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How to Get Rid of Hobo Spiders

Frustrated homeowners looking to get rid of hobo spiders once and for all may find this guide helpful.

This article discusses what hobo spiders are, where they come from, and how to get rid of them, and it should serve as a complete guide for anyone looking to exterminate these aggressive house spiders.

First — are hobo spiders dangerous to humans?

Géry PARENT, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), a hobo spider bite is not considered toxic to humans.

Previously, people believed a hobo’s bite could cause tissue damage and skin disease (necrosis). The myth was dispelled after CDCP injected animals with hobo venom, and they showed no signs of skin disease.

Hobo spiders are, however, considered aggressive. While most do not show aggression unless otherwise provoked, hobos are protective of their egg sacks and will attack if they deem you a threat.

You don’t even have to do anything to provoke them, which is why you mustn’t let them breed in your house.

14 ways to get rid of hobo spiders

Adrian Tync, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fully grown hobo or funnel spiders are around 1.75 inches long. They are brown and gray, like most other spiders, which makes identifying them harder.

However, you can locate them via their distinct web shapes. They weave funnel or tube-shaped webs and lurk around in the house’s damp, dark corners.

When you start the extermination process, we suggest starting with the dark, moist spaces in the home.

1. Eliminate the food source

Funnel spiders feed primarily on other insects. If your house is swamped with bees, gnats, or mosquitoes, then that’s an invitation for these spiders to take refuge under your roof.

Try using an electric insect killer to eliminate tiny insects that could serve as a food source.

You can use multiple DIY techniques to eliminate tiny flying creatures from the house. However, those aren’t very effective, especially if you can’t target the root of the problem.

Make sure your home is free from food crumbs and stagnant water. Insects tend to thrive in unhygienic conditions, which eventually invites spiders inside.

2. De-clutter the house

Spiders like to weave their webs in corners. They prefer crowded, dark places where they will be left untouched.

Make sure you do not harbor such a spider-friendly environment. Remove excessive furniture and dust all the corners of the house regularly.

If you have furniture backed up against the wall, make it a habit to clean behind it at least once a week. This will help you eliminate any potential spider webs that might have been spun behind it.

3. Remove all webs

With their food source, you should also remove their funnel-like homes. Removing the webs is like taking away their homes, and they will be forced to relocate. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Suck up the web with a vacuum and empty the contents in a trash can outside the house. Seal the bag and place it as far away from your home as possible. If you leave the trash can open, they may crawl out and back into the house.
  2. You can also use a long stick to wrap the web around it, place it into the trash tightly, seal the bag, and throw them out. Kill whatever spiders may fall to the ground in your attempts to remove the web.

When removing these creepy crawlies from outside your house, you should use a stick that’s at least 4 feet long, and it is much easier than carrying the vacuum around the entire perimeter of the house.

4. Use store-bought traps

You can also place hobo spider traps in corners of the house wherever you notice or witness a spider web. These traps attract and kill most spiders, providing the most effortless solution.

You can purchase these traps from your local hardware store or online. If you’re not comfortable killing them, you can also opt for live traps, which you can then release in a wooded area far away from your home.

5. Use diatomaceous earth

Sprinkling a fine layer of diatomaceous earth in the corners of the house and all around the perimeter can rid you of unwanted guests in the home.

Diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder that kills almost all creepy crawlies. It damages the exoskeleton of the insect or spider as soon as it comes in contact with the diatomaceous earth.

With a damaged exoskeleton, insects dehydrate and die, solving your infestation problem. It is a smart solution as it targets both the problem and the food source at the same time.

Spread a fine layer of diatomaceous earth on window sills, door frames, and all corners of the house and your yard.

6. Seal off entry points

Sealing off all cracks and unnecessary openings is essential in keeping the house bug-free.

You should caulk all doors and windows and weather strip all doors and windows, and doing so closes off all tiny openings so that not even the smallest bug can enter the house.

For added safety, you can also install a bug screen. It allows for ventilation into the house while ensuring that no unwanted creepy crawly make their way into your home.

7. Clean the yard

They are found under debris, piles of rocks or brick, and excessive material placed next to bordering walls.

They even reside in crevices in the soil or concrete and in areas where the grass meets a building’s foundation.

The first step to eliminating them from the outside involves cleaning the outdoor area. Remove all debris and trim your lawn, especially around the corners.

Make sure you remove all that is excessive, especially decorative rock or log pieces. They provide the shade these spiders need and prove an ideal nesting place.

Funnel spiders always go where the food source is. If your yard is swarming with bees and insects, the yard is probably housing arachnids too.

To avoid that, make sure you never overwater your plants. Allow the land to dry off before you water it again.

8. Try pesticides

To target shrubs and crevices, you must use a pesticide. There is no other treatment that proves more effective in the extermination process.

You can use the Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Lawn & Landscape Ready-To-Spray. The spray targets all insects, killing the spider’s food source for over three months.

With nothing to feed on, it is unlikely that hobo spiders will take refuge in your yard.

For long-lasting protection, you can use the Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor and Perimeter 2. The spray will protect your home for up to 12 months, leaving you tension free for a year.

9. Call an exterminator

If you’re not comfortable handling chemicals or dealing with these pests yourself, you can always call an exterminator. They will spray your house and yard, getting rid of the problem for good.

10. Try essential oils

You can always try essential oils if you don’t want to use pesticides. Peppermint oil is an excellent repellent for spiders.

Mix ten drops of peppermint oil with water and spray it in all the corners of your house.

You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and place them in areas where you’ve seen hobo spiders.

Other essential oils that work well as spider repellents are eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil.

11. Use a vacuum cleaner

If you see a hobo spider, the best way to get rid of it is to vacuum it up. Make sure you empty the vacuum bag immediately, so the spider doesn’t escape.

12. Try natural predators

There are a few natural predators that eat hobo spiders. These include wasps, centipedes, and lizards.

If you have any of these around your house, they will help keep the spider population under control.

13. Use homemade glue traps

You can always use traps if you want to get rid of hobo spiders without chemicals or pesticides. Glue traps are a popular choice because they are non-toxic and easy to use.

All you have to do is place the trap in an area where you’ve seen spiders before and wait for them to get caught.

14. Use a spider catcher

If you don’t want to kill the hobo spider, you can always catch and release it outside. There are many different types of spider catchers available on the market.

These devices allow you to safely capture the spider without coming into contact with it. Once the spider is caught, you can release it into a wooded area far away from your home.

How to treat a hobo spider bite

Tobias Mercer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These spiders aren’t common all over the world. They are located mostly in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and a few other areas. Their bite is painless and almost feels like a pinprick.

In case you get bit by one, you need not worry. Just follow the following steps as soon as you notice signs of swelling.

  1. First, clean the affected area with mild soap and water.
  2. Then apply a cold compress over the bite. You will notice swelling in the affected area, and the cold compress helps take that down.
  3. If the spider bites you on your arm or leg, elevate it. Doing so helps with the swelling as well.
  4. Go to a doctor. Even though the bite is not toxic, you must get a tetanus shot for added safety.

Initially, the bite mark will look like a small red blister. If the area around the bite mark is getting itchy or continuously getting agitated and turning blue-black, you need immediate medical attention.

Can hobo spiders hurt your cat or dog?

Putting on the Brakes flickr photo by Scott 97006 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

While hobo spiders aren’t considered harmful to humans, they may be harmful to cats or dogs.

If a hobo spider bites a cat or dog, it may experience swelling, itching, and discoloration around the bite mark.

Seek veterinary attention if your cat or dog exhibits any of these symptoms after being bitten by a hobo spider.

What if you find a hobo spider carrying eggs?

Hobo Spider flickr photo by Roadsidepictures shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

If you find a hobo spider carrying eggs, you should leave the eggs alone and try to catch the spider. Once the spider is caught, release it into a wooded area far away from your home.

If you want to get rid of the eggs, you can place them in a sealed container and throw them away.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about hobo spiders

Where do hobo spiders live in the house?

Inside the house, hobo spiders may reside in basements, attics, or storerooms. They seek out cold, dimly lit, damp places to thrive in. You can find them by scouting for spider webs in the corners of the house. Outdoors, you can search under flower beds, bushes, and piles of debris. They may even be living behind trash cans and cabinets under the sink.

Are hobo spiders fast?

Hobo spiders are speedy runners. Owing to their long legs, on average, they can run at 0.45 meters per second. If you encounter a particularly fast spider, you may find them running at 1.1 meters per second. If you want to catch them, you need to be well prepared in advance. Placing spider traps near their webs is the most effective way to catch them.

How do I get rid of spiders in my house?

To get rid of them, you can follow a few simple steps:

  • Remove their food source
  • Close entry points
  • Clean breeding grounds
  • Use spider traps in combination with diatomaceous earth
  • Use pesticides

The solution is simple: keeping an organized, clean, and hygienic house. Since hobo spiders usually reside outdoors, they will not enter your home if they don’t find ideal nesting situations.