Hobo spider. Property of: Tobias Mercer

Home of the Hobo

The hobo spider is originally from Europe and parts of Asia.  It was first discovered in the United States in the 1930s in the pacific northwest.  It is believed that the hobo spider spread from Europe to the United States via ships that were carrying the spider eggs.

Brownfield Site. Property of: Richard Croft

In Europe, Tegenaria agrestis is often found in areas called a brownfield site.  Brownfield sites are locations that were once occupied by humans and then abandoned.  Some examples would be houses and airplane runways.  The hobo spider is often found in and under the rubble of these different sites in Europe.  Other areas that T agrestis is found are rock quarries, fields, rich grasslands, and wooded regions.   Humans hardly ever come into contact with hobo spiders because of its competition with Tegenaria gigantean, also known as the giant house spider.  These spiders are found in homes and other places that people occupy in Europe, so the hobo spider stays away from these areas to lower competition.  It is fulfilling its ecological niche by living in a place that is different than its competitor.

Click here to learn more about hobo spider populations in Europe.

Brown field site. Property of: Steve F

Unlike the hobo spiders found in Europe, the ones in the United States are found in the same areas as humans.  T agrestis can be found living in urban areas and also areas that are used primarily for farming.  Some specific spots are under rock piles, around house foundations, and under piles of wood.   The hobo spider in the Pile of rocks. Property of: D. Gordon E. RobertsonUnited States doesn’t have to deal with a competitor like the hobo spider in Europe.  Not having this competition allows the spider to practically spread all over where it can survive.  T agrestis is fully capable of adapting to new environments like it has shown when it moved from Europe to the United States.  The hobo spider doesn’t do well in dry climates, so Utah is about as south as it can live in the United States.  It could potentially live all the way from coast to coast in the north because of the cooler climate and moisture.  The hobo spider is seen as far north as Canada, specifically British Columbia and Alberta.

"Courtesy of the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab, Utah State University Extension"

 The hobo spider is usually found from the late winter months to the late summer months.  The male spiders are most active in August and early September when they are looking for mates.  If a spider is found in the winter months, it is most likely going to be a female.