Hobo Spider Mitigation

lostinitDecember 9, 2009

Not really a disaster but I have found several hobo spider webs around the foundation of our house and in cracks in the foundation. My concern is they have already invaded my crawl space and I do not want to go in there but apparently it's recommended once a year. Even if I had a tyvek suit I wouldn't want to, well maybe I would then..

Regardless, I have sprayed against the foundation but the spiders seem to return. I don't really mind them being outside as much but I definately don't want them in my house or even in my crawlspace (Which I know is next to impossible). I have been thinking about contacting a company to come in and put in thicker vapor barrier and even install a sump pump and/or some kind of dehumidifer for that area but I don't have the cash flow to warrant it. My big concern is one of these spiders gets into the house and bites my 1 year old son. I have searched far and wide for solutions online but all I see are to get the traps(Which don't really prevent infestation) or use dust(Again, not a prevention). I think the best solution is to mitigate moisture. In the summer I plan on doing some foundation work like ensuring proper grading and doing some landscaping work. I don't have debris near the foundation, just dirt. Other than that I am not sure what else could be employed as the crawlspace has to be vented, I live in the PAC NW.

I have also heard mothballs are a good measure but I don't want the smell of mothballs creeping up into my house from the crawlspace. Help!

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Since I have never heard of a hobo spider, I googled it, and read some of the information on it. A couple of salient points.....pesticides may actually help increase the population, because it may kill off the spiders that eat hobos. Sticky traps won't prevent an infestation, but certainly can help control it. Barriers to access to living spaces really seemed to be the best solution.

I'm from the PNW, and lived in two houses with spiders very similar.....I wonder....


    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:15PM
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Hello Barbara,

The Hobo Spider is everywhere in the Pac NW, in fact I'm willing to bet you will find more of these spiders per SQ Yard than you would a brown recluse.

It's strange because I grew up in the Southeast and I did see my fair share of Black Widow spiders when turning over a rock or moving things in the garage but I had only encountered a brown recluse once..once in my 21 years there. Now that I have moved here I had hoped to escape the bugs and spiders but apparently the Northwest has these critters all over and they are just as bad if not more of a problem than the brown recluse.

I have seen these spiders under buckets outside, inside outdoor furniture covers, on the back porch(When the lights are off, shine a flash light on them will scare them away) and in webs at corners or cracks/holes in the foundation. I have even seen them in woodpiles when I went to Friday Harbor, WA. They're everywhere. Regardless, I haven't been bitten (That I know of), and will definately avoid them. I will say that it may actually be good that I have a crawlspace because if I didn't I am sure they would be in my house, either my garage(if I had one) or the basement. At least in a crawlspace I don't have the opportunity to deal with them in my living space.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 10:03PM
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Sticky traps are really your best bet for hobo spiders. They tend to build tunnel webs in corners so you will catch many of them if you place the traps in corners. Spraying is actually the worst thing you can do. These spiders travel a long way so if you spray, all you will accomplish is gettign rid of their competition, other spiders, and the hobos will move in stronger. Unfortunately, just by looking at them, you can't tell if you have hobos or harmless brown spiders - they look exactly the same unless you have a microscope. Clean up webs if you see them, keep furniture an inch or two away from the walls and don't leave clothing laying around on the floor and they won't be too much of a problem. If you suspect a bit by a hobo, try to capture the spider for identification. A doctor can prescribe a steroid to prevent a bad reaction to the bite. I have lived with these spiders for 15 years and never been bitten. My husband did get a bite on his leg, but he was moving a pile of wood (perfect spider nesting area) while wearing shorts.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 2:02PM
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Plan a day trip somewhere and set off a couple of bug bombs in the crawlspace. This will take care of anything living down there.

After that, throw away any copies of the movie Aracnophobia that you may have. Don't watch any insect movies. If you are going to get bit, then it will happen when you least expect it. Why do you think they would target your one year old and not you? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but bet there are worse things in your house that can harm a one year old other than worrying about a spider getting in from a crawlspace to attack. How many insects do you think you can bring into a house in a sack of potatoes from the store? Don't let it consume you. Just make sure your one year old can't get into under cabinet chemicals and places he shouldn't be getting into. A spider would be on the last thing on the list of worries.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:54AM
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We just had our first hobo spider in the house tonight! I don't do spiders and am soooooo concerned. We have only lived in Oregon for 8 years and I am ready to move back to Chicago! What is the best and cheapest way to get rid of these!?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:40AM
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