Hobo Spider Bite – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
A Hobo spider bite is considered by some to be one of the most dangerous spider bites. The venom contained in a Hobo spider’s bite is very toxic that it is believed to cause necrotic lesions. However, it is not known to lead to fatality in humans. In fact, many arachnologists still could not agree on the level of aggression and toxicity of the Hobo spider as it is not intrinsically hostile to humans unless they feel threatened.
About the Hobo Spider
The Hobo spider goes by the scientific name, Tegenaria agrestis. Agrestis is Latin for “of the fields” to denote that they originally live in the fields and rarely come in close encounter with humans.This word could have been misinterpreted to denote aggressiveness. Hobo spiders may seem hostile since they appear to attack their prey violently. This behavior could be attributed to the fact that hobo spiders have poor eyesight and so to be able to catch their victim, they have to be aggressive. In reality, hobo spiders are not antagonistic to humans unless they are provoked or they feel threatened, hence, they defend themselves.
Symptoms Accompanying a Hobo Spider Bite
Even though a hobo spider is indeed not inherently hostile but the bite still packs a venomous punch. Hobo spiders’ bites are of two types, one that contains the toxic venom and the other that does not. A “dry bite” happens when there is no venom introduced during the bite. When this happens, nothing noteworthy will happen to the victim. In fact, the bite could go unnoticed. About fifty percent of hobo spider bite cases are dry.
If, however, venom is carried by the bite, the bitten site will instantaneously develop redness. This redness may appear small at first but will expand to about 2 to 6 inches wide. It will immediately form a blister in the center. After thirty-six hours, this blister will rupture forming a lesion that oozes. The ulceration will eventually form a scab.
In very severe cases, the tissues underneath the crust that formed will further degrade resulting in necrosis. If the surrounding tissues turn black and dry up, surgical intervention is necessary. Generally, this may happen if the bitten individual has a pre-existing health problem. Such cases of hobo spider bites take a number of months to completely heal.
There are other symptoms that may accompany a hobo spider bite. These include intense headache, vomiting and nausea which could develop within the first day of getting bitten. Dry mouth, lethargy, visual disturbances, joint pain, weakness and even hallucinations are also observed in some cases.
Treatment of Hobo Spider Bites
Majority of hobo spider bite cases do not require special attention. Cleaning the bitten region with soap and water is sufficient. But to be on the safe side, it is best to see a doctor for proper assessment of the bitten area. Depending on the doctor’s evaluation of the severity of the condition, application of topical antibiotics to the affected area may be required. Some may also order tetanus injection or the administration of antivenin. It is best to seek professional medical attention right away since the success of the treatment is optimal if it is administered promptly.
Some cases of hobo spider bites are so severe that they warrant hospital stay. Aside from necrosis which requires surgery, aplastic anemia may arise weeks after getting bitten. Severe intractable vomiting together with secretory diarrhea resulting from impaired electrolyte absorption can also develop. It is fortunate that these very dangerous and often fatal conditions very rarely happen with a hobo spider bite.
Prevention of Hobo Spider Bites
Becoming a victim of a hobo spider bite can easily be prevented. Hobo spiders typically have their homes outdoors. So when you expect to spend some time outdoors, such as when cleaning the yard, weeding or moving wood, it is wise to cover as much skin as possible. Wear long pants inserted into shoes or boots, long sleeved shirts tucked into gloves, jackets or coveralls. The less skin exposed reduces the chances of getting bitten by a hobo spider.
The hobo spider could come indoors. Keeping the house spick and span can decrease the areas where the spider can hide and surprise you with a bite. Make sure to shake linens, clothing and other things that have been stored for a while before using them. Avoid letting bed sheets and blankets touch the floor as these may aid the spider in climbing onto the bed where the occupant could unconsciously roll over it and as a consequence get bitten. The same is true for keeping the bed from touching the wall. You may also opt to install spider traps, specifically if your house is very old or if you are situated in a wooded locale.
A hobo spider bite contains very toxic venom. Even though not all bites lead to grave situations, it is still best to prevent getting bitten in the first place and get medical attention when you suspect that you had been bitten.