Hobo spiders, common in some parts of the USA and Europe, are known to scare many. Some past reports of hobo spider bites have made many to adopt caution for sure. However, hobo spider bites are not fatal to healthy humans. Irrespective of that, identifying a hobo spider is important to spot an infestation. What does a hobo spider look like? Where are hobo spiders found?

In this post, we will go over the ways to identify hobo spiders. We will go into details and compare hobo spiders with other common types. You will have enough information to find out if the spider in your home is a hobo spider.

For starters, hobo spiders are found only in the northwestern USA. You won’t generally find them outside a few regions.


hobo spider


What Does a Hobo Spider Look Like?

Many people wonder how to identify a hobo spider. The task can be challenging unless you can inspect the spider under a microscope. Identifying a hobo spider with naked eyes is not that easy. However, we are giving you a short description to identify the hobo spider.

There are many types of hobo spiders, and they don’t look the same. But how big is a hobo spider?

All hobo spiders are small and generally sport different shades of brown. They may or may not have hairs on their legs.

Male vs. Female Hobo Spiders

Distinguishing between male and female hobo spiders is easy. Male hobo spiders are smaller than female ones and measure between 8 – 11 millimeters. Female hobo spiders measure anything from 11 – 15 millimeters.

The reproductive organs of hobo spiders can also give you clues to their gender. Male hobo spiders have enlarged palps or male reproductive organs that look like a pair of boxing gloves. These organs are found at the end of the feelers of the male hobo spider.

Females don’t have palps, and their reproductive organs are located below the abdomen.

Apart from these differences, the male and female hobo spiders look alike. It may not be possible to identify them without technical training.

Hobo Spider vs. Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spiders are generally darker brown in color. They also have a dark brown violin shape on their backs. Brown recluse spiders may also have longer legs compared to hobo spiders.

The biggest differentiator is the size of the spiders. Hobo spiders are in the sizes of nickels, while brown recluse spiders may reach sizes of a quarter.

How to Know It’s Not a Hobo Spider

As we said earlier, identifying a hobo spider is not easy. You will need a microscope and some technical training. However, some signs will tell you it’s not a hobo spider:

  • Hobo spiders don’t have spots on the sternum.
  • They don’t sport discernible stripes on the cephalothorax. They may be Agelenopsis or Hololena spiders.
  • Hobos don’t have dark rings around their legs. Their legs are uniformed colored.
  • The cephalothorax and legs are not shiny or dark orange in color.

Additionally, patterns on the body or palps are not ideal signs to identify hobo spiders. You cannot also use hobo spider web identification as many spiders weave funnel webs.


Where Do Hobo Spiders Commonly Hide

Hobo spiders hide in all places you would expect to find a spider. They may find their way to your home through vents or openings. Cracks in the foundation can also serve as a way of entry.

Once inside the home, hobo spiders take refuge in dark and protected places. You can find them in the lower parts of the house, closer to the ground. Basements are favorite places for hobo spiders to hide. They may also live behind furniture, appliances, and things that are not moved often.

Old clothes, piles of books, discarded boxes, and more can also serve as hiding places. Also, look out for hobo spider webs to know where they are located.


Are Hobo Spiders Dangerous?

Once hobo spiders were considered dangerous and some even associated hobo bites with skin damage and tissue death. As a result, they took on a notorious reputation for a long time.

Modern science has shown hobo spiders not to be fatal for humans. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers them non-toxic to humans as supported by studies. Most hobo spider bites are painless, and you won’t even feel any difference. In the same way, hobo spiders are safe for pets and don’t cause any serious damage.

Additionally, hobo spiders don’t generally release venom when they bite.

Some people may get a skin reaction from hobo spider bites that usually goes away in a few days. Talk to your doctor if your skin infection is persistent and doesn’t go away.

It’s always better to keep your home free of spiders for safety reasons. You can do a residential spider control to get rid of spiders in your home.


hobo spider infestation


How Can You Tell If Your House Is Infested?

Here are some easy signs to tell if your house has been infested by hobo spiders:

  • Look for webs: The easiest way to spot any spider infestation is to look for spider webs. If you see webs spun around the house, then it’s a sure sign of spider infestation.
  • Presence of egg sacks: Any spider, including hobo spiders, will leave egg sacks around. You can check dark corners and behind doors and cabinets. If you see egg sacks, you have spiders in your home.
  • Check dark places: As you know, hobo spiders prefer dark places that are not disturbed. Check all probable places to spot signs of infestation.


Final Thoughts

Identifying a hobo spider is challenging for the average person. The best way to identify pests is to rely on professionals. Bug Guys Pest Control is your local, friendly pest control company with more than two decades of experience. We have cleared hobo spider infestations from countless homes all around CA. Get in touch with us to request a home inspection or get a quote directly. Our team is ready to help you live a pest-free and healthy life.