This post will answer the question “What is a Hobo Spider?” and give you 9 other interesting facts about these unique creatures!
Hobo spiders (Tegenaria agrestis) are aggressive house spiders; they like damp and dark areas like in brick crevices, basement, garage, behind furniture, under radiators, or between boxes.
What Do Hobo Spiders Look Like? – A summary
- Characteristics: The eight-eyed Hobo spider does not have a typical eye arrangement for this species. A close look at the spider shows that its ALEs and AMEs are almost joined.
- Color: Hobo spiders come in different shades of brown, so it’s important to learn the distinguishing features but they’ll look anything like the brown recluse spider and wolf spiders.
- Males: The males of the species are typically shorter than 11 mm, with swollen appendages. The appendages are actually their reproductive organs.
- Females: The female hobos have a length ranging from 11 mm – 14 mm. Their abdomens are larger than that of their male hobo spiders.
So, let’s get into the details!
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What Is A Hobo Spider? Are they Serious?
So, how can you tell a hobo spider? To tell if a spider is a hobo spider, look at its front body. The front body will be brown (with darker-brown markings) and it has brown legs and yellow abdomen markings.
Do They Bite?
They usually do not bite humans, contrary to popular belief. But if they feel threatened, or are provoked, they might.
- Hobo spiders will bite if they perceive a threat to their young ones or egg sacs – they’ll be highly protective in this case.
- Most people don’t know when they’re encroaching on the hobo spider, which typically hangs out in hidden and dark areas.
- For the most part, they’re harmless and just make webs but you need to know what they look like.
Are They Dangerous?
A previous study of the hobo spider venom reported that Hobo spiders are a medical threat and that they’re cause necrotic lesions.
- However, current research shows that hobo spiders aren’t medically threatening
Other Bug Problems
The hobo spider, though an expert predator in its own right, is also preyed upon by other animals. These bugs include:
- Bees, Mud-dauber wasps, and hornets
- Spiders such as the wolf spider
- Rodents and furry animals like squirrels or chipmunks.
Hobo Spider Ecology, Habitat, and Distribution
Where are hobo spiders found?
The spiders in the Agelenidae Family, including the Hobo spiders, spin entangled silk webs that serve as their prey traps, detection devices, and nests.
It is often seen on fence posts and tree branches as the sunset with its web being used to capture small insects flying overhead.
- Occasionally when found in buildings, it will be found seeking shelter under boxes or other debris.
Hobo spiders will weave webs that are funnel-shaped with sticky silk that sticks to small insects flying by them while they are hunting for prey on their webs – they use them also as mating grounds.
They’ll create the webs in a tangle of vegetation or at the edge of trees and usually have more than one attachment point to the ground, such as stones or branches.
- Females stay within their web as males wander in search of mates.
What Do They Eat?
The primary food source of Hobo spiders is insects and arachnids, on which they feed until the animal dies. They are also known to prey upon other spiders and arthropods.
- Once their prey touches the web triggers (detection devices), there are vibrations on the silken line that’ll alert the Hobo.
Though the Hobo Spider bite is not often lethal, some of the symptoms such as necrosis are similar to what you get with bites from the brown recluse.
They’re largely Native to Europe but you’ll mainly find Hobo Spiders in parts of;
- The Pacific Northwest US
- Oregon, and
The male Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis) mate with their receptive female counterparts.
The male Hobos die or move on soon after the mating process.
So, the female spider is the one who does all of the work to produce new offspring.
- She lays a single egg sac, and then she guards it against predators until her babies hatch.
- The young spiders will wait for their mother on top of or next to her web as she goes out hunting for food; after she returns with prey in tow, they will climb onto her back and feed while riding home again to protect themselves from potential danger along the way.
Is a hobo spider poisonous?
No, the Hobo Spider is not venomous and does not pose any threat to humans or animals – according to the CDC.
Recent studies show that the venom of the hobo spider does not create significant skin reactions in animals.
- However, some people are allergic to their bite and can develop symptoms such as local swelling, itching around the area bitten by the spider, headache, nausea, or vomiting, and general malaise.
If you experience these symptoms after being bit please seek medical attention immediately.
Hobos spiders do have an “aggressive” reputation, but they are not venomous creatures. They will typically feed off smaller insects like flies and arachnids.
Notable spiders that have dangerous venom in the US are like the brown recluse or the black widow.
Hobo spiders are not known to be aggressive; instead, they show a tendency to flee and hide when disturbed.
The hobo spider is also not known to be found in areas where humans live, but they are often spotted on the sides of buildings or other places such as a barn.
Should I kill a Hobo Spider?
If you can avoid it’s best not to kill hobo spiders, since having some spiders around helps keep down pests such as cockroaches; however, there are exceptions to this rule.
- However, we’re born with a natural fear of spiders, as evidenced by the physical response we have every time we see or touch one.
Therefore, sometimes we may have to kill these hobo spiders as a last resort if they are infesting our home and cannot be removed.
The hobo spider is not known to be poisonous; however, it can bite humans which may cause some discomfort but usually, no permanent damage will occur.
- You should kill hobos by using an aerosol product for killing insects such as bug spray and undertake thorough spider vacuuming.
What Do You Do If You Find A Hobo Spider?
If you find a hobo spider, please contact an exterminator for spider inspection and control as they have venomous fangs.
The spider exterminator may employ these steps to get rid of a hobo spider:
- Vacuum to get rid of those spiderwebs. Also, change your vacuum filter regularly; ideally, monthly.
- Prevent wandering spiders from entering homes by installing sticky traps in dark, damp places like basements and closets.
- Use suitable insecticide powders, sprays, and dust (carefully following label instructions) on crevices, doorways, windows, and baseboards
Spray window screens, door thresholds, and garage doors with the insecticide.
If you find a hobo spider outdoors where it is not dark or damp:
- Knockdown the webs (if any) to eliminate hiding places for wandering spiders;
- Eliminate their food sources by keeping vegetation trimmed back from foundations of buildings and sidewalks;
- Place sticky traps in areas of high-traveling activity near exterior walls.
Can a hobo spider kill a Dog or Cat?
Recent studies shoes that hobo spider bites aren’t harmful or won’t kill your cat or dog; this is unlike the case with brown recluse and the black widow that’s fatal to pets and humans.
If your pet or child is bitten by a hobo spider and shows signs of illness, contact the vet immediately for treatment advice.
Since hobos will typically stay in dark corners like sheds, basements, etc., you’ll need to sweep them out with a broom into an outdoor area where they can’t get back inside and then vacuum up their webs.
- If there’s no access point outside that allows them to re-enter, use sticky traps as well because these spiders also live on walls.
The signs of a bite from such spiders on the cat or dog may include agitation, tremors, diarrhea, muscle rigidity, vomiting, cramping, and muscle pain.
So, on the question of “What is a Hobo Spider?” we hope this article has been helpful.
Hobo spider bites rarely result in serious medical issues but may cause swelling at the site of injury along with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, and headache.
As always, happy spider hunting!