The Truth About Hobo Spiders & How to Stay Safe

The hobo spider is one of the many arachnid species that has found its home in the Pacific Northwest. The hobo, Tegenaria agrestis, is a European immigrant species that has earned a bad reputation Orkin Pest Control Near Me for being a potentially poisonous spider in the United States since the 1980s. The name “hobo” is linked to the spiders presumed spread to distant cities by way of the railroads.
The hobo is one of the few spiders in North America whose bite can be medically significant. While generally fearful of humans, the hobo (like most spiders) will defend itself if threatened. Its feared that the venom can be strong enough to cause necrosis – killing flesh and causing infections around the bite. However, don’t fear or kill every spider you see. The giant house spider is a competitor of the hobo spider and actually keeps it out of our homes. The house spider does not cause harm to humans or animals and it is a great natural pest control agent. That said, it is nearly impossible to determine the difference between a hobo spider and the giant house spider with the naked eye.
The two spiders are related; both are indigenous to North Western Europe and were introduced to our area in the early 1900s. Hobos build funnel-shaped webs to capture insects. The webs are not sticky and they are usually low to the ground. Woodpiles, yard waste and home foundations are very appealing places for hobo spiders to build webs. However, there are many closely related species of spiders that make similar webs in similar places, so if you see funnel webs on your property that does not necessarily mean there are hobo spiders in them. (The scientific name of the hobo spider is Tegenaria agrestis. Also living in Washington are 2 other closely related spiders, the giant house spider, Tegenaria duellica (known as Tegenaria gigantea to some) and the barn funnel weaving spider, Tegenaria domestica (also known as the domestic house spider to some). All three of these spiders originated in Europe. Related spiders (Agelenopsis potteri, Agelenopsis pennsylvanica and Hololena nedra ) are often misidentified as hobo spiders. All of these are common Washington spiders which are brown, make funnel webs and belong to the family Agelenidae.)
Kathy Elkins, one of Eden’s Integrated Pest Management Consultants in Portland says, “If you think you have hobo spiders, use caution like you should around all spiders. It is not necessary to panic; they are not interested in biting you. Wear gloves when you work in garden or move wood.” If you notice Tidy House Hacks many funnel-shaped webs in your residence, treat them with care. Standard pest control techniques may not affect arachnids, but there are methods that can help. The easiest treatments are removing the web and food supply (insects), but excessive populations require more advanced treatment plans.
One trick to help you identify what is NOT a hobo spider is by its markings. “If you see spots, then a hobo it is NOT.” For all others, you would need to compare their reproductive structures that define the species, for which you would need a microscope. For more information on Hobo Spiders visit or