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Hobo Spider Bite – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Updated on February 17, 2014

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.

Complications

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.

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    • mainananak1 profile image

      mainananak1 3 years ago

      I was bitten by a spider until bloody and swollen

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      jennifer 21 months ago

      i hate spiders

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      seattle0606 19 months ago

      I was bitten by a hobo spider 2 days ago. The bite left no red mark so I had little concern, but within 5 hours I got a horrible soar throat and by the next morning I felt unbelievably ill, couldn't work, or do anything for that matter. Nobody has listed these as symptoms. Its quite possible I just came down with a virus( that cleared up in 24 hours), but the timing is weird... not to mention very few reports have been made on these bites compared to recluse. Just sharing in case someone ever has the same situation!

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      Teresa Tipton 10 months ago

      I had gotten bit by a Hobo spider, by looking at my leg my Dr. knew immediately what kind of spider bit me. She said that it got in my pajama bottoms & couldn't figure how to get back out. I had a black scab, but the way my blood veins were affected, she knew.

      She put me on antibiotics & cleared up the veins, so that healed it. That black scab was so ugly & the way my veins were in my legs looked bad. I'm just lucky my Dr. Knew what spider bit me. So I'm more afraid of spiders now. This all happened while I was asleep. So I look around the trailer inside & out for any kind of spiders.

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      Lonerwolf1945 5 weeks ago

      I was bitten by a hobo spider today and I was in the mist of trying to kill it cause I was scaring Grandma and I have pics from the beginning till about an hour ago I just don't like the feeling I am having but I have check it it and been keeping drinking alot of water and still can't keep my mouth from being dry swelling burning red on outside white in the middle a it itches burning swelling and I hope after taking antitihistamine a.trying to spell seeing I don't know white spots hurting pain I got pain pills and antibiotics to take muscle hurt and sick to my stomach s this is my experience

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      joni 5 weeks ago

      I think I may have been bitten by one as well. It happened in my sleep night b 4 last. Woke up with a marble size lump under my arm and thought nothing of it. It didn't itch just was a bit tender. Hours later, I noticed an oozing clear liquid draining from it. Theres a read area about inch or more around the bite, which has a nickle size open area of infection.

      Gonna take steroids and pray. I'm allergic to any kind of insect bites.

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