Facts, Identification & Control
What Do They Look Like?
- Females: The hobo spider female measures between 11 to 14 mm in body length. Its brown legs are solidly colored and exhibit no markings. Females have slightly larger abdomens than males.
- Males: The males are rarely longer than 11 mm and have a swollen appendage that appears menacing, but is merely the hobo spider’s reproductive organs.
- Color: Hobo spiders exhibit varying hues of brown and resemble many other common spiders such as wolf spiders and brown recluse spider.
- Characteristics: They have eight eyes clustered together, but the best characteristics to identify a hobo spider are difficult to see with the naked eye.
How Did I Get Hobo Spiders?
Hobo spiders prefer dark, damp hiding places and often make garages and basements their homes. In late summer and early fall, males of the species may wander into houses in search of a mate. Crevices in bricks and dark areas are ideal nesting spots for the pests. Homeowners may find them in between boxes, under radiators, and behind furniture.
How Serious Are Hobo Spiders?
Do They Bite?
Although many people believe otherwise, these spiders only bite when provoked or threatened, and are not aggressive. Hobo spiders are extremely protective of their egg sacs and will bite if they perceive a threat to their young. Oftentimes, humans do not realize that they are encroaching upon one. This often occurs when a spider is residing in dark areas. The pest causes little damage aside from the creation of webs.
Are They Dangerous?
Considered dangerous in the past, an initial study of hobo spider venom reported it to be a medical threat that would produce necrotic lesions. Subsequent research has dispelled this, and the spider is no longer considered a medically threatening spider.
Other Pest Problems
Although the hobo spider is known as a formidable predator, it is also a food source for other predators. Many different animals may prey upon them as they do on other spiders. Possible predators can include:
Signs of a Hobo Spider Infestation
Funnel-shaped webs and sighting the spider are signs of their presence.
How Do I Get Rid of Hobo Spiders?
Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage hobo spiders and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.
Orkin can provide the right solution to keep hobo spiders in their place…out of your home, or business.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Hobo spiders belong to the Family Agelenidae, a group of spiders known for their funnel-like web construction. These arachnids spin horizontal layers of entangled silk threads that serve as nests, detection devices and traps for potential prey.
What Do They Eat?
Hobo spiders feed on various insects and may also consume other arachnids. Prey that comes into contact with the web triggers vibrations along the silken structure, alerting the spider. After attacking their prey, they will consume it within the narrow end of their funnel-shaped webs.
Hobo spiders weave webs in the shape of funnels that also serve as mating grounds. Females generally remain within the perimeter of their nests, while males move about in search of potential mating partners.
Males cautiously approach their female counterparts, mating only after finding that the female is receptive, rather than hostile. Females remain in their nests after mating. Males will either die soon afterward or move on.
Where Do They Live?
As a species of house spider, hobo spiders are most commonly found in and around human dwellings and work spaces. They inhabit lesser-used and dark areas of such places, thriving best in humid conditions. Hobo spiders may also be found beneath rocks and among woodpiles outside.
Native to Europe, the aggressive house spider, or western hobo spider, was accidentally introduced to the Northwestern United States in the 1980s. They are found primarily in:
- Pacific Northwest United States