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Factoid Fridays: Hobo Spiders (A Most startling discovery in your bathtub!)


  • The hobo spider (Tegenaria agrestis) is part of a group of spiders known as funnel web spiders.
  • Their funnel shaped web appears smooth as silk and the spider waits at the narrow end for food to fall into the wider end where it gets tangled in intricate threads and cannot get free.
  • Its aggressiveness is mostly reported because of mistranslations of the agrestis part of its name which actually means “of the fields”. They avoid human contact as much as possible.
  • The bite causes considerable pain, but it is unknown as to whether or not it also causes tissue death (necrosis) and takes 6 – 8 months to heal, because not enough spiders that have bitten have come into the hospitals for identification. If you get a spider bite you should capture the culprit and take it immediately to the hospital with you. The bite is not fatal. May actually be the bite of the Brown Recluse Spider, which does cause necrosis?
  • Prey includes household pests such as roaches, houseflies, earwigs, silverfish, and carpet beetles.
  • The hobo spider is indigenous to western and central Europe and is now also found in parts of Denmark. It has recently packed itself into someone’s luggage and immigrated to the northwestern parts of the US and southwestern Canada; even more recently discovered in Alaska.
  • Often confused for the Giant house spider, Hobo spiders are consumed by the Giant house spider so they usually do not share space and they prey on the same sources of food.
  • The male spiders of both Giant house spiders and Hobo spiders are more active August and September.
  • The Giant house spider has hairy legs and abdomen and makes a nest which is a messy funnel. It is muddy brown to slightly yellow in coloration.
  • The Hobo female span is 11-15 mm. The Hobo male span is 8-11 mm.
  • The Giant house spider leg span female is 55mm with a smaller body size than the hobo, and the male GHS leg span varies between 25mm -75mm being the most common.
  • Dust often with a damp cloth and clean your attic, storage areas, and book cases often to avoid heavy infestations. There are spider traps available now if you get an infestation and you will not have to spray the area with harmful toxins to clear. Remember if you destroy them all, you will have lots of their prey in your space because you disrupted the environment.

These factoids brought to you by:
Wikipedia, Google search, Burke Museum Educational Bulletin No.1, University of California at Riverside, and a number of encounters in my house with these huge fast disconcerting critters.

6 Responses to “Factoid Fridays: Hobo Spiders (A Most startling discovery in your bathtub!)”

  1. Cath Lawson Says:

    OMG Patricia – I didn’t know you could get such deadly spiders in Europe. I hope we don’t get them in the UK. We have lots of huge house spiders here and my house is really old, so we tend to get lots of them.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Free Gift Ideas That Help You Sell More

  2. Patricia Says:

    If you have giant house spiders as creepy as those are remember they eat Hobo Spiders. I saw a new Dr. on BWOB who has a remedy for Hobo Spider Bites on her website….is from Seattle, WA.
    I will attempt to look it up for you and get her site address and post it here.

    She is a Naturopathic Physician

    Dr. Nicole Sundene http://www.kitchentablemedicine.com/

    Oh Yes! you already have them in the UK! they are afraid of you remember?

    Patricias last blog post..Book Review: Blink ~Malcolm Gladwell

  3. Patricia Says:

    Hey Cath –
    aren’t they creepy? but if you have Giant House Spiders they eat Hobo Spiders.
    Dr. Nicole Sundene and Naturopathic Physician that wrote a comment on BWOB has a remedy for Hobo Spider Bites listed on her Blog http://www.kitchentablemedicine.com/

    FYI The UK already has Hobo Spiders! Just remember they are extremely afraid of you!

    Patricias last blog post..Book Review: Blink ~Malcolm Gladwell

  4. Patricia Says:

    UK already has Hobo Spiders! Sorry!
    Dr. Nicole Sundane a Naturopathic Physician wrote on her blog a remedy for a bite http://www.kitchentablemedicine.com/

    I found her comments of BWOB

    Aren’t they creepy? Just remember that they are afraid of you and quite shy. And you have Giant House Spiders which eat the Hobos.

    Patricias last blog post..Book Review: Blink ~Malcolm Gladwell

  5. Whitney Says:

    This is your admin trying to solve your comment issue… Test comment.

  6. Patricia Says:

    This is Patricia making a test comment to see if it will moderate now?

    Patricias last blog post..Book Review: Blink ~Malcolm Gladwell