WSU Extension

Pestsense

Hobo spider

(revision date: 1/11/2019)


Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

Biology
The hobo spider (Eratigena agrestis, formerly Tegenaria agrestis) is one of the most commonly found funnel-web or funnel weaver spiders in some parts of Washington. This relatively large (1 – 1 3/4 inches including legs), swift-running spider builds its funnel-shaped web in dark, moist areas, often in basements, and waits at the mouth of the funnel for prey to become entangled in the web. The vibrations from the struggling prey alert the spider, which dashes out to bite the prey. The hobo spider has been improperly identified as a dangerous spider but recent research has not shown it to be harmful to humans. If you are bitten by a spider, bring the spider to an expert for correct identification and you may want to seek medical attention. Spiders are considered beneficial since they are predators, but they are often a nuisance pest indoors. NOTE: The giant house spider is another spider that is commonly found in homes in Washington. The giant house spider looks similar to the hobo spider and is often misidentified as such. For more information, see the following publication: Common Spiders of Washington (EM113E) at http://pubs.wsu.edu. For information on giant house spiders, see Giant house spider in the Curiosity/Beneficial section of this website.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Because most spiders are occasional to frequent visitors to our living space, we must make special efforts not to make it easy for them to gain access. For example, decreasing space in door thresholds, securing window screens and using any other measures to “bug-proof” the home would help eliminate entrance pathways for spiders. Many spiders are brought in with firewood, so collect wood with gloves and inspect wood thoroughly for their presence and carefully remove them.
  • Use of mechanical devices such as fly swatters, shop vacs, brooms, etc. will help eliminate spiders.
  • Commercial spider traps are effective at trapping wandering spiders such as Hobo spiders.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Pesticides are a temporary fix unless efforts are made to prevent their entry into the house. Spraying spiders of this sort outdoors is not usually advised and extremely temporary in nature unless performed by a pest control company on a regular basis.

Images
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Caption: Hobo spider
Photo by: Whitney Cranshaw, CSU