During late summer and early fall it is normal for spiders to enter buildings and homes. This includes hobo spiders which have long been prevalent in Montana. Common misconceptions about the hobo spider often cause unnecessary concern.

This photo shows a close up of a male hobo spider, with its brown coloration and narrow abdomen.

Male hobo spider_photo by L. Elliott, Bugguide

Things to know:

  • Spider bites are rare. Generally, their fangs are small and lack the musculature to pierce the human skin. They typically only bite if threatened or if trapped in clothing, shoes, etc.
  • There is no conclusive evidence that hobo spider venom causes necrosis in humans; and a large body of scientific research that proves it does not.
  • The most common cause for necrotic lesions (wounds not healing) in the West is a bacterial infection called MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus ) infection. MRSA and other bacteria can enter the body through punctures which could include a spider bite, as well as many other more likely wounds. If a wound from any bite or scratch becomes inflamed, or if soreness persists, medical care should be sought as secondary infection that enters the body through the wound may need to be treated.
  • Hobo spiders are not known to be naturally aggressive in their native area or in the United States. Their nickname, the aggressive house spider, comes from an errant translation of their scientific name, Eratigena agrestis. The Latin translation of agrestis is not aggressive, but rather “rural” or “in the fields”.

This fact sheet is also available in a Printable PDF format (1.4MB).  

By Laurie Kerzicnik            lauren.kerzicnik@montana.edu                Aug 2021

 

 

Disclaimer: These recommendations are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator’s responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. The authors and Montana State University assume no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations. The Montana State University Extension Service is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran’s Preference Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.