very much like this beauty here.

One of our favorite arachnid neighbors looks very much like this beauty here.

The Spider Treaty

Spiders receive special treatment when they remain outside our home. While we may occasionally encourage one to relocate a web so as not to block our ingress and egress from the house, we tend to leave them in peace to do their job of keeping the less desirable insects from overpopulating.

This special treatment is conditional upon the spiders never entering the house. The terms of the treaty clearly state that spiders found inside the house will be dealt with severely, up to and including forfeiture of their lives. You may find this silly, but we have remarkably few spiders show up inside the house despite the myriad that live around the house and in our woods.

Then Came the Declaration of War

Our son's arm looked like this only the swelling was more widespread.

Our son's arm looked like this only the swelling was more widespread.

Our treaty with the local spiders held up very well for many years. Then, in the summer of 2012, the Wolf Spiders launched a vicious and unprovoked attack on our oldest son while he was home from college and working in the yard.

The Wolf Spider bite was inflicted by a large specimen and left distinct fang marks on our son's arm. The bite also caused considerable swelling and pain.

We rushed him to the urgent care clinic. They cleaned the wound a second time (we'd thoroughly cleaned it already) and prescribed antibiotics and recommended acetaminophen for the pain.

The problem with the 'week to ten days' for the effects to go away prognosis was that my son was leaving for his ROTC Officer Training Camp the next day. The doctor wrote him a detailed note explaining the meds and the wound. As it turned out, our son was able to complete his training, finished in the top 10% of the class, and returned to school in the fall having progressed from a casual ROTC cadet to an ROTC Professional Officer Candidate.

My son's fortunate outcome did not deter us from responding to the attack. From that moment forward, any Wolf Spider found on our property, indoors or outside, would be fought and finished.

Our Enemy: The Wolf Spider


Since the Wolf Spider's declaration of war, we have suffered no further injuries among our family from their aggression. Nor have we inflicted exceptionally high casualties among their population. In combating the Wolf Spiders, we did not adopt a scorched earth policy. Instead, we dealt with their infiltrators on an as seen basis.

Most of the Wolf Spider population realized their leaders had engaged them in a pointless conflict they could not win and have steered clear of the house and yard, content to occupy their natural habitat in our woods. However, there have been and continue to be those individuals who insist on attempting to invade and attack us in our home and yard. This summer, we have seen an uptick in the size and number of Wolf Spiders moving into position in our garage. Those were dealt with before they could do us harm. Today, our enemy went one step further. (Three steps actually, because there are three steps from the garage to the laundry room.)

The Battle of Little Bathroom


This morning, as I was sweeping the floor in the kitchen, laundry room, and little bathroom, a Wolf Spider assassin pounced at me from behind the toilet and aggressively moved toward me.

Armed only with a Swiffer floor vac, I was able to deter the attack and send the assassin running for cover behind the plunger. Fortunately for me, the weapon I needed was close at hand.

I stepped briefly from the little bathroom into the laundry room, opened the cabinet, and retrieved the can of Terro Spider Killer kept there for just such an emergency.

Returning to the little bathroom, I shot blasts from the can behind the wastebasket, the toilet tank, and finally the plunger. The would-be assassin tried to run but was overwhelmed by the power of the Terro.

I have to admire my opponent in this duel to the death, his anyway. While the Terro slowed him down, it didn't stop him. Not until I applied the coup de grace with my trusty Bounty Paper Towel did the Wolf Spider give up his last breath? for his cause.

The Battle of Little Bathroom was brief, intense, and I know it won't be the last. Wolf Spiders may be many things, but they aren't cowards, and they don't give up.

© 2019 DW Davis

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