The Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis) is a member of the genus Tegenaria and closely related to the giant house spider (Tegenaria gigantea). It is a moderately large arthropod. The females can reach a body length of 20 mm and a leg span of up to 50mm. Although the males are generally smaller with a maximum body length of 12 mm, they can acquire an impressive leg span reaching up to 80 mm. Their natural home is Europe, the species was introduced in the 1930s in the United States. There, it was probably first seen in Seattle, from where it spread rapidly. This rapid spread is due to the absence of their natural enemy, the giant house spider.
These spiders are not more aggressive than other species. The common name "the aggressive house spider" seems to be a misinterpretation of the Latin name. In English, "agrestis" does not mean aggressive but "from the fields". This strange name leads from the fact that unlike in the U.S., there are rarely, if at all Hobo spiders in European houses. The reason for this phenomenon is that its major competitor, the giant house spider is very common there. The more Tegenaria gigantea, the less agrestis will inhabit a house.
Hobo spider bites
The bites of Tegenaria agrestis in the U.S. seem to have serious consequences. In the 1980s, scientists searched for the cause of strange spider bites. They closely resembled the bite of the Brown recluse spider, but the medical implications were not quite as severe. The cause was discovered soon - the Hobo spider. The symptoms of a bite may include pain, redness, tachycardia and, far worse, necrotic skin lesions. Most bites happen accidentally when such a spider is squeezed. This occurs, for example, when a sleeping person rolls over and places a limb on the spider. Most Hobo spider bites seem to occur in bed. One should be examined by the doctor after a bite as soon as possible.
How to get rid of Hobo spiders
There are many ways to get rid of these spiders such as sprays or other repellents. The disadvantage of sprays is that you must search the whole house for the spiders. You must also use special spider sprays, because arthropods are resistant to many insecticides. Spider traps are the best non-toxic method to exterminate them. The traps lure the Hobo spiders with pheromones in order to catch them with a very sticky glue. Spider traps are safe for use around children and house pets.
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