Much good information on hobo spiders is already on the Internet. So we thought we would provide links to some good hobo spider web pages and include excerpts from their pages as a way to summarize some useful info about these spiders.
Hobo spider links
Spiders, by Washington State University Extension, has a lot of great information regarding hobo spiders and other spiders. You might want to start here.
Utah State University Extension Hobo Spiders website: “This page was developed to answer any questions you might have about hobo spiders and their control.” Information is presented on range, lifecycle, identification, and more. They say: “Without a microscope and some level of expertise you cannot distinguish a hobo spider from other similar-looking spiders.”
Hobo spider 4-page fact sheet with references, from Utah State University Extension. Includes photos and lots of useful information, including how to keep your house as free of them as possible.
How to recognize hobo spiders: Myth-busting, from the Burke Museum.
Hobo Spider Integrated Pest Management in and Around the Home, from University of California Cooperative Extension. “Although once common in Seattle, the hobo spider apparently is being competitively displaced by another European Tegenaria (TEJ-in-Er-ee-uh) species so that it is now difficult (but not impossible) to find hobo spiders in Seattle. Hobo spiders are more common further east and are easily found around Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hobo spider webpage from Pestworld.org. Description, habits, habitat, prevention, and more. Because “they are poor climbers, they are rarely found above ground level. They frequent dark, moist areas and are most often found in basements, window wells and crawl spaces.”
How to Identify (or Misidentify) the Hobo Spider (an external PDF file), by R. Vetter and A. Antonelli. "The hobo spider is found throughout Washington and makes a funnel web which is a trampoline-like flat sheet leading back into a hole between bricks, under wood or in shrubs. However, there are many closely related species of spiders which also make similar webs so just because you see funnel webs on your property, does not mean that there are hobo spiders in those webs. " And: "Most people want a world with simple black/white answers but you must realize that there many shades of gray in between and this is the reality of spider identification."
Hobo or Not a Hobo–That IS the Question... A Photographic Key to Discerning Hobo From Non-Hobo Spiders, from Utah State University Extension, provides a dichotomous key for spiders that is intended for use with a microscope. The main purpose of the key is to identify the hobo spider as compared to other Tegenaria species and members of the wolf spider family (Lycosidae).
BugGuide.net's page on Hobo Spiders. From this page: "A common misconception is that agrestis means "aggressive", giving it the name "aggressive" house spider. This spider is not aggressive, and would rather flee than fight, unless it feels threatened without the option to escape." And..."Very difficult to ID from photos. The actual spider (not a photo) needs to be examined by an expert for a definite identification."
The Hobo Spider web site (hobospider.org) Everything you ever wanted to know plus photographs. From this site: "The hobo spider, Tegenaria agrestis, is a moderately large spider of the family Agelenidae which is indigenous to western Europe that was introduced into the northwestern United States (Port of Seattle) sometime before the 1930s." And: "Urban populations of hobo spider do appear to be decreasing in some areas, such as Seattle, Washington, where the giant house spider, Tegenaria gigantea, has become abundant."
For questions about information on this page, please contact Kate O'Laughlin, Ecologist.