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Spider FAQs.

Q. - What are competitor and predators of Hobo spiders?

Courtesy Rebecca Aguilar in British Columbia

A. - There are 3 major predator spider types that if found in homes seem to reduce the amount of Hobo spiders.  These spiders are the Steatoda spiders, Large jumping spiders, and the other harmless European House spiders.  We are working on getting some pictures on our web site but have not accomplished that yet.

The preying mantis will also eat Hobo spiders but due to its day time activity and the Hobo spiders night time activity optimum results are not achieved.  Other competitors or predators would include birds, cats, "cat face" spiders, wolf spiders, some crab spiders, several wasps, and other web weavers that may catch a hobo in its web and then feast.  The reason for some of the effectiveness of these other insects is not because they are incredible hunters.  Instead, it is because of competitive exclusion or in other words, there just isn't enough room or food for the hobo spider so it won't try to make a home.

Q. - Are Hobo spiders living in the North East?

A. - We are not sure yet.  Many people say that they have them and even one person said they took it to a county agent and had it identified as a Hobo spider but we have not been able to verify it yet.  Therefore we can not say that Hobos are there for sure, although it makes sense that they would live there, too.

Here is a list of areas that we feel confident that there are Hobo Spiders: Anywhere in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Southern British Columbia. 

We feel that it is likely that there are Hobos in Northern California. We have also received spider samples from the many parts of Mid-West and North Eastern USA which appear to be Hobo spiders. 
Click here to read stories of people who've been bitten

Q. - Do pesticides kill Hobo spiders?

A. - In order to kill Hobo spiders with pesticides you usually have to hit the spider directly with large doses.  The problem with non discriminate spraying is that you kill the good competitor and predator spiders and insects and thus make more room for the more mobile and hardy Hobo spider.  This will often lead to a worse problem with Hobo spiders as I witnessed in 1997 in my own home.

Q. - Are there other spiders that look like the Hobo spider?

A. - Yes and no.  The giant house spider and the domestic or common house spider are both cousins to the Hobo spider and look very similar with obvious differences.  The domestic house (Tegenaria domestica) spider is smaller than the Hobo spider and has distinct rings on its legs but it does have similar V shapes on it's abdomen.  The giant house spider (Tenegaria gigantia) also has the V shapes on its abdomen but has disproportionately long legs, an awkward looking body, and is a slower mover than the Hobo spider.   It is also found more frequently higher on walls, often near the ceiling and it is much larger the than Hobo spider.  The Hobo spider is more frequently found on the floor or on walls at about eye level or lower.  Although it is not too unusual to see them higher on the walls.

Q. - Can Hobo spiders climb?

A. - Yes, they definitely can.  They are not good climbers and usually fall back to the floor after climbing too high.

Q. - Is it unusual to find Hobo spiders in bath tubs?

A. - Absolutely not, often Hobo spiders are found in bath tubs, etc.  The reason they are found there is that they crawled up the sides, fell in and can't get out because of the slick surfaces.

Q. - Do Hobo spiders come out of the drains?

A. - No.  People often wonder if that's how they get in their bath tubs but as I explained in the question before this one it is not true.

Q. - Are the front swollen palps only found on Hobo spiders?

A. - No, all spiders have palps and male spiders have swollen palps.  What the swollen palps indicate is that it is a male Hobo spider.  Females have them as well but they are not swollen.

Q. - Is the male, the female, or the baby Hobo spiders more poisonous ?

A. - Male Hobos are the most dangerous and baby Hobo spiders carry the most potent venom but they can't expel as much as adults.  All of the Hobo spiders are dangerous and should be avoided.

Q. - Are there other spiders that make funnel webs in North America?

A. - Yes, there are estimated to be over 200 different spiders in North America that makes funnel shaped webs.  The grass spider is one example but in areas that Hobo spiders are becoming more abundant the Hobo spider is seeming to win most of the battles and the Hobo is taking there habitat.  It often quite easy to tell if it is a hobo web or not.

Q. - Are animals in danger of being bit by the Hobo spider?

A. - Yes, but it is much more difficult for a Hobo spider to penetrate through the animals hair or fur and get close enough to the skin to bite.  We have had reported animals being bit but very few compared to humans.Click here to read stories of people who've been bitten

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Trap FAQ's

Q. - How far away can a spider be from the trap and still be attracted to the trap?

A. - Normally 1 or 2 feet.  The reason for this distance is that we don't want the traps to attract spiders from outdoors to indoors.  This almost means that placement of the trap is critical.

Q. - How long do the traps usually last?

A. - 2 to 3 months after taking the protective strip off of each trap depending on how dusty the trap's surroundings.  If the location is very dusty you may only get weeks of use out of the traps.  Some people put them in their garage and then change them every week.  In a very dust free environment  people have had their traps last 4 or 5 months.

Q. - If unopened, how long can I store the traps?

A. - As long as you don't peel off the protective cover we recommend not storing them much over a year and a half so you can get the full use life of 2-3 months depending on dust.

Q. - Will the traps catch the "good spiders"?

A. - The traps will catch anything that walks on it, but because most spiders stay in or near their webs or at least not on ground level most spiders don't come close enough to the traps to become attracted and thus will not get caught usually?

Q. - How do I best use the traps if I have pets or small children?

A. - Always try to put the traps in a place that isn't easy to reach or get stuck to.  If you think you have to put the traps in an exposed area ALWAYS FOLD TRAPS SO IT IS MORE DIFFICULT TO ACCIDENTALLY GET STUCK TO A TRAP WITH A LIVE SPIDER THAT IS ABLE TO BITE.

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