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Dangerous Spiders of the World: Hobo

While black widow and brown recluse spiders get a lot of attention for their dangerous bites, there are other spiders that you’ll want to keep an eye out for. In this article, you will meet the hobo spider, which could one day surprise you in the basement or send you to the emergency room.

Hobo spiders (also known as funnel web spiders) possess venom that can affect a human. Sometimes they are dangerous , depending on the type of symptoms that develop. At first, if a hobo spider bites you , the initial effects are painless, but the bite can morph into a serious problem. The first 24 hours causes a bite that turns into a blister. After 24 to 36 hours passes, the blister breaks open and leaves behind an oozing ulceration , an open wound.

The spiders have a reputation for being aggressive, but they actually want to stay away from the reach of humans. The majority of their bites take place when a human accidentally crush or squeeze their body. When the spider injects venom into a human, a typical symptom that arises is immediate redness that develops around the bite. Many victims report a severe headache. Other symptoms may include weakness, fatigue, nausea, temporary memory loss, and impaired vision. Victims of a hobo spider bite should seek first aid and medical attention, especially if any changes in their health are seen.

Hobo spiders are brown in color and measure about 1/3 to 2/3 inch in body length and 2/3 to 2 inches in leg span. There are several markings on their abdomens with males and females being distinctively different regarding other features. The male spider has two large mouth parts (also called palpi) that look similar to a pair of boxing gloves, while the females are equipped with a larger and rounder abdomen.

Hobo spiders like to dwell in low-lying places and rarely climb to vertical surfaces. It’s unlikely you will find this species of spider above your basement or ground level. The spiders build a silk sheeting shaped like a funnel for their web. They settle at the small end of the funnel and wait for insects to get trapped inside. They are known to build their webs in and around places that humans reside.

The hobo spider is native to Europe, where it lives in fields. It is rare that the spider enters the home of a human because of the competitors for food that it faces, such as other larger house spiders. Because of this, a hobo spider bite in Europe is quite rare. In the United States, if you live in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah or Colorado, you should be on the lookout for the hobo spider. It is thought that the species first appeared in the port city of Seattle before the 1930s.