How to Identify the Hobo Spider

Hobo spider identification.

The hobo spider is so challenging to identify that 99% of all the photos of one on the web are actually other spiders. Does this mean you can’t positively prove the spider you found in your home is a hobo spider?

Nope! One feature of the hobo spider that you can always use is the twin spinnerets. These are at the end of the spider’s abdomen and are visible from above—resembling two short prongs.

A hobo spider funnel web is easily recognizable and distinguishable from other funnel web spiders. If you find a funnel web, look down into the hole. If you see a folded-over spider just below the rim, that’s a hobo spider.

Lastly, if you do not live in or close to the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah, you probably are not looking at a hobo spider.

Related: Tarantula bites.

Related: Tarantulas: Appearance, diet, and mating.

Hobo spider
Female Hobo spider (Tegenaria agrestis)) photo credit: Josar Originally from: Dr. Lee Ostrom’s Hobo Spider Images Licence as stated on Dr. Ostrom’s Web site

Color and features of hobo spiders.

The hobo spider is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and tan to brownish. Chevron patterns down its abdomen will point toward the spider’s head. It will also have a light stripe that runs down the middle of its sternum.

Related: Is that a black widow spider?

Related: Meet the scary Huntsman spider.

Hobo <a href=spider web” class=”wp-image-10510″/>
Hobo spider eating a beetle. Photo credit:

Keeping the hobo spider out of your home and hair.

Keeping the hobo spider out of your home means limiting the exterior areas around your house that provide suitable web construction. Then, arrange your living space to prevent the hobo spider from crawling up from the floor and gaining access to higher elevations, such as bedding and curtains.

Outside your home, begin by locating any cracks or holes the hobo spider could build a web inside. You can begin by treating this area and then sealing them up.

Check for access points anywhere pipes or electrical lines enter through your foundations. Make sure window screens have a tight fit and that vents in attics and your foundation are also sealed.

Now consider the ground vegetation around your home. Remove it if possible, or begin regular treatments to kill the hobo spiders who may have established their funnel webs in them.

Eliminating hobo spiders from your home.

Inside your home, the goal is to keep the spider on the floor. If you do this, it will not remain indoors or, at the very least, be unable to build a web and survive for any length of time. A side benefit to keeping the hobo spider on the ground is it dramatically reduces the potential for human bites.

And if your home is older, check and replace your door sweeps—you always wondered what they were for anyway.

Keep curtains and bedding materials from touching the floor. Store laundry in a basket and keep your clothes off the floor. 

If you live where hobo spiders are common, check your sheets and blankets before bed. And shake out your boots and clothes before donning them. Since a hobo spider can climb your walls, pull your bed away from windows, curtains, and walls.

Related: How to identify the Brazilian wandering spider.

Related: How long do ants live?

Related: What do ants eat?

Hobo spider
Hobo spider. Photo credit: Josar

Are hobo spiders poor climbers?

Most hobo spiders are found in basements, window sills, and crawl spaces. This has led many to suggest hobo spiders are poor climbers. Instead, it probably means they simply prefer these moist, dark places.

However, any that gain direct access to the floors of your living spaces can easily climb most fabrics and stucco walls.

Are hobo spider bites dangerous?

The hobo spider bite is no longer considered dangerous to humans. It will only bite in self-defense.

Aside from some redness and swelling in and around the bite area, nothing as serious as necrosis or rotting flesh will occur. Indeed, a good cleaning and an antiseptic should be all the wound needs. If you experience symptoms that do not improve or intensify, consult your doctor.

Now, is the hobo spider dangerous in any manner? Yes, it has a strong penchant for driving out the native spiders where it takes up residence.

Related: Meet the cute and harmless jumping spider.

How did the hobo spider get its name?

The reason the hobo spider is called the hobo spider is actually quite cute. After arriving from Europe in the 1920-1930s, the wider started to expand east at a terrific pace.

Since the spiders could not physically move as fast as they were, it was presumed they were itching rides in vehicles and trains along the Pacific Northwest’s highways. Like hobos catching rides on trains, they used these free rides to increase range and reach new habitats.

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Do you have an issue with other stinging or damaging ants? Read these suggested articles:

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Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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