The hobo spiders get their name from how they presumably bolster their distribution when catching a ride with humans. These arachnids are a pest that frequently latches onto vehicles traveling along highways of the Pacific Northwest. Introduced by Europe during the 1930s, the hobo spider is frequently found in at least six U.S. states. In the process, this pest has expelled innumerable numbers of native species of spiders along the way.

How Do I Identify a Hobo Spider?

The best way to identify a hobo spider is its unique appearance. The dark stripe running down the center of the light brown body is the best evidence for identification. There are also light, midline stripes on eeach of its sides, and the legs are solid brown sans bands. Other related arachnids may have a similar appearance. However, only a professional will make a proper identification.

The hobo spider is about 1 to 1-¾ inch wide. This includes the legs. The size of the body is around 5/16 - 9/16 inches. The females are a little bigger than the males.

Additionally, it's essential to distinguish between hobo spiders and other common spiders like wolf spiders, as their aggressive behavior and potential to be harmful to humans can vary significantly.

A close up look on the body structure of a hobo spider

Where are Hobo Spiders Found?

You might find hobo spiders anywhere there are cracks, holes, crevices, or any habitat that supports the formation of tunnels. They are not good climbers. Therefore, they will rarely be discovered living at the ground level. They may also be discovered in areas that are moist and dark, such as window wells, basements, and crawl spaces.

Do Hobo Spiders Have Webs?

Yes, hobo spiders construct webs that are shaped that are funnel-shaped. It has an opening at either end. One end of the web widens outwardly, forming a vast, somewhat rounded sheet. They construct what may be considered an escape tunnel towards the rear of the web. This heads toward a deeper crack or another area that is protected. The web traps an unsuspecting insect or other pest-type prey that comes in contact with it.

The male hobo spiders will wander about extensively during the months of late June until October. They do this in an attempt to find a female to mate with. You might discover many males roving about at the ground level of a structure. This is common during the periods when peak activity occurs from August through September.

It is more common to be bitten by a male hobo spider than a female hobo spider. This is due to their habit of wandering about, which brings them in close proximity to a human.

Is the Hobo Spider Bite Dangerous?

There is a constant debate about the effects of the hobo spider bite. Many confuse this spider’s bite with that of other species. To most humans, their bite is no more serious than any other insect. Some state that when a hobo spider bites humans, it creates a necrotic lesion. These lesions are not unlike that what is produced by the bite of a brown recluse spider. If bitten, contact a medical professional for immediate treatment.

The bite of an aggressive hobo spider that may be harmful to humans

What Makes Hobo Spiders Bite?

The hobo spider bites when they feel threatened. Evidence of a bite by a hobo spider is redness, mild pain, and sometimes a necrotic lesion--unless the victim suffers anaphylaxis. Seek medical assistance to control severe symptoms.  Since males are in search of a mate or prey, it is commonly found these hobo spiders give harmful bite to humans more frequently, likely because of their aggressive behavior.

How Long Have Hobo Spiders Been Studied?

The Eratigena agrestis or hobo spider has been tracked since the late 1970s by the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab. Currently, more than 13,500 submitted samples. Of these samples, 10,077 are mites, arachnids, insects, etcetera. Since 1978, about 2,188 spider samples have been submitted. Of that number, 1,211 are that of the Agelenidae or funnel-web species--and 639 of those are hobo spiders!

When Did the Study of Hobo Spiders Begin?

In 1990, the first sample of hobo spiders was submitted.  This species has the highest number of samples sent to the lab. The reason is because of how often they are found in the home, as well as their speed and size. In addition to the number of people who actually are afraid of the hobo spider.

 What is the Distribution and History of a Hobo Spider?

The 1930s was when this spider was native to Europe and originally brought into the Pacific Northwest area. Eratigena agrestis has since expanded in areas east and south of its original home. The hobo can be discovered as far east as Northern Utah.

The place were hobo spider was historically found

Is the Hobo Aggressive?

These hobo spiders are originally called “aggressive house spider” and is commonly interpreted as harmful to humans. This started out from the incorrect interpretation of the name--agrestis. Its species name actually translates to “of the field or land”.

A name is assigned because of the hobo’s natural habitat in the grassy European fields where it first originated.

What is the Life Cycle of the Hobo Spider?

The life cycle of the hobo spider involves some debate between researchers. Some believe this species requires only a year to complete a generation within the warm regions of the coast. Others state that the populations inhabiting areas inland, such as Utah, have two to three years to complete a generation.

The Mating Cycle of this Spider

Starting around the month of August, male hobo spiders begin their search for a mate. The female hobo spider will deposit her eggs, which in the spring will start hatching. The young spiderlings shed their skin or molt prior to early June to free themselves from the egg sac. Over the next few months of the summer, the young spiders will develop and grow. Sometimes this process takes a few summers to fully mature. Both females and males will mature from June to September. The males will go about looking for a female to mate with during the summer because most die earlier than October.

The Hobo Spiders Life Cycle

Once mated, the females will begin laying their eggs during the middle of September. They usually produce from one to four egg sacs during the course of a four-week period. If there is a limited food supply or the weather is colder than usual, fewer spider eggs will be produced. The production of eggs for a female ceases as the mercury drops and temperatures get colder. In the late Autumn, many of the female hobo spiders will die.

The hobo spider egg

What Family of Spider does the Hobo Belong To?

The hobo spider belongs to the Agelenidae or funnel-web spider family. However, don’t confuse it with the funnel-web tarantula or Hexathelidae family of Australia. They are spiders known for their long legs and fast running. The funnel-web spiders will construct a tube or funnel-shaped type of shelter.

The hobo spider is capable of running 0.45 meters (17 inches) in a single second on average. Their top speed is around 40 inches (or 1.1 meters) each second.

How to Distinguish a Hobo Spider from Other Spiders

The hobo spider has its own distinguishing characteristics that are important even though they resemble other funnel-web spiders. It has a brown cephalothorax--the part of the body that is the front where the legs attach. Additionally, there are dark brown markings on its cephalothorax, and its legs are brown. The second part of the body--the abdomen-- has yellow markings in a distinct pattern with a grey background. And though the pattern may be hard to discern with the help of a hand lens or microscope, this pattern generally is more distinct in specimens less mature. Moreover, the behavior of hobo spiders is aggressive and might bite you that are harmful to humans.

Distinguishing Characteristics of this Spider

Hobo spiders do not have dark bands on their legs like other spiders that look similar. If you see one of these spiders with these bandings, they are not this arachnid.

The girl spider, when mature, measures 9,5 to 16.5 millimeters in length--or ⅜ to ⅝ inches. She has a longer abdomen with visible spinnerets.   The males have a body slightly smaller at 7-13.5 millimeters or 9/32 to 9/16 inches. The male has pedipalps that are enlarged, found close to the mouth, and look somewhat like shorter legs.

How to Tell if It's a Hobo Spider

The only way to tell if it is truly a hobo is by using a microscope. Just seeing a spider in the home that is brown doesn’t guarantee it is one. Many brown spiders look like this arachnid. A “chevron” marking on the abdomen is not the only identification factor.

The web of an aggressive spider that give humans a harmful bite

Is a Hobo Spider Bite Dangerous?

The bite received by a Hobo spider generally occurs when the spider is squeezed or crushed accidentally. The venom of its bite generally feels a considerable amount of localized pain. Sometimes the bite becomes necrotic, which may require medical treatment to control reactions.

Are Hobo Spider Bites Poisonous?

The venom of a spider is often enough to cause create necrosis or tissue death along with localized pain at the site. Hobo spider bites might create one to suffer some necrosis, but typically it isn’t deadly to a healthy person. And as these hobo spiders are considered aggressive, their bites might be really harmful to humans.

These types of serious necrosis are generally associated with the bits of the brown recluse spider. This kind of spider bite often takes months to heal when they create these types of skin lesions.

What does this Spiders Diet Consist of?

Their menu consists of insects and sometimes other spider species. They are like pest control against other insects. When prey enters their webs, hobo spiders feel the vibrations. This makes the spider aware dinner is near.  The spider then attacks the prey and eats it beside the narrow edge of the funnel-like web.

What Other Purpose Do the Webs Serve?

The webs Hobo spiders make are for capturing insects on their menu. It also acts as a place for mating and also traps prey. While females stay near the nest, males venture elsewhere in search of a mate. A male hobo spider in search of a mate approaches a prospective partner with caution before making contact.

A fly trap on a hobo spider web

What is the Tegenaria Agrestis Species of Spider?

Tegenaria agrestis is another name for hobo spiders. They are a spider genus also referred to as funnel-web spiders. Hobo spiders are a species of spiders originating in Europe and living in the Pacific Northwest. They belong to a small group of spiders that have a bite considered to have medical significance.

 How Do I Get Rid of this Spider Species?

If hobo spiders are in your house and need pest control, A.N.T. Pest Control knows how to get rid of spider and other pests that get into houses. If you are looking for a way to control these arachnids, contact us by telephone or our web page. We are a pest control company that knows how to take spider control effectively!

A.N.T. Pest Control is a licensed, certified, and insured company serving the following areas: New Lenox, Alsip, Crestwood, Elwood, Frankfort, Homerglen, Joliet, Lockport, Manhattan, Matteson, Mokena, Monee, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Palos Township, Shorewood, Tinley Park, and Wilmington. At A.N.T. Pest Control, we strive to earn your trust with our exceptional services in these locations and their surrounding suburbs.

 

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