What has eight legs, walks around on beaches, and bites? My worst nightmare.

A Fairhaven resident spotted a large spider on West Island the other day. Is it cause for concern or is it not as scary as it seems?

I’ll be the first to admit that I am terrified of spiders. When a spider manages to get inside my home, I contemplate burning the house down before touching it. Needless to say, I was startled when I looked on the Fun 107 app and saw a message from Nichole Andrews, accompanied by a picture of a brown spider with long, thin legs.

“All the years I have been to the beach I have never!” Andrews wrote. “This was by my feet on West Island today. I thought it was interesting. It was the largest spider I’ve seen in person and never have encountered on the beach. Pretty sure it had fangs.”

The only thing worse than a spider is a spider with fangs. I don’t recall ever seeing a spider on a beach before, and if it had fangs, should humans be worried?

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Fairhaven Harbor Master Tim Cox said not to worry. He believes this eight-legged creature is a wolf spider and they are not deadly to humans.

“They can still bite and cause uncomfortable symptoms,” Cox said. “These spiders are found across the United States.”

Face of a Wolf Spider

Cox explained that a wolf spider bite isn’t usually a cause for significant concern because they are not venomous to humans.

Britannica explains that wolf spiders are named “for the wolflike habit of chasing and pouncing on prey…and commonly occur in grass or under stones, logs or leaf litter.” They are mostly active at night, if the sky is overcast.

So if you spot this creepy-crawly the next time you’re at the beach on a cloudy day, don’t panic. Wolf spiders may seem scary (at least to me), but if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

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