Hobo Spiders

    Hobo Spiders

    Hobo Spiders (Eratigena agrestis)

    About this Page

    Since the late 70's the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab has kept track of all submitted samples. To date, we have had over 13,500 samples submitted, 10,077 of which are insects, spiders, mites, etc. There have been about 2,188 spiders submitted since 1978. Of those samples, 1,211 have been funnel web spiders (Agelenidae), and 639 have been hobos! The first hobo sample was submitted in 1990. If you have questions regarding the other arachnids frequently encountered in Utah, please visit our Top 20 Arachnids page.

    By far, hobos are the number 1 spider submitted to the lab, and this is because of their frequency in peoples' homes, their size and speed, and the fact that people fear hobos. Because of the volume of samples, phone calls, and emails we receive about this spider, This page was developed to answer any questions you might have about hobo spiders and their control. Some of the information on this page is technical and may seem too complex or difficult; however, knowledge of this information is what is necessary to properly identify a hobo spider. Without a microscope and some level of expertise you cannot distinguish a hobo spider from other similar-looking spiders. If you catch a spider and would like to have it identified visit this page for instructions on submitting a sample.


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    History and Distribution

    The hobo spider, Eratigena agrestis, is native to Europe and was introduced into the Pacific Northwest in the 1930's. The spider has expanded its range south and east, and can be found extensively throughout northern Utah (Vetter et al. 2003). Originally, the hobo spider was named "the aggressive house spider," which originated from an incorrect interpretation of its species name-agrestis-which means "of the field or land." This name was given in reference to the hobo's habit of living in grassy fields in its native Europe where it is displaced in homes by its relative, the giant house spider. Giant house spider has also been introduced into the Pacific Northwest, however there are no records of this spider in Utah.

    Distribution Map