The hobo spider bites when they feel threatened. This species is frequently confused with other species of spiders, especially the brown recluse spider. The misinformation on hobo spiders is so prevalent that it was previously thought that they can produce necrotic lesions similar to that caused by brown recluse spiders.
At one point, these were thought to be poisonous like the brown recluse. However, the past 15 years of research evidence showed that such cases have been circumstantial and the hobo spiders are mostly harmless. Hobo spiders are not aggressive; however, they will bite when pressed against the skin. The poison released by a hobo spider bite is not strong enough to cause life-threatening complications, but there may be pain, headache, extreme nausea, fatigue in some people after being bitten.
What does the hobo spider look like?
The hobo spider has become established in at least six states in the United States. They displace many native spider species when they spread. Its name comes from its aggressive behavior following slight provocation. They tag along on rides with humans along major highways in the Pacific Northwest United States.
The spider is 40-50 mm in length. It is a brown-colored spider with dark or grey stripes along its body and solid light brown legs without any bands. It has an oblong belly with longer posterior spinnerets visible from above. Usually, the spider chooses to hide in dark places and moist areas, such as woodpiles, basements, retaining walls, large cracks, crevices or other cavities in rock walls, foundations, or other constructions. They often have a light stripe running down the middle of their bodies.
These spiders belong to the funnel-web spider family, and they hide in the funnel- or tube-shaped places. They can run quickly up to 3 feet per second from one place to another, and they are poor climbers.
When to see a doctor?
Mostly these spiders are harmless. However, see a doctor, if any allergic reactions appear and there are symptoms beyond the bite, such as:
- Swelling in the face or mouth
- Trouble talking or swallowing
- Tightness in the chest
- Severe stomach pain or abdominal cramps
- Trouble breathing
Apart from these symptoms, see a doctor if the bite is close to the eyes or if a child gets bitten.
Take the spider (if possible) to show it to the health care professional.
The following tips can help get rid of hobo spiders from the house:
- Keep the house uncluttered.
- Regularly dust and vacuum the house.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the house and yard. The diatomaceous earth penetrates the shell-like cover of any insect and dries up their body, thereby killing them.
- Use spider traps that are available commercially.
Latest Healthy Living News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
National Pest Management Association. Hobo Spiders. https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/spiders/hobo-spiders/
Rahmani F, Banan Khojasteh SM, Ebrahimi Bakhtavar H, Rahmani F, Shahsavari Nia K, Faridaalaee G. Poisonous Spiders: Bites, Symptoms, and Treatment; an Educational Review. Emerg (Tehran). 2014;2(2):54-58. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4614586/
Top Is the Hobo Spider Poisonous? Related Articles
Spiders SlideshowKnow your spiders and stay safe. Learn to ID a black widow spider and a brown recluse spider though this photo guide. See medical images of dangerous spider bites that can turn deadly. Get first aid instruction for spider bites.
Spider BitesDo you know what a spider bite looks like? Which spider bites can be fatal? How long does it take to recover from a spider bite? How does spider bite venom work? How do you treat a brown recluse spider bite? How long do spider bites last? Learn answers to these questions verified by medical experts and learn to protect yourself from black widows and other spiders.
How Do You Get Rid of Spider Mites Naturally?Spider mites are small insects that infect garden plants. They live on the undersides of the plant leaves where they may spin protective silk webs. They cause plant damage by puncturing the plant cells to feed. Their webs are super fine and spread densely over leaves and stem without the classical geometric form.
How Do You Know if You Have Been Bitten By a Spider?What is a spider bite? Learn the signs of a spider bite and what to do if you've been bitten by a spider.
What to Know About Spider Bites: Identification and SymptomsThere are many species of spiders around the world such as the jumping spider, wolf spider, brown recluse, black widow, hobo spider, tarantulas, false black widow, camel spider, etc. Most spiders don’t bite unless they are threatened. If you are bitten, take a photo of the spider or take the spider (even dead) to the doctor to help identify it and correlate it with your symptoms.
Varicose Veins SlideshowLearn the causes of spider veins and varicose veins and how to prevent them. Explore which treatments get rid of spider and varicose veins and view before-and-after vein treatment images.
Spider Bites (Black Widow and Brown Recluse)
Most spiders in the United States are harmless; however, black widow and brown recluse spider bites may need medical treatment. Symptoms of a harmless spider bite generally include pain, redness, and irritation.
Signs and symptoms of black widow spider bite include pain immediately, redness, burning, and swelling at the site of the bite. Sometimes the person will feel a pinprick or double fang marks.
Brown recluse spider bite symptoms and signs are a mild sting, followed by severe pain and local redness. These symptoms usually develop within eight hours or more after the bite. Black widow and brown recluse spider bites have similar symptoms, for example, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, and abdominal or joint pain.
Generally, brown recluse and black widow spider bites need immediate medical treatment. If you think that you or someone you know has been bitten by a brown recluse or black widow spider, go to your nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Department for medical treatment.
What Do Spider Bites Look Like?The appearance of a spider bite varies depending on the type of spider causing the bite. Spider bites often take longer to heal than other insect bites.
What Will Keep Spiders Away?Most of the species of spiders are harmless to humans. The famous black widow spider and brown recluse spiders are known for their deadly bites, but these are rare. A lot of people get “creeps” when they see a spider. Here are a few tips that can help you keep the spider away from your home.