- Latin Name: Tegenaria agrestis
- Size: 5/8” body length
- Color: Hobo spiders vary in shades of brown and have a chevron pattern with the point towards their head. Yellow markings are on the abdomen. There are no spots on the sternum or rings on the legs.
- Shape: Round, eight legs and eight eyes
- Found in: Pacific Northwest
- Overview: Hobo spiders are also known as funnel web spiders. They build their web in the shape of a funnel and wait for insects to enter.
Origin: The hobo spider was transported to the United States in the 1930s from Europe and arrived at the Port of Seattle.
Climate: They prefer a temperate climate. They like to live outdoors under rocks or vegetation.
Favorite Foods: Hobo spiders eat insects. Flies, ants and beetles are often trapped in their web.
Family: The giant house spider and the barn tunnel weaving spider are often times confused for the hobo spider. All three spiders are brown and make tunnel webs leading their prey into a trap. Female hobo spiders are typically larger than males. Males leave their web to find females and mate in the late summer. The male dies after mating and the female dies after laying her eggs. A female can lay up to four egg sacs each containing up to 100 eggs. The eggs are hidden under wood or rocks and the spider’s silk is mixed with dirt to blend into the surroundings. The eggs will hatch the following spring.
Unique Facts: Hobo spiders typically build their webs in holes or cracks. Their web is in the shape of a funnel. One side of the web is flat and the other is curved. The spider sits at the curved side ready to eat. They mate in the late summer or early fall. It is a myth that hobo spiders are more aggressive than other types of spiders. The misunderstanding came from part of their Latin name “aggrestis.” The legs of a hobo spider are up to 2” long, one color and contain small hairs.
Signs of a problem: The hobo spider is known to hitchhike with humans into homes. They like to live in and around homes and will set up a web on the walls, ceilings or in cabinets. Hobo spiders run fast.
Do they attack humans? Yes, a hobo spider will attack if he feels threatened. Scientists have debated the venom in hobo spiders. They are poisonous but not deadly. The bite is similar to the bite of a brown recluse spider. It will cause pain and could take several weeks to heal. Another side effect to the bite is a long lasting headache that can not be relieved with common over the counter medicine. If a hobo spider bites you, seek medical attention to be sure the bite doesn’t become infected.
Stopping an infestation: Hobo spiders like clutter. They typically enter the home on accident via humans. Once inside, they will make their funnel web between objects. Try and eliminate locations for the web. Fill in any cracks near the windows or doors and move vegetation and wood piles away from the house. Because the hobo spider is so often confused with other types of spiders, you should call a pest control professional to verify the spider type and treat accordingly.