The hobo spider is thought to be one of a few species of spider in the United States that is harmful to humans. Reactions to its bite have been reportedly similar to that of a brown recluse. Though the tissue damage caused by a hobo spider seems less severe than that from a brown recluse, it is still important to seek treatment if symptoms develop.
Many people are aware of this tissue damage, known as necrosis, which can result from the bites of these spiders. Other symptoms may include a blister at the site of the bite, headache, fatigue, nausea, joint pain, or impaired vision. These can appear 24 to 36 hours following a bite. If bitten, a victim should seek medical attention and, if possible, take the spider along for identification. The bite of the hobo spider has not been known to be fatal in healthy people.
It is worth mentioning that some scientists and other experts are not convinced that the bite of a hobo spider is harmful. They feel that the evidence of these bites has been circumstantial and that the hobo spider is rarely caught in the act.
Nonetheless, to avoid bites from the hobo or any other type of spider, it is advisable to wear protective clothing and gloves when working in areas where spiders may live. Outdoors, this includes wood piles, barns, sheds, dense vegetation, etc., and indoors, in basements, garages, attics, or other low-traffic and cluttered areas. It is also wise to inspect and shake out linens and garments, which have been stored for some time, before using them.