Watch: World’s Worst Spider Bites

The hobo spider is a type of funnel-building spider native to Europe. It is not usually aggressive unless provoked and there have been very few confirmed cases of hobo spider bites. The species was introduced to North America in the 1900s and today inhabits several American states and Canadian provinces in the Pacific Northwest. While the hobo spider was thought to be toxic in the past, today its venom is widely considered non-toxic and their bites non-necrotizing (non-tissue destroying). Hobo spider bites are rare and tend to be mistaken for bites from other toxic species, such as brown recluse spiders.

Very few studies have examined confirmed hobo spider bites. Hobo spiders are also commonly visually mistaken for their more dangerous relatives, brown recluse spiders. Because there are so few confirmed cases of hobo spider bites in North America, the associated symptoms and complications remain unclear. Over time, some studies have reported a wide range of side effects that may be linked to hobo spider bites. But most research suggests that many people only feel a prick or sting when bitten and minor skin irritation afterward.

In rare cases, hobo spider bites have been reported to cause symptoms similar to that of a bite from a brown recluse spider.

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