Hobo Spiders were first introduced to the United States from Europe, specifically in Seattle, Washington, traveling within shipping containers sometime between 1920 and 1930. These highly adaptable spiders soon began to take advantage of the cool Pacific Northwest weather and the highly populated area, eventually spreading into Eastern Washington and Idaho. Hobo spider bites were initially reported in Spokane, WA and Moscow, ID around 1970. Since then, hobo spiders have continued to move and spread throughout the inter-mountain region, with incidences and appearances reported as far south as Utah and as far east as Wyoming.
Hobo spider control is difficult because of their adaptable nature. Hobo spiders look for space between boxes, lawn ornaments and other objects where they can build their web. They build a funnel-like web that does not trap its prey through a sticky substance, but rather trips up its prey and funnels them to the bottom of the web where the spider waits for its meal to deliver itself.
Like most spider bites, a hobo spider bite is not necessarily lethal to the general population, but can cause pain and tissue damage. Normally, bites will appear small at first with mild pain, however, eventually the area that received the bites will begin to expand and the flesh will start to resemble staph infection. Bites can also result in severe headaches, nausea, fatigue, short-term memory loss, and impaired vision. Although they are sometimes mistakenly referred to as an “aggressive house spider”, most hobo spiders will avoid interacting with humans unless they are protecting their eggs, of which then they will become much more aggressive.
You are most likely to spot hobo spider in mid-summer to late-spring. Male hobo spiders become very active during this period of time when they are looking for females to mate with. Only the females will survive the winter, emerging again in the spring to hunt and mate.
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