CAUTION! Reading the following may provide shivers down your spine and involuntary shuddering…Read at your own risk!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of spiders. You’ll also know that for the past 2 years (going now on the 3rd spider season) I’ve been having trouble with our local spider population…namely those big ugly ones that look for all the world like Hobo Spiders. Which are poisonous…necrotizing poisonous.
The first place we were living was literally infested with them…we had at least 40 in the house when we finally stopped counting. We moved to another house, and sadly, have not moved far enough away, as we still have them…though, luckily not as many. We tend to find them in our bathroom, or creeping across the first level floor…yuck
In my documentation of them here, I’ve found that many of you have the same kind of fears about the spiders you find in your own homes…are they Hobos?…are they dangerous? Searchers have been repeatedly brought here to my (loom knitting, lol!) website after doing a google search on spiders. I’d like to let you know that I can finally help you out! 🙂
After searching the web frantically trying to find some kind of information that would relieve my anxiety, I actually really only succeeded in finding a lot of mis-information. It is really very hard to positively identify a true Hobo without a microscope and an entomologist…which only served to make me all the more nervous.
But, finally I found something that has given me the tools to positively identify what is NOT a Hobo…thus relieving me greatly. I hope to now put the tools in your own hands, so that you can do the same!
Here is a PDF file detailing how the arachnid layman can tell the difference between what is and is NOT a Hobo.
Now a little Practical Application:
Here is a pic of the most recent guy I found in my bathroom. See how big he is from this pic taken while standing on the floor, aiming up at the corner of the ceiling. *shudder*
Here this bugger is up close…Big, huh? Scary, isn’t it? But let’s look closer… see the racing stripes on his first larger section? This means he is NOT a Hobo! Whew!
After I carefully wiggled this guy into a water bottle, (the only thing I had directly available at the time, please excuse the little water droplets.) we can now view his underbelly. See the spots on his midsection underside? NOT a Hobo! Oh…I’m feeling so much better now. :}
Here’s another pic just for good measure… You can see the elongated spinneret (I think?) coming from the hind end… these more match the pic of the Giant House Spider, of which apparently there are plenty in Washington State, and are a very close ringer for the Hobo.
I’m feeling so much better about this whole thing that due to the fact that my model did such a fine job of posing for me, he was happily deposited in the WAY back corner of my back yard bushes to find another place to scuttle along.
**Please Note: Obviously, I am a complete novice and am going by my understanding of the information provided in this PDF file. If you are at all in doubt about what kind of spider you have, please take a specimen to your health department to have it properly identified!!!
Okay… School’s out for the day! You’ve been very good students and deserve a nice trip to the candy store or better yet, your local swimming hole. 😉
Have a great day!
Vetter, R. and A. Antonelli. 2002. How to identify (and misidentify) a hobo spider. Washington State University Cooperative Extension Pest Leaflet Series #116.
For more info see:
One of my favorite websites for identifying spiders and insects is http://www.whatsthatbug.com
Another is http://www.bugguide.net
I don’t have a fear of spiders, but my mother’s always been terrified of them and my father thinks every brown spider he sees could be a brown recluse. Recently he saw a black spider and thought it might be a black widow. It wasn’t even close. 🙂 Whenever he encounters one of these mystery spiders he comes to get me to identify it for him. If I ever get one wrong I’ll never hear the end of it. 🙂
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