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Hobo Spider Stories

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Location Calgary, BC   Name: Carmen   Year: October 2010
I got bit by a Hobo spider in Aldergrove BC, Canada about four years ago 10 2007 was the worst spider bit i ever had. I was interviness anitboitics for a week. I got it taken care of in the nick of time

Location Sunriver, OR   Name: Marilyn  Year: October 2007
I was bitten on the face by a hobo spider. At first it was just a red spot then it broke open with a small black dot. At first I thought it was an ingrown hair but then it started turning black. Now it is full of puss and the scab is starting to pull away. This is going to be a big hole in my face now.

Location Arizona   Name: DEBORAH   Year: September 2, 2007
Around 2004 my 1-1/2 yr old grand daughter was bit by a brown recluse (or related spider) on her ankle, at age 2 she was bit again (in the genital area, grew to size of silver dollar :( ) she is now 4-1/2 and has been suffering from mrsa since she was 2. It keeps coming back. Sores on her rear-end, that get almost as bad as the recluse bite itself. Since then I researched it on the Internet and found different suggestions.
I was bit a year ago (same home) I read on net to core the bite out; some Drs. also have also told me this. (Black stinger in center). It has to be within the first day (+/-) of getting bit, before any deterioration starts. Then squeeze out any and all poss. then applied ichthammol ointment, also called prid salve.(drawing agent-smells like tar)and cover with a bandage. Do not squeeze it at all after that, it spreads the venom. Also if you cannot get the stinger out, do not squeeze it at all. Apply the ointment as directions say. It should go down in size within hours. I have done this on about 8-10 different people and all recovered with no signs that they even gotten bit. Some of them didn't even use the ointment.
I have a very rare form of muscular dystrophy so these bites affect me probably 75% faster and worse, I’m happy and thankful to say, I have no lasting effects from this bite.
Anyone with info on mrsa and recluse bites that would help my grand daughter please contact me.

Location California   Name: Denise   Year: May 29, 2007
What people don't realize is that these spiders are everywhere!
I was bit 15 years ago. Within a few days I could barley walk and in serious pain. I thought it was a flu bug that got me.
I went to see my chriopractor who told me that I needed to see a specialist because he felt it was a brown recluse spider bite. He had seen them before and knew that I needed help right away.
I went into the hospital emergency that following morning.
The wound was red and blister looking with a dark middle. The hospital sent me home with Motrin and Vicodin for pain.
I layed in bed the rest of the day Saturday through Monday. I was getting weaker and weaker.
By the time my husband came home from work Monday night he took one look at me and realized that I was turning grey. There was not a part of my whole body that wasn't screaming with torturous pain.
I literally went into shock from the pain and my potassium dropped to 3.
Once at the hospital (for the second time) they administered shots of Demerol for pain and continued to research what was wrong with me. The Demerol was like taking an asprin. I kept going into schock from the pain so they gave me an IV of Morphine to put me "out".
I was then running a very high temperature.
They started IV antibiotics and put me into critical care.
The blister on my thigh continued to grow and darken.
5 days in the hospital when I was taken into "exploratory" surgery to release the pus and clean the wound.
1 month and 4 surgeries later I woke froma morphine coma.
I have pictures for those with a strong stomach. Contact me at excelgal@cox.net
One more surgery to debre the wound. I went cardiac and passed on the table. They were able to bring me back to tell this story.
The rest is history. A total of almost 90 days in the hospital,then 3 more weeks in a rehab center to learn how to walk and function again. Then a full year of reconstruction surgery and rehab.
Not fun. I would rather have 10 babies back to back than to go through the pain and anguish of a brown recluse spider bite gone undiagnosed by many doctors. What kept me alive, well, we don't know. The doctors don't know either. God Bless those who have experienced this horrible bite in any way. My heart goes out to you.
Some of you and I are lucky to still be here to tell our stories. There are some that are not so lucky. A woman Valerie Slimp from San Bernadino, California got bit one year after me. She lost both her legs and arms from the knees and elbows down. And she was thankful to be alive!

Location Catalina   Name: Adriane  Year: May 08, 2007
I was in Catalina on a school trip when I woke up sick and had a blistered area that was red and white. It burned, felt raw, and itched really bad. I have no clue what bit me but it left me ill for three days and when the red went away it left a pure white patch on me for nearly 2 years, and even now after it returned to normal I can still feel the difference in that area and the rest of my skin. If anyone knows what bit me could you leave a message on my myspace, my address is Snakecharmer1314@aol.com

Location Vancouver, WA   Name: Nola   Year: February 19, 2007
My friend has been bitten by either a brown recluse or hobo spider-we don't know which because he refuses to go to the doctor. The bite, which is on his right leg above the knee, is draining large amounts of a thick, pussy bloddy goo-what should we do?

Location Glendale, AZ   Name: Kellee  Year: 12/2006
My sister was bitten on the bottom of her big toe, about three years ago when she was putting her shoes on. She is only 48, she has had two surgeries for amputations and so many health issues. She has uncontorllable high blood pressure, frequent severe headaches, lumps in many of her lymph nodes and now she is in kidney failure and is terminal. I am going to lose my sister and there is nothing that can be done (that we know of).She has been informed that she is not a candidate for a kidney transplant. I am desperate to find help for her. Please pray for Pam Moser in Prescott Valley , AZ and her family and if you have any information that could help please email me at

Location Morrison, CO   Name: Jeffrey  Year: 2006
My story is kind of funny, well, not really, but I will tell you anyways. It was just like a week ago that one morning I woke up because I felt a tingling on my arm. I looked down and there was a cricket there. So I sat there watching him for a while and a random spider pops out of my sheets and bites, only the cricket jumps out of the way and the spider bit me!!! So I sat there staring at it for a while and realized that it was a brown recluse. The first thing I said that day was "s--t." So I found a bottle beside my bed and captured it. Then I immediately went to the doctor's office. I showed the doctor the spider and my bite (which was only a red swollen spot on my arm) and he just examined them both and told me to come back tomorrow if it got worse. I must be immune to the brown recluse venom because the bite only hurt a little bit and swelled to about 1" wide with a little bit of puss in the middle. I popped that and made sure that it could drain properly while holding ice to it. The bite only lasted for a couple more days then was gone. I still have a slight scar on my arm. Also, since then I have been bitten three times on the right thigh and once on the back. I have done the same thing to those and I have gotten the same results with minimal pain. I’m just glad imp not arachnaphobic like everybody else (is it just me or is it only the arachnaphobics that get bitten).

Location AZ  Name: Jessica   Year: 2005
On 10/19/05 I noticed a blister like or engrown hair like on my leg. Thinking it was an engrown hair I released the pressure, shortly after releasing the pressure my calf became very swollen and red. Realizing it wasn't an engrown hair, I went to the dr. The dr prescribed me antibiotics, it is very painful and still very swollen.

LocationGreece  Name: Kiki  Year: 2005
My friend has been bitten by a brown recluse spider. She has underwent 5 surgeries, this week she has gone in for skin grafting. can you kindly tell me how long it will take for that to heal? Her bite is from the hip to the knee, and was 2 inches wide. What other consequences can she face for the future? And will she be able to have use to her leg? Are there any damages to the tissues and muscles? I hope you can help me in the helpless situation that we have found ourselves in. Thank you for your assistance and insight.

Location: FRESNO, CA  Name: Nola  Year: 2005
After reading these stories I am very angry. In the last three weeks I have been bitten 5 times by a brown recluse. My PCP is giving me excellent care but I have several gaping holes. The bites are located on right calf, left upper thigh, and three on my left shoulder blade. I had to go in last night and have the last bite lanced and packed with gauze. My doctor informed me it was as big as a baseball. He also had to lance bite on my thigh. I attempted to inform our Ag Commissioner/investigator and was told in so many words that my doctor and I were crazy. He also informed me "Brown recluses do not come down past Merced, CA. I now have 5 bites in different stages of healing. The public needs to be informed. For now the gentleman (putting it lightly) has informed me he will do nothing until I bring him a spider. I have 5 children the youngest being 5 yrs old. I am not going spider hunting. All this man has to do is see/verify my wounds. I am thinking of taking it to the local news channels and/or our local newspaper. These spiders are everywhere, extremely dangerous and NO ONE wants to deal with it. As I said the public has to be informed/warned. Thanks.

Location: DURANGO, CO   Name: CAROLYN  Year: 8/2005
My cat recently was bitten by a brown recluse spider we believe, on her face. It started to swell at first and had a small section under her ear that was red and when you pushed on it it was filled with something. I took her to the vet and he had never seen anything like it. She had a 103 temp. He went in and did some skin grafts and sent her home, the next day she was back in there with a 104 temp and the swelling had gotten worse. He had to remove almost all her left side of her face. She currently has a bandage on, since it is all a open wound. This makes me even more scared of spiders and knowing that they are around my house now I am even more afraid for my two small children. I am going to try the spider traps. I hope my cat recovers from this. It has cost me over $300 so far and she has gone through 3 skin graft surgeries so far.

Location: ABERDEEN, WA   Name: MARY ANN   Year: 2005
I don't know when,I was bitten that day? On 4-22-05 when,I was trying to look for work that day. When,I got home there was a bite that looked like a mosquito bite.Then the following day which was Thursday the 22 April 2005 my fiancee kevin said it was the size of a .50 cent piece.It was very red, and hard, and very hot to the touch,with a black dot in the center.I was in so much pain. It hurt to even to sit&stand there was throbbing pain on my left buttocks. On the following day 4-23-05 the bite was the size of a baseball that was all red.In the was a purple color. I couldn't stand putting jeans on it hurt so bad.When kevin got home that night(Fri)he asked me about the bite. I showed him and, I wasn't feeling well at all.He said let go to the ER right now this is very serious mary. The doctor at the ER said that he was going to have to cut it open to get the infection out, and the venom out. I had 8 shots of numbing medicine before he started to cut.After he cut into my tissue he said he made 3 deep slice into where the bite was located , and then started to squeeze the pus, and etc.. out.Then he put a pack inside the wound so it would be able to drain.It still is red, and purple.Now the size of a .50 cent piece and still hurts . I'm taking antibiotics and vicodin. I am going back to the DR.Sunday 4-25-05 to have him recheck the bite , and hope -fully take the pack out of my butt. I will continue after results from doctor on Sunday.Thank you for reading my story.

Location: Clovis, NM  Name: Mary   Year: 2005
I am from South Carolina but was living in Clovis, New Mexcio. That is where I was bitten. It was in the year 1967 and we moved in to a different house and I done a lots of cleaning so I dont know if I got bit cleaning or in bed. I woke up with my leg hurting. The place was on my lower leg, it looked like a small pimple with a puss on the top after a couple of days I could not get out of bed and it was so painful I could not walk if I stood up I wa nted to scream. I went to the clinic, hey did not know what it was, but it sure was painful. I still can remender it well. I t took forever to get well and iI had two babies with another one on the way. It was real red and swollen and when it did get better my husband took twezzers and plucked too big cores out then it started to get better. To this dayIi tell my daughter that is why she is so mean. Ihad to take lots of antibodics.

Location: California   Name: Mike   Year: 2005
I got bit in California and have been reading that they don't exist here. Don't believe this I spent 5 nights in the hospital. I've been bit twice and so far have caught three spiders{1 at my apt. 2 at my fathers house}These are not to be messed with if you are biten go to the doctor immediatly!

Location: Salmon Arm, B.C., Canada  Name: Beki   Year: 2004
I just want to let you know that I now swear by your product. At last count I caught 35 spiders and a MOUSE. Yes a mouse I almost had heart failure when I peeked in the trap to count the spiders. I even took pics. I just wanted to let you know.

Location: California   Name: Lorelei   Year: 2004
I first experienced a spider bite when I was only 7 years old. I was going to put on my shoes, but when I did I felt a sharp thing piercing my ankle. I ignored it and went walking with my friend. An hour later I felt like I was going to faint. I also felt like I was ithing like mad. After I had gotten home, I looked at my ankle and I saw a big red spot on my ankle.I told my mom and she called the doctor. The doctor said it was a black widow bite. Every time I tried to walk I felt like I was going to fall. My mother brought me in and I had to take antibiotics to make the wound heal. I'm okay now but now and then I kind of feal pain but not much.

Location: Bakersfield, CA   Name: Michele   Year: 2004
About a week ago my leg started itching and I had what appeared to be a mosquito bite on my lower left leg. About 3 days later, it started to swell and become obviously more than a mosquito bite. It quickly became very swollen and dark red. The pain was unbearble. It was hard to walk and move my leg. I had a fever of 102 at times and I became very scared. My boyfriend had been bitten by what we thought was spider due to the reaction he experienced so I automatically knew that I too had been bitten. My whole lower leg- from the top of my knee to my ankle swelled up 3 times larger than my other leg. I would have the chills then sweat profusely. I saw my doctor who put me on Keflex and then a day or two later, I returned because the swelling had become worse and the pain was crippling. He gave me Benadryl and Doxycycline and told me to sit in a warm bath and softem the site up and then squeeze the area. He said that getting the fluid out would relieve the pressure. I had squeezed it prior to him telling me that but he said that he could tell that there was still alot of fluid left inside and it was very important that I get it out. So I went home that night and took a bath and stuck a needle in to release the scab that had formed and I began to squeeze. (It was more like a push/slide motion). I was apalled at all the stuff that came out of my leg! There was orange, sticky liquid, a chunky white substance, black objects (that may have been small blood clots) and very dark blood. There were points when the pressure would build up so much that the ooze would squirt all the way across the bathroom! It was disgusting. That was yesterday and every few hours I push on the top part of the site to relieve any fluid build up. Since I got all of the stuff out, the pain isn't as bad and the swelling has gone down some but it still needs alot of attention and care. I only hope that I killed the spiders in my headboard! They may strike again!

Location: Las Vegas  Name: Kris   Year: 2004
Our daughter was bitten 2 years ago. At the ER, the bite was identified. We were told what to watch for. The bite had the bulls eye and spread like a huge bruise across her lower leg. We thought we lucked out, because the lesion healed within 2 weeks. All we did was pack it in sand and seawater at the beach. Two months later we learned she had severe ITP, low platelets. She developed severe migraines. The ITP treatment IVIG, antibody infusion, ultimately gave her meningitis. The steroids caused her to gain 40 pounds. A year after the bite, her spleen was removed. We thought, now it's over. We just have to be very very careful with her health, vacines for everything. But no. Now she is developing something that looks like lupus in her hands. She is in excruciating pain daily and we are fighting to save her fingers. This child was in perfect health all of her life until the bite. Few doctors will listen, I think because they have no idea what to do if it is the bite. The ones who do relate it all to the bite, say, we don't know where or if this will ever end. We haven't found a doctor, a shamen, priest or witchdoctor that can offer any real help. All I can think when we end up at the hospital is, "Along came a spider." If anyone has any information or lead, we would be very grateful. She has postponed college for a year and a half now.

Location: Tracy, California   Name: Karen  Year: 2004
My 7 year old got bitten a month 1/2 ago on his leg. I thought it was a mesquito bite. It swellen up the size of a goose egg, looked like a boil eventually burst and lots of puss and blood came out. Turned purple/black still is white around the under tissue. It is now the size of a dime with a small crust and small amount of puss. The Dr. said it was healing fine. I was bit maybe 10 days agoit started like an ingrown hair very small but painful. Swelled the size of a golf ball hurts really bad to the touch, center opened the size of a pea with a stinger in middle. I tried to pop it but only small amount of fluid comes out. I have been to the Dr. twice and the second time I took my husband and son back with me and he said it must be a spider. My husband has several bites all turning the same as mine and my sons. We are all on antibiotics but it is not taking it away completely. My son now has one on his scalp and another on his back all at different stages. We don't know where the spiders are since we live in two different homes??? I am still so concerned don't know what to do...

Location: Portland, Oregon   Name: Tanya   Year: 2003
I was bit by a hobo last year, luckily, I had read about these spiders and was pretty familiar with the symptoms, because it was virtually impossible to find a competent doctor that was remotely aware!

The bite was on my calf and became very bad, but the swelling spread up my body and continued to climb until I took oral, as well as injected antibiotics (Cipro) and prednisone. One thing that really seemed to help the pain, itching and swelling was constant ice -- almost as if the growth of the wound was temperature dependant and the cold stopped it. I would really recommend people use ice, as well as other treatments.

Location: Montana  Name: Julie  Year: March 2003
I sleep in the basement of a house in ennis, montana. It is in southwest montana, about 60 miles from bozeman.

On Monday, March 31, I came down with flu like symptoms: headache, body aches, fever, and an upset stomach. I layed in bed for 2 days and shivered. On Thursday, Ifelt better so got up and went to work. My leg felt funny so I looked, and it was swollen from ankle to mid thigh and flame red. I went to doc that afternoon and was diagnoced with cellulitus from am unknown sorce. He gave me an antibiotic injection and oral antibiotics. I went home with the understanding that if not looking better my morning, I would be hospitalized. The doctor was happy with results the next day and I was sent home to elevate leg for 4 days.

On Tuesday, I noticed a small sore on my shin that had not been noticed before. This was the frst time that a spider bite was mentioned. By Thursday, I was feeling better and returned to work for an 8 hour shift. Four hours into this shift, I looked at my leg and discovered a blackened are about a 1/2 inch from the suspected bite. At this point, I was admitted into hospital. That blackened area turned into what you see in the pictures. I have suffered some tissue damage but we believe I am on my way to recovering.

I spent 6 days in the hospital on IV antibiotics, and 4 days after where I returned for more. I am using a cream called accuzyme, that is getting rid of the dead tissue and almost all of the swelling and infection are gone.

My father has used your traps, and we have captured a couple of Hobo Spiders.

Name: Norman & Kay Scott     Year: 2003
My husband was bitten behind the ear when he brushed against a bush in the garden. The initial symptom was pain at the site which he described like a dentist drilling in his head - next came the sore at the site plus one further down on his neck. The doctor gave him antibiotics which did not help at all - then we found out from someone else who had been bitten that he needed to take prednisone - it was like a miracle - 20 minutes after the first dose the pain stopped. He was on it for 2 weeks, the sores dried up, no more pain and the whole episode was over.

We researched the hobo spider and learned how to identify it and then put traps around the house and put duct tape or double sided carpet tape across doorways - we caught dozens this way. We moved our beds away from the wall, took off the bed skirts, put the legs in smooth plastic containers and made an envelope of fabric to slide over the mattress and blankets to keep them from reaching the floor. we never garden without wearing long sleeves and glove and hats - never turn over a piece of wood or pick up a rock without having gloves on. We tuck our pants into our socks. (One woman was bitten on the ankle as she checked groceries at the store) We do the pruning in the off season before the spiders become active. Spider traps work well but I notice that they are only really effective for one season. The main thing is the prednisone for treating the bite - plus I put bactroban on the sores to prevent infection and help them heal.

Location: Seattle, Washington     Name: Stacy     Year: 2003
I got my first bite on my stomach in late May 2003. It looked and felt like an ingrown hair. Then a couple days later (Saturday) the back of my left thigh started to itch. Hours later it was red, burning and swollen and I could barely walk.

I went to the doctor. At first I was told they were boils. By Monday, I couldn't sit down or wear any "fitted" pants. The pain on my stomach and leg were unbearable. The one on my leg had swollen to the thickness of half a ping-pong ball with a black mark in the middle. The one on my stomach was so swollen that I couldn't button my pants. I went back to a different doctor who informed me I had been bitten by what he said was a hobo spider. I was given antibiotics. It helped. I got bit 5 more times before I finally moved away from the beach. Unfortunately after being in my new apartment for less than 1 month, I got another bite. I am now on number 8! This is the worst of all. It's right above the first one I had on the back of my left thigh. I now have minor nerve damage. My boyfriend has had about 9 bites as well. But his never got as bad as any of mine. My doctor said he has never seen anything like this and he can't find anything in his medical readings that come close. Shortly after I did find a spider and it was definitely a hobo! I wish there was a way to keep them away from you! I have the traps and I heard Bounty dryer sheets keep bugs away too.

We believe these spiders were in my boyfriend's old apartment. He lived with a roommate who is a reptile fanatic. According to my doctor, reptiles attract spiders and bugs. We found the spider in his couch that came from his old apartment!

Location: British Columbia, Canada  Name: Nadine and Tracie  Year: 2003
We were housesitting for Tracie's sister and we have been here for a little over 2 weeks.During this 2 weeks we had noticed that her house was spider infested we did not know what kind of spiders it was so we traped one and got a friend to look at it and she said that it was a hobo spider.We have not gone one day without seeing at least 5 spiders a day(everyday),so we did some research to see if they were hobos and they are so we got some traps and within 2 hours we caught like 2 huge ones just lettin you know that the traps work great.

Location: Montana  Name: Belinda Year: 2003
My 11 year old son, Zac, did get bit by (we assume) a hobo spider this summer. It showed up first looking like a mosquito bite and was very itchy, but it kept getting bigger and looked like there was a "stinger" or something in the center. My husband got the "stinger" out, and then I took him to the doctor. The doctor agreed that it was likely a hobo spider bite, and he prescribed an antibiotic and some topical corticosteroid cream. The doctor said that the problem with these bites is that it causes an infection at the bite site, which would make sense to me since the tissues around the area can ulcerate. The lump was very hard and grew to about the size of a 50-cent piece.

The next day, another bump showed up with the same "stinger", which we took out. With the treatment from the doctor, both bites healed within a week or two and there is no scarring. Zac did not have any other symptoms with these bites. I feel that the quick healing time was due to the fact that I was aware of the possibility of hobo spider bites and acted quickly in getting medical attention.

Also, our family dog was bitten by (we believe) a hobo spider this spring. One morning we woke up to find the left side of her face extremely swollen. I took her to the veterinarian, and told them that I knew we had hobo spiders and I suspected that one had bitten the dog. The vet told me that he thought it was an Aggressive House Spider bite, which I told him was a/k/a the Hobo Spider. He treated her with an antibiotic and an oral steroid, and the swelling went down within a day and there have been no further problems from that bite.

Location: Idaho  Name: Tamara  Year: 2003
It was customary for my children to elect to sleep downstairs in the basement at night as it was cooler in the summer. They would sleep on sleeping bags on the floor and we thought nothing of it until one morning in August, my seven year old daughter complained of a bump on her back. Upon inspection, I noticed a bright red bump about the size of a pimple right in the middle of her back on her spine. I suspect she received a "dry" bite because she was never in any pain. However, the bump enlarged to about the size of a dime and began to blister.

After a few days the blisters became an open sore which we treated with Triple Antibiotic (similar to Neosporin) and bandaged. After about 3 weeks the open sore began to heal and scab over. All in all it took over a month for the bite to heal. A small white scar remains where the bite once was.

After discovering that the spiders we had killed while they were scurrying about on the floor, late at night in our basement were Hobo Spiders and quite dangerous, we have adopted several preventive measures to help reduce the possibility of anyone in our home being bit again.

We have since moved from Pocatello, Idaho to Rigby, Idaho and have a relative low occurence of Hobo's, possibly because we are aware of them now and know how to prevent them from coming into the house. One of these preventive measures is setting out 'sticky traps' in our basement and garage at the onset of summer and they have worked remarkably well. We also clean our window wells out thoroughly and basement windows each summer to eliminate any webs. We keep items stored in closets on the very top shelfs or in airtight containers/bags and are very careful to keep clothes, toys and blankets, even shoes off the floor during "hobo season" when they are most active between July and September.

Because I encountered more than one hobo hiding under a pile of sorted laundry and even a couple of females in my washing machine, I have adopted the practice of keeping laundry in baskets that are on wheels to keep them off of the floor. Nothing stays on the floor during hobo season and no one is allowed to sleep on the floor during hobo season either. Bedding is kept from touching the floor and we have moved the beds at least 8 inches away from the walls. I would also recommend getting a cat if you don't have one. Our cat has killed several hobo spiders in the past and we sleep easier knowing she is on the prowl at night. While the above preventive measures may seem a tad paranoid to some, we have successfully controlled the Hobo Spider now for 3 years (without sprays and/or pesticides) and don't worry about them as much as we did when my daughter was biten.

Location: Oregon  Name: Barbara  Year: 2003
I was in Ashland Oregon. I still don't know what bit me. The bit never swelled up past the size of a quarter, although it had a subsidiary weird quarter sized other area above it. It still is open and wet looking, although it had a blackened dime sized area in the middle for awhile. The fever and aches and pains stopped and started twice over a period of two weeks. The doctor insisted I go on medication for Lyme Disease as he was not certain what had bit me, I however feel quite strongly that it was a spider. I am certain I would have noticed a tick on my ankle for ANY period of time. Also the bite is, to me, totally inconsistent with the photos I've seen of lyme disease bites. However, everyone keeps telling me better safe than sorry, so I am taking the antibiotic. I believe that the prompt medical attention --the Keflex and the washing the bite 5 times a day with peroxide is what kept it from becoming infected.

Location: Sitka, Alaska   Name: Brian and Stephanie Weddel   Year: 2003
I live on a small island in Southeast Alaska. I grew up in Alaska and have not had much trouble with any kind of spiders until just the last couple years. I have been bit several times in the last year and a half but never had the blistering ulceration that I received with this last bite. I have however felt sick with flu type symptoms especially when I have recieved more than one bite at a time. After hearing about the hobo spider from a friend I did an online search and found your site. I have found it very helpful and recommended it to many of my friends who believe that they too may have hobo spiders in their home and may have been bitten. About 3 weeks ago I was bitten on the side of my breast towards my armpit. I believe this happend while I was sleeping do to the fact that I was sleeping on my side with my arm bent under my pillow, exposing that area to the space between the matress and my headboard up against the wall. At first I thought the underwire of my bra had poked through and caused an area of sensitivity since it had not yet reddened and blistered. Later that afternoon however I could see where the area had grown quite a bit and looked like an ingrown hair or a large festering pimple. Only hours later you could see that it was filling with fluid. By the following day the reddened area had covered nearly half of my breast and the blister was between the size of a quarter and a 50 cent peice. It was then that I could see in the swollen tissue at the top of the blister two tiny indents which I am guessing was most likely where the venom was injected. The next day the area around the blister was beginning to turn purple and black and I could barely set my arm down because of the pain in my breast. That afternoon as I showed it to my husband while I described it to the local clinic over the phone it burst spilling out a great deal of infected fluids and blood. It took me several minutes to get the bleeding to stop. I bandaged it and went to the clinic to have it checked. The wound was still slowly oozing puss and blood when the doctor looked at it and confirmed that it was without a doubt a bite from a hobo spider. He told me that there have been many here over the last couple years and they seem to be getting more and more prevalent. He told me that the antibiotics would help with the infection but that I could still expect more tissue to die from the bite and that since it was in an area of fatty tissue that it may take a very long time to heal completely or it may never completely heal at all. He put me on heavy duty antibiotics 3 times a day and on pain medication every 4 hours and ordered me to go home and rest and expect to feel sick for a few weeks from this. It has now been about 3 weeks and I still feel very sick, but the wound is healing well thanks to the antibiotics. I still have a large area where the tissue is dead and dying and I have this constant kind of sluffing of silver dead skin, but at least it doesn't hurt that bad anymore. Thank you for putting this website up and keeping people informed. We have purchased several of the traps off of your site for our home to protect ourself and our children from future bites like this. We have even given some traps to our friends to use. Following the advice of the person on your site, we got a cat and several times a week I hear her behind the curtains on my bedroom window sill attacking then eating a spider. We also have another spider in our home that we believe preys on the hobo spiders but we do not know what they are... They are pure white and can be very big and sometimes very hard to see because they can be almost translucent with their white bodies. The do not seem agressive to humans but we keep finding them everywhere in our house including in the backs of some of our kitchen drawers!

Location: London, United Kingdom  Name: Graeme  Year:6/13/2000 Age: 32 
Email:gcalitz@address.com
I live in London, England where the bite occurred. I was bitten on the left hand. The bite looked like a large pimple with a pus-head surrounded by red inflammation. I unfortunately burst the wound and treated it with anti-septic. The result was that the entire left side of the hand became septic and the resulting absess had to be removed surgically at St Georges hospital in London. Part of the poison (or perhaps the infection) infected lymph glands in my elbow and armpit and were extremely painful. I am currently being treated with antibiotics to remove the rest of the infection. I caught the spider the day after it bit my wife on one of the fingers of her right hand (this occurred the day after it bit me). She did not burst the wound, and she has had the same painful wound for seven days, although it has not gone septic. The spider is brown, the body is nine millimetres in length. Having seen pictures of the aggressive house spider and the male hobo spider, I am inclined to say that it looks very similar to both of those species, but is smaller. The spider was caught in the duvet cover of our bed, and moves extremely quickly. We have also spotted a spider in the lounge this morning which has the same size and appearance, although it is dark brown, almost black, in colour. Please let me know what you think as there are not that many spider experts in England that I am aware of.
Answer:  This sounds very much like a Hobo Spider which is also named the Aggressive House Spider (AHS), but it sounds like a baby.  Baby hobo spiders can deliver very dangerous bites as well and its poison is said to be more potent.

Location: Richland, Washington  Name: Jock  Year: 1981
After visiting your web site and reading others stories, I am now convinced that what was diagnosed as a Brown Recluse bite was actually a Hobo bite.

It happened in the fall of 1981 in Richland,WA. I was picking up leaves and I felt a sting/ bite on the ring finger of my left hand. I saw a spider fall off as I looked at my hand. Not thinking anything of it I went to bed. About 5 hrs latter I awoke in sever pain. My left hand had swollen up considerably and was extremely hot. I went immediately to the E.R.. After explaining that I think I had been bitten by a spider earlier in the day, the Doctor brought me a book and showed be the Brown Recluse. To me, at the time, it looked like the same spider, but I wasn't sure. Long story short, he lanced the bite area, drained the puss, put me on antibiotics with instructions to soak and clean 4x times a day.

About 3 months later the infection was all but cleared up, then I contracted Shingles as a result of my immune system being so depleted from the spider bite. If you have had the chicken pox and get a depleted immune system, it is possible to developed Shingles. Which by the way, the shingles blisters are full of chicken pox virus and when broken, you become VERY contagious. Since this was at Christmas time I infected my nieces, girlfriend (she was 18 and never had the chicken pox), her nieces and a nephew, and numerous other children from a company Christmas party. I know this, as about a month after the party many coworkers that had children at the party complained that their kids had developed the chicken pox. I went to the doctor and asked about a connection. That is when he informed me that Shingles is caused from the Chicken pox virus. DOH! I will now be more diligent on the Hobo spider control.

Location: Washington  Name: Deborah  Age: 20
I was 20, and a large boil / blister appeared on my shin, and began to fester and grow in size approx. 7 days after a weekend at a rarely visited family cabin in Eastern Washington. I went to the doctor at this point, and he placed me on antibiotics with the educated guess of it having been an AHS / Hobo / Brown Recluse bite. At its worst it was the equivalent of 4 silver dollars stacked under the skin of the shin. Very painful but symptoms limited to localized pain, swelling and infection. I see these spiders quite often on Camano Island in our garage and by the base of our foundation. In the last two days I have killed three Hobo's in our 1200 sq ft. single level home. I believe they have been living in our heating ducts since they were killed after the first firing of our furnace this weekend.

Location: Lapwai, Idaho  Name: Ann  Year:05/99&04/00 Age: 28,29 
Email: RandMLy@aol.com

I have to date (05/00) been bitten a total of 5 times, with the last causing severe head aches and dizziness, & muscle aches that were incomparable to anything I have ever experienced. I was seen by a Dr here in our local Clinic but was told that there is absolutely nothing that can be done, with the exception of scrubbing the wound in the shower until I couldn't take the pain anymore then to bandage it up. I do sincerely believe that I am probably more venomous than a rattler, my oldest wounds look circular and purplish (these are the healed wounds, and measure approx 15mm-25mm. I have also went to the trouble of killing two of these buggers and putting them in a jar at work in my office so that the other employees know what to look for, as my bites have been know since they happened and everyone at the job site is aware of what kind of time I missed due to the bites, I have an 8 mo old daughter and I want to make sure these spiders are out of our house before she gets bitten so here is my question: how do I get rid of them, I haven't even seen them since last year but I did receive a bite, if you know how to get rid of them, not theories but honest knowledge then please E=Mail me and let me know.
Answer: There is no known method to eradicate Hobo Spiders.  The late Darwin Vest (Hobo Spider Expert) recommended the use of pheromone baited glue traps exactly like Big H Traps and then let Mother Nature help restore balance with competitors of the Hobo Spider.  I personally have seen results and I like the fact that I haven't sprayed now in over three years.

Location: Hamilton, Wyoming   Year:1998  Age: 27 
Email: dlburk@montana.com
I noticed a small red bite towards the bottom of my ankle, didn't think much of it.  Until the pain of it got bad enough to make me go to the e.r..  They put me on some antibiotics which did not help.  Went back to the e.r. two days later they put me on more meds, which ended up not helping.  Went back again to find out I needed to be put in the hospital for this spider bite.  I ended up staying there for seven days, iv meds, and the doctor cutting the bite open.  The size of the bite ended up being as big as a small orange.  Ended up following up with the doc for two weeks, but I still have a dent mark in my lower leg from this bite.

Location: Seattle    Name: Ashley   Year: 2000
Three years ago my old brother was bitten on his back by a Hobo spider. He never felt the bite itself happen. But he became to realize that on his lower back he felt something like a bug bite. At this time he was living in Seattle in a basement of a frat house. About three or fours days pass and what once was a red little bug bit was now a size of a dollar coin and blistering. And the only reason her knew this because he had one of his friends look at it and he made him call our mom. My mom took my brother to the doctor and he and no idea what to do. We wish to this day we took before and after pictures because they ended up having surgery and they dug about an inch into his back and left a huge hole in his back. He has now healed up nicely but just as a tip, get the traps and just in case check anything that has been on the floor and your bed. It doesn't hurt to take the time to save yourself a lot of pain. Because this whole thing was really no fun at all.

Location: Oregon   Name: Janis   Year: 2001-2002-2003
Sept.2001 I noticed a large blister above my right ankle.As soon as the blister broke,the whole became deeper because of the tissue being detroyed. I was referred to a a specialist. He had me dress the wound 2 times a day with a cream that was meant for extreme burns. This lasted for 3 months leaving a deep whole above my ankle. Again in 2002 I was bit again on my abnomin. This time through my own Dr. she prescibed me Bactriban. My bite went away in 1 month with out an ugly scar. 2003 I was bit again on my arm. Following up with dressing it 2 times a day, it also went away with very little scar. If you get bit,ask your Dr. about this Bactriban cream. Make sure to keep your wound covered and clean it before putting the Bactriban on it. Lucky girl in Oregon, Janis Stanley

Location: CA   Name: Jackie  Year: 2005
My daughter and her family live in Hemet, Calif. She was the first to get bitten. The bite was on her lower back and ulcerated down her leg. She was taken to the emergency room where the doctor diagnosed the ulceration as that of a brown recluse spider bite. Since then her husband has been bitten, and both their room mates. Also, one of their dogs just died from unknow causes, but his adomon was sollen and purple. I am concerned. They have a year old daughter. What if she gets bitten? I have contacted the Department of Entomolohy here and the say there are no borwn recluse spiders in california. Is this ture? We need help, some advise as to what steps to take--I am very worried as they cannot afford to move.

Location: Basile   Name: Elaine  Year: 2005
I got bit 3 times and i didn,t know what it was me and my husband thought it was a boil but it wasen,t i went to the doctor and he said that he don,t know what it is so ond day my friend told me that she got bit by a spider and she told me that it started out looking like a ant bite then a few days later she as to go to the hospital to have it cut and she stayed 3 days and when she came home i saw it and it was ugly, right then i said that is what my bites looked like and it hurts when you go to pop it but it pops but then it comes back even worse then ever but i really want to thank ya,ll very much for this wed site i learned alot about the spider and now i can sleep better at night,so thank you very much.

Location: CA   Name: Stan  Year: 2004
I was on a flight on a commercial air line from Dallas Texas to Sacramento on 12-14-04. I was seated next to the window on the left side of the aircraft. About an hour into the flight my left leg was under the seat in front of me and I felt a small "sting". No more than a flea or fly bite would cause. I the bite was just above my dress sox line under my left pant leg. I reached down immediately and scrached it a little. I felt a small welt right where it iched. After a few minutes is stopped itching and really did not bother me much until the next morning. The bite site was now the size of a quarter and red, with a small back center. By the end of the day the site was now the size of a silver dollar, red and black in the center and ozing out puss and clear fluid. I put some neosporin on it and bandaged it up. Next morning it hurt worse and was now the size of a tennis ball, red with a black center the size of a dime and ozing more. I called my Dr. Dr. advised to see me at once. That afternoon I saw the Dr. and the site have become worse than just a few hours ago. Dr. advised on the visual and checked his medical journals and consulted with another Dr. that this was a Brown Recluse Spider bite. Dr. advised to keep neosporin on it an call him in the a.m. if worse. It got worse. I returned to the Dr. Dr. felt this was getting worse fast. I was sent to see another Dr. A specialest in this field, at the local Hosptial Emergency Room. This Dr. immediately said this is very bad, and you need to be admitted to the hospital and put on I.V. Antibodics now. Five days after being admitted to the hospital and on I.V. antibodics the disission was made to perform surgery, to remove all the dead and destroyed tissue. I also was advised I have a major staff infection, MRSA. Dr.s' removed from the side of my leg dead tisse about the size of a softball in roundness and 1/2 inch deep. I stayed in the hospital on I.V. antibodics another eight days. I returned home on oral antibodics and have daily dressing changes by nurses.

If you would like to share your experience with Hobo Spiders or Brown Recluse Spiders and/or their bites please email your story and any photos you wish to share to penni@belnap.com.

After being approved by our staff--and with your consent--we will list your stories on this page.  We need to raise awareness of the danger in our basements and yards and prevent serious results. 

All E-Mail addresses are confidential and will not be distributed to any third parties.

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