The hobo spider is from the family Agelenidae. The hobo spider is also known as the aggressive house spider. Hobo spiders are found generally in the northwest part of the United States, western Canada, and throughout Europe.
This spider usually prefers dry and warm climates and will sometimes live within houses; except for in Europe, in which they are found primarily outside. Hobo spiders are moderately large spiders. The male hobo spider is about twelve to eighteen millimeters and the female is around the same size as the male. The only difference in size is that they have a larger abdomen.
Hobo spiders are brown in color and have no distinct rings on their legs, and they are covered in short hairs. Their abdomens usually have several chevron shaped markings – usually, these markings are common among other spiders and some hobo spiders may not have them at all.
Appearance wise, males are notably different from females in that they have two large palps. The palps, which is the male genitalia is often mistaken for fangs or venom sacs. The females also have these palps, but they look different, as they are not swollen like the males.
The hobo spider is usually seen running across floors. The males search for female hobo spiders during mid-summer until early fall, so that is the time when they are most likely to be seen. The hobo spider is a funnel-weaving spider, which means the web that it produces is not sticky, but rather it is meant to be a trip web. The hobo spider will trap insects that cannot maneuver the funnel surface. The hobo spider hides in the back of the funnel waiting for something to get caught in the web. Hobo spiders have been known to sometimes build their webs in or around human habitats.
The hobo spider is not an aggressive spider by nature and will generally avoid humans. However, when a hobo spider is tending to their eggsacs they tend to become even more aggressive and at that point they may attack a human. A hobo spider will usually bite a human due to getting trapped in clothing, in bed sheets, and being trapped next to the skin. The initial bite by the hobo spider usually is not painful, but in about thirty minutes a hard area will appear. Within 15 to 35 hours the sore will blister. The blister will break in around 24 hours, and the wound left behind generally will heal very slowly.
Hobo Spider Bite
The hobo spider bite is not considered to be fatal, however the spider’s venom is strong enough to cause local pain and also to cause tissue death at and near the bite. Because hobo spider bites are often mistaken for the brown recluse spider bite, it is always a good idea to bring in the spider if possible when seeking medical attention, which should be immediately after any spider bite.
The impact of a hobo spider bite is much like the brown recluse spider. Pain might not be associated with the bite, but a small hard area may appear within 30 minutes of the bite.
This bite area will be surrounded by an expanding red welt that can reach 5-15 cm in diameter. Blisters form within 12-48 hours, which eventually crust over the cratered wound. A scab can develop over necrotic tissue that eventually sloughs off. In some cases, tissue loss is so severe that surgical removal of damaged tissue and repair are needed.
The fully developed lesion may reach 3 cm or more in diameter which may take several months to heal and often leave permanent scars.
The occurrence of systemic illness is variable. However, the most common symptom is a severe headache, sometimes occurring within 10 hours (sometimes ~30 minutes) that does not respond to aspirin. The headaches have been compared to migraines and may persist for a week, sometimes accompanied by nausea, weakness, fatigue, temporary loss of memory, and vision impairment.
Here is a picture of a Hobo Spider Bite:
Very detailed text about the Hobo Spider can be found here:
Myths about the Hobo Spider by Rod Crawford at the University of Washington
Hobo Spider Web Site by Darwin K. Vest
Just about ten minutes ago I saw this huge hobo spider running around my living room and I was laying down peacefully deciding if I should watch south park or family guy and then it climbed up on my thi and bit me and it stings badly the bite looks redish purplish and is 4 inches long and 4 inches wide my insides are kind of starting to show too.
Hi, I’ve been on the computer trying to look at what kind of spiders live in my basement in Wisconsin. I have the normal tiny spiders that eat bugs, non-poisonous or threatening. Now I see a bunch of spiders that hang in my windowsills and don’t bother me or my G-ma, but I’m curious to find out what kind of “Regular” basement spiders I have.
If anyone could direct me to a site to find out what those lil buggers are, or email me what they could be. A site would be nice because I’ve been searching for a site that explains what I’m looking for, but just sites like these keep popping up. You’re guys spiders are some freaky stuff, but I Don’t have that problem I’m just curious to know whats creepin down in my basement.
If anyone knows about the lil spiders in basements that dont bother anybody, for example one “Lil Spider” that I’m talking about is those jumping spiders that are literally about an ince and a half big, so yea, it’s not really a big concern, but like I said I’m curious.
Fantastic , now Ill never be able sleep in my house again ?I dont understand how do these things even get in a house ? how do you prevent this kindve thing auctully I had a spider that kindve looked like that that hid in a droor and was running around in our garage for awhile and we eventually were able to catch it and tossed it outside … but it didnt attack us it was this yellow thing
My bites are a month old and they hurt more now than ever. I first thought they were flea bites, then I knew when the blisters formed and then the ooz. Now there are 5 dark scabs the biggest the size of a pencil eraser. I don’t want to pop them open for fear of infection. I’ve been putting bactoban, benydrl, and cortisone on them and I had a round of antibiotics for another issue that may have helped. I’ve shown them to a dermotologist and another doc neither knew what they were looking at. I have been feeling horrible for a month, headache, exhausted, achy, and nauseous. Please keep your remedies coming in. In pain, tired and worried in Seattle.
I live in Chicago and just yesterday when I was in my basement I found a huge hobo spider. It scared the crap out of me so I captured it and took it outside. After seeing some of the other photos I’m glad I took action because it could have ended up a lot worse.
hobo spiders also live in Oklahoma, I have caught several in our back yard and released them away from human habitation.
hello my name is Anita and about 9 yrs ago i was bit by a hobo spider on my low-low-lower back and went to the E.R. and they couldn’t tell me what it was so the next day i went to my Dr. and he removed the lump and told me that i was lucky to be alive and what it was and gave me some meds and i was loopy for a couple months and every sens then its like spiders are attacked to me sens then i have had about 20 bites sens
I live in slc, ut. I’m plumber and was working in a crawl space, was bit by a hobo spider. The infected area left a welt the size of my fist and s extremely tender. I went to the doctor and received antibiotics etc.
Hello every one…..
I have been reading up on different insect and other bug bites and being that I live in UT home of the hobo spider and various other creepy crawlers, its been about a week since something bit me in my right leg just above my knee, now I have thought nothing of mostly because I have never been a bug victim before but the more I look into the wound looks a bit like both a hobo spider bit wound and a brown recluse spiter bit wound the odd part is I never developed a rash around the wound nore has any pain come from it, well except for when any pressure is put on it it has popped and (“the venom”or”pus”) leakes out I also have been treating it with peroxide every day as soon as I get out of the shower and like I said before I have never had a spider bite in my life but through my investigation and research within the last couple days ( approximatly 6 to 8) days after this appeared and look identical to both hobo spider and brown recluse I’m actually looking for advise should I go to the docters or will I be safe to just ride it out if it looks like it not getting any worse? I have no clue
I was wondering what the difference of a hobo spider bite and a brown recluse bite is? I got bit on my spine, which I believe was a brown recluse, it had a distinct purple ring around it, with a huge blister in the middle, then five days later, my thigh bone hurt so bad all day, and the next day, a huge blister appeared. This bite is different, you can see 4 distinct fang marks under a magnifying glass. How do you tell the difference between bites? Some man came to stay with us and after I told him not to bring a single item into this home because his things were in a shed, he did so anyway, his clothing were on the table in the computer room, my heating pad right next to it and low and behold, both times i used the heating pad I was bitten. Could a second bite from a same brown recluse be less poisonous because it didn’t have time to revamp> Good question for you spider experts out there. Thanks T
One other question please….I was bit as a child around 7 years old by a brown recluse and almost lost my leg over the bite, because staff infection and many other infections. I was bit on the top of my left foot and it of course left a horrible scar. Could I in some way be immune to the venom of a brown recluse? Thanks, T
I live in Alberta Canada. On Dec 21 2011, while staying in a clean hotel in south Edmonton ( wont say which Hotel but a very nice one)I know I was bitten by a hobo spider, i was sleeping and felt something crawling on my face brushed it off, thinking that was not a spider at this time of year. Well was I wrong.
Hours later a red lump appeared about the size of a Canadian dollar ,what we call a looney..lol, Anyway there was a lot of pain , dizziness,the area was hot to touch,my lymph node on the left side of my face under my ear was swelling, So I decided on the way home i would stop into the walk in clinic and see a Doctor ,he refused to believe it was a spider bite stating we don’t have spiders that bite at this time of year in Alberta.. yeah right,
He gave me antibiotics, three days later the scab formed the skin was dead..I went and seen… another Doctor she gave me more meds…I had a fever and chills face was swollen and my eye was almost swollen shut ,under my eye was filled with fluid
PS I was on vacation now in Banff Canada with my family,I spent the entire week at the lodge in our room,To weak and fatigued to go anywhere. It sucked, dam spider ..Well when we got home i went to the hospital since now I have a nasal infection and my sinuses are all clogged up, I think this was because of the spider bite…the doc gave me a tetanus shot and a topical ointment.
Exactly 1 month to the date and the scab fell off leaving a crater on my face like a chicken pox scar.I will continue to use the ointment for infection and moisture so hopefully the skin will continue to knit and heal. I have to say I am now more afraid of spiders and will be for sometime.
I hope every body got bit by a hobo spider gets a good picture of it and finds a cure fast or go to the doctor before it get worse.Trust me i know how it will look if it does not get treated it will get big , stuff will come out of it but it u won’t fill a thing unless you asleep.P.S it will not kill you , and it will not get you sick.
@JSN No, that isn’t a Hobo. That’s an American House Spider. They are very common in your area and aren’t considered dangerous to humans. They are often confused with Hobos.
Hey folks, I too was bitten by a Hobo spider. I was also bitten by a Brown Recluse when growing up in Kansas.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest (WA.,OR., WY., ID., UT., then you will find Hobo’s. If you live in the mid-west, (NE., KS., MO., IL., OK., TX.) or the south (KY., TN., VA., W.VA., NC., SC., AL., GA., AK, LA., FL.) you will find brown Recluses. They don’t live near each other though! If you live in one of these states and are diagnosed with a spider bite from one of the other states not in your list, your Dr. is wrong!
That being said, the best way to keep these crawlers out of your home is…spiders! I know that seems odd, but it has to be the right kind of spiders. The three best are 1: Jumping Spiders. They are those little fuzzy, compact spiders you see on windows and plants. They twitch from side to side, jump from place to place and often have really big eyes and often white spots. Their primary prey is other spiders. They will attack, kill and eat them! They are harmless to you and will even crawl on your hand without harming you.
2: Wolf Spiders. They are the big, nasty spiders (look at Roger B’s photo above. That’s a Wolf Spider. They also kill and eat other spiders. I caught one here at my home in Salt Lake City, and tossed it into a basement window well where a Black Widow was nesting. Two hours later, I had one Wolf Spider, one empty nest and no Black Widow! Wolf Spiders are a bit poisonous but not aggressive. 3: Daddy Long Legs, which technically isn’t a spider, but they too attack, eat and kill spiders.
I actually capture jumping spiders and turn them loose in my house. Since I’ve started doing that, I’ve only killed two Hobos this year. Before, I killed as many as a dozen. Here’s the formula. Two to three Jumping Spiders in the house. One Wolf Spider in the garage and one for every window well. Daddy Long Legs? Leave them alone when you see one. Don’t mess with the Daddy Long Legs. They are wanderers and really fragile. If you try to catch them, you’ll only hurt them.
well i have a question i have this sore on my inner thigh it started out as what i thought was a small pimple as i get them every now and again but it got bigger and really soar so sore it was hard for me to walk.. i was almost in tear.. well it popped and i squeezed it and pussy stuff cam out and now in the middle is a whole just a plane whole nothing coming out it doesn’t seem to hurt as much i had put some neosporin on it but i wanna know if i should seek medical help…as that is my last resort because i have no insurance and no money to pay for it… i have found black spiders with legs included the size of the top of a pop can maybe a size smaller i got a glimpse and the he took off.. around here we’ve know the have wolf spiders and brown recluse spiders.
I have used hobo traps quite effectively. It is my understanding from research that I have done, that it is the only way to get them. Traps are available at hardware stores, feed stores, etc. I’ve been told by experts that hobos move indoors during their fall mating season.
I had a friend in Alberta Canada get bitten by a Hobo Spider in August. He died from the infection in December. If you’re bitten, take it seriously. My friend was a strong 45 year old man. The Doctors in Alberta said it was a Brown Recluse, but I know we don’t have those in Canada.