Hobo Spiders

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female-hobo-spider

A female hobo spider

Uncertainty breeds fear and this is how most people feel about hobo spiders. A hobo or not a hobo, that is the question! Unfortunately, hobo spiders are small (only 2 inches in leg span) that you can’t properly identify them without a microscope. Fear not! There’s still a way. We have to be like Holmes and use deduction to identify them. So it is simply helpful to have plenty of knowledge about the spider family.

There are three main types of hobo spiders:

  • Aggressive House spider (Tegenaria Agrestis)
  • Giant House spiders (T. Gigantic)
  • Domestic House spiders (T. Domestica)

These siblings originally came from Europe but due to trade travels, they can now be spotted in North America.

Aggressive house spider

We focus on the aggressive house spider since it is the type of hobo spider that is commonly found in our homes. The aggressive house spiders seldom inhabit houses in Europe due to the giant house spiders, so mainly they are seen in fields, woods and under rocks. However, due to the absence of the latter in North American house, they can reside in the comforts of your home, hiding between the folds of your clothes or even in your cabinets. They are also known as funnel webs spiders because they are known to construct funnel shaped silk and wait at the other end for any prey that would enter their web, like the Australian Funnel Web Spider.

So what is the fuss about? It is because these spiders are known to be venomous. They can cause necrosis and as dangerous as that of the brown recluse spider. Necrosis refers to the death of the cell and can result from infections, cancer or serious injury which the brown recluse spider is known for. In layman’s term, it means that their venom is known to make our flesh rot! They’re similar to the brown recluse so this is the reason why they are the least known dangerous spider and with the least information known about them.

How to tell if it’s a hobo spider or not

If you see a spider at home, how do you know if it’s a hobo spider or not? Here are some of the things you can check to determine if the spider is a hobo or not.

  • If you see the underside of an arachnid, look for 3 or 4 pairs of light spots. If these are present, then it is  NOT a hobo spider.
  • If you see longitudinal stripes on the main body part of the spider, then it is NOT a hobo spider.
  • Dark rings around the legs of your spiders? NOT a hobo. It is because they have uniformly brown colored legs.
  • If the spider is more than 2-3 inches in leg span, then it is NOT a hobo.
  • Another sign is when you don’t see two distinct zigzag patterns on both sides of their abdomen.

These spiders are aggressive because of poor eyesight and they won’t bite humans unless forced to protect themselves.

Hobo spider bite

How does a spider bite feel? You will feel a prickling sensation, redness around the bite will show, within 24 to 48 hours, blisters will show and will rupture after an additional 24 hours. A scab will appear on your skin, but the tissues beneath that scab will continue to die. The lesions that the bite gives will take several months to heal. There are rare cases where skin grafts and amputation are recommended to stop the additional tissue damage. Scary!

How do you prevent from getting bitten by a spider? Use gloves when reaching into a nook and canny that you can’t see. Check your clothes first before putting them on.

If someone if bitten by a spider, be calm and clean the wound thoroughly to avoid infection, apply antibiotics or give tetanus shot if you have them on hand. If the wound does not heal, see the doctor immediately. It is important to catch the spider — dead or alive — so a doctor or medical professional can administer the appropriate antidote, medicine, or spider bite treatment. Quell your fears about these spiders, look into some characteristic to better identify them and read all information about hobo spiders and the arachnid family.