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The hobo spider is a species of spiders that belongs to the family known as Agelenidae. It is often referred to as the aggressive house spider. Hobo spiders can be found in different parts of the world, but are more prominent in the northwest regions of the United States, across Europe and in western Canada. The favorite places for hobo spiders to rest are those with warm and dry climates, but they can also be occasionally found within homes. In Europe, they generally live in the outdoors.

As compared to other species of spiders, hobo spiders are quite large in size. The male hobo spider can grow up to a length ranging from 12 to 18 mm, while the female hobo spider is also about the same size. The female hobo spiders however have a larger abdomen as compared to the males.

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How do Hobo Spiders Look ?

Hobo spiders are generally enveloped in tiny hairs. They are brown in color and the legs do not have any unique rings on them. A number of chevron shaped marks can be found on the abdomens of hobo spiders. However, it may be noted that such markings can be found on other types of spiders as well, while some hobo spiders may not have such marks on them. Male hobo spiders can be easily distinguished from the female hobo spiders by looking for the presence of two big palps. The palps are the male genital organs, but are usually incorrectly thought to be poison sacs or fangs. The palps that are present in the female hobo spiders are not that big or swollen and hence not that distinct.

The male hobo spiders can generally be found to be looking for the females from mid-summer to until early fall. Hence, this is best time to spot them, and they can be seen running or crawling across floors. The hobo spider does not weave a web like other spiders, but weaves a funnel-like web that is not as sticky as the normal webs. Hobo spiders generally wait at one back end of funnel hoping for a victim to get trapped in the funnel. Such funnel webs are just meant to trip the prey and the hobo spiders feed on those insects that are unable to move about the funnel-shaped web. It is common to see hobo spiders build their webs near human dwellings or in the homes.

The hobo spider is not considered as a spider with an aggressive character and generally avoids attacking humans. However, it may become very aggressive when protecting the eggs, leading to a hobo spider bite on humans. Also, when hobo spiders get caught in bed sheets, clothes or get trapped in clothing near the human skin, then they can bite resulting in hobo spider bite. Humans will usually not feel any pain immediately after a hobo spider bite. However, the affected site will develop a hardened area in around 30 minutes after the hobo spider bite. Then the hard spot or sore will become a blister after 15 to 30 minutes. The blister will then result in tearing of the skin during a period of 24 hours. The resultant wound from the hobo spider bite tends to heal quite slowly.

About Hobo Spider bites

The poison released by a hobo spider bite is not strong enough to cause life-threatening complications. However, the venom can result in the development of localized pain and the death of the tissue surrounding the affected area. Hobo spiders are generally confused with the brown recluse spider. Hence, when one seeks medical attention for any type of spider bite, particularly a hobo spider bite, then it is best practice to take the spider that caused the bite to the doctor for verification.

Most of the symptoms that accompany a hobo spider bite are similar to those elicited by a brown recluse spider bite. The hobo spider bite may result in pain and hardening of the affected site, about thirty minutes after the bite.

The site of the hobo spider will lead to the development of an expanding wheal around it that grow up to 5 to 15 cm in diameter. It will then turn into a blister that will crust over the deep wound. The damaged skin may eventually be covered by a scab that will fall off after some days. Certain cases of hobo spider bite can cause severe skin and tissue damage that can only be repaired via surgical intervention. Also, permanent scars may be left after complete healing of the wound which may take a few months.

Hobo Spider Bite Treatment

  • One needs to immediately visit a doctor for treatment of a hobo spider bite.
  • One can also follow the first aid steps given below for all types of spider bites, including a hobo spider bite:
  • Wash the affected area with soap and water. In case the hobo spider bite occurs on the arms or legs, then one may tie a bandage above the affected area. The bandage should not so tight as to stop circulation.
  • Elevate the affected area. Application of an ice pack will help ease the pain and inflammation
  • Pain killer medication may be taken to alleviate the pain.

Hobo Spider Bite Pictures


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