Facts about hobo spiders

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2003

The hobo spider is a moderately large up to one-and-a-half inches in length brown spider with long, thick, hairy legs. Hobo's closely resemble the brown recluse spider found throughout the southeastern United States.

If bitten by a spider, always make all possible efforts to capture the spider for identification. Never discard a spider that is suspected of biting a human.

Bite symptoms, in addition to local lesions, can include dry mouth, nausea, weakness, lethargy, mig-raines, dizziness, visual disturbances, hallucinations, overall stiffness and joint pain.

The age and sex of the hobo spider affects the amount and concentration of venom injected during a bite. Although both sexes bite, most bites are from male spiders. Juvenile spiders are believed to have more toxic venom than adults.

Only about 45 percent of hobo spider bites are venomous, and only 15 percent of all bites result in serious injury or hospitalization.

Wearing gloves and other protective clothing while working in crawl spaces or similar locations, or while handling firewood or other materials stored in potentially infested areas, can reduce the possibility of being bitten.

Shaking out clothes and shoes before putting them on can also reduce the chances of being bitten.

Don't fall victim to arachnaphobia. One of the single most effective deterrents against hobo spiders is competition from the presence of other spider species not venomous to humans.

Source: The Hobo Spider Web site maintained by Eagle Rock Research Center in Twin Falls, Idaho.

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