You are here:

Entomology (Study of Bugs)/wolf spider stalking led light


QUESTION: At a camp site, a wolf spider? was stalking me and my my led torch. Inside my house twice I had to brush  the wolf spider off my leg, due to its attraction to the led lantern I was using. I was also near powerful magnets? It was really stalking. I wonder if red wavelengths do make the wolf-- aggressive. I would like a general explanation of this behaviour as well. Thankyou. The lantern was the only source of light.

ANSWER: Part of my experience and expertise involves animal behavior and I can assure you that insect behavior is controlled by their DNA. It follows patterns to enable them to survive and meet their needs. They have no concept of human beings. What you interpret as stalking is coincidental. With regard to light many insects and spiders are attracted to it since insect prey can be attracted to it but they usually are more attracted to the shorter wavelengths at the blue and UV end. Spiders are especially attracted to UV rays.
But I cannot argue with what happens in your case. If you observe the spider being attracted to the LED light it must be so.
 The wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are not aggressive spiders and I have been picking them and all spiders up since I was ten and have never been bitten

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello  Mr Hintz,
Led light is strong in red and blue wl.
Is it true to say that the wolf spider is not an indoor spider(free to travel, fly catcher,peaceful cohabitation) due to its nocturnal nature and its habit of being attracted to blueish light(which I use as my sole light)?
Is there any way to discourage or catch the wolf sp. at a campsite where it is difficult to see in blueish light and difficult to ignore due to its attraction to blueish light? It also is difficult to identify in blue light, which makes it a bit scary.Thanks.

Wolf spiders belong to the Family Lycosidae and there are over 200 species and many wold spiders inhabit houses usually in dark areas and basements. Many others inhabit wooded areas wherever there is prey. The outdoors belongs to the insect world and wherever there are bugs there are spiders. There is no way you can control spiders at campsites. Besides they are harmless so why bother. Of course I am a guy who keeps tarantulas. (who by the way do not like light)

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

©2017 All rights reserved.