Why Hobo Spiders Bite
The eyesight of hobo spiders may not be keen. The spider won’t be able to distinguish among humans well enough to know they may not need to be on the defensive. In other words, the hobo spider will assume he is being attacked and he will fight back with the only weapon he has, venom. About half of the bites of hobo spiders on humans will be “dry” bites which are harmless.
The Effects of a Hobo Spider Bite
The venom of hobo spiders will have local effects, a large area of redness around the site of the bite. This usually disappears a few hours after the bite, much like a mosquito bite. However, within 24 to 48 hours from the bite, there may develop some blistering at the bite site. In another 24 hours such a blister may burst to give an open ulceration. Within a few days a scab will appear over the lesion. After about three weeks the scab will slough off and the lesion generally heals, leaving a scar. When the bite is delivered to fatty tissue, the local lesion may be deep and extensive and may not completely heal for two or three years.
People bitten by a hobo spider often have reason for concern. In the past few years hobo spider bites have become the number one spider-inflicted medical problem in America. This, even though their range is only in the Northwest part of the country. For this reason, care should be taken by people working in such places as a dark basement or the crawl space under a dwelling. Be especially cautious during the late Summer.
Protecting Yourself Against Bites
Good practice includes full body coverage whenever entering the hobo spider might consider their own domain. Tuck the pants into the stockings. Wear gloves with long sleeves tucked into the gloves. Leave few, if any, crevices where a spider can invade the area between the body and the clothing. A trapped hobo spider might inflict numerous bites as it tries desperately to escape from a threatening entrapment.