Hobo spiders belong to a class of spiders known as Agelenidae and are members of the funnel web spider family. Hobo spiders live in areas of the Pacific Northwest, commonly inhabiting Utah, Oregon and Washington, although they have been found as far east as Montana. The hobo spider is not very large, measuring from 1/4-inches to 5/8-inches long and is generally a nondescript brown color.
Symptoms of a Hobo Spider Bite
Hobo spider bites are common from June through September when the males are on the prowl for a mate. In almost half of all hobo spider bite cases, the bite is dry, meaning that no venom was injected. Often a victim is unaware he's been bitten.
In bites where venom has been injected, the victim will experience redness and slight irritation in the skin, generally like a mosquito bite. There is rarely pain associated with the bite. Blistering will occur in the center of the bite and after 24 to 48 hours, the blisters will break open and the wound will begin to ooze. This is the beginning of the necrotic wound that is characteristic of this spider.
If the bite can be confirmed as a hobo spider bite, medical treatment should begin immediately. Treatments employed for the bites usually resemble treatments given for brown recluse bites, since the mechanisms of the venoms are much the same. Treatments for hobo spider bites include surgical removal of the affected tissues; oral, topical and injectable corticosteroids (which are generally only effective when administered within 24 hours of the bite); and injections of phentolamine.
In rare cases, skin grafts and amputation may be recommended to halt any additional tissue damage. Depending on the type of tissue the bite occurs in and the extent of the venom injection, healing can take anywhere from a week or two to two or three years.
Prevention of secondary bacterial infections is a must when dealing with an open, necrotizing wound from a hobo spider bite. Oral and injectable antibiotics and oral antihistamines are routinely prescribed to keep bacterial infections from complicating the healing process. Proper wound care is crucial to the healing process as well.
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