We recently moved to a new house in Western Washington State and I've been finding some rather large spiders in and around the home and garden areas. The home has been vacant for over a year.

I believe they are Wolf spiders but have not been able to positively identify them.

The biggest one I've come across had legs 1.25-1.5 inches long and a total diameter of approximately 3-3.5 inches.

I've tried a few different products from Home Depot and haven't seen much of a reduction in spiders.

Can someone tell me what kind of spider this is and what are some effective ways of controlling them.


This one was found in the garage, the small dot below it is the head of a drywall nail (for size reference).

spider spider

  • 1
    Hi! You mention finding these spiders around the house. Are they also on your plants? Aug 25, 2017 at 23:55
  • @Sue Yes, I've been finding them around the garden as well. I'm not sure of the plant species as I'm not much of a gardener. They have been hanging out around this small maple tree outside our front window. I believe it's a Japanese Maple.
    – matt.
    Aug 26, 2017 at 0:07
  • Is there a lot of branches, wood, rockery in your front plant bed with your maple? They normally only come out at night...from what I've been told. Otherwise they stay in their tunnel web home. I'm so bad. I find one of those tunnels and I throw poor flies and other insects into the web. Those spiders are so fast they are a blur if you even see that. Gardening during the day you shouldn't be running into these spiders. And you have?
    – stormy
    Aug 26, 2017 at 19:34
  • And...can't believe I haven't asked, what products from Home Depot have you used?
    – stormy
    Aug 26, 2017 at 19:35
  • @stormy Yes, there is a rock bed near the maple and I have encountered a few during the day. The top picture was yesterday afternoon, about 1pm. No fireplaces, basement or wood pile. Just a laundry room in the house and haven't found any in there.
    – matt.
    Aug 26, 2017 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


This guy is Eratigena agrestis the Aggressive house spider. Also called the Hobo spider. Depends on your location. If you've just moved into a home that has been vacant for awhile, you will find this spider and he is scary. I've owned tarantulas...okay? I moved into a home in Washington that had been empty of humans two years. Oh the stories...

Your spiders look identical, at least for the classification of tunnel (funnel) spiders; long muscular legs, muscular body and lightening speed despite tarantula size. Hey these guys scare me and I am no girly girl.

I don't know how to help you deal with these guys. But I shall try. This is a tough question. I hate using a pesticide company to kill ALL insects. I didn't hire one even though I saw the warnings. Such as 2 or 4 huge hobos drowned in a little coffee cup. Squished huge spiders in the blankets. The sight we all shared watching our cat chasing something turning on the light and focus to see this humongous spider TURN raise up and that cat went screaming away. We were, even Moi, perched up on the top of the sofas. Those spiders are amazing.

If you get bit...you will need series of antibiotics or you will have this weeping sloughing oozing sore that could necessitate amputation of ...something!

Can't believe I am going to say this. I would if I could go back to that home filled with these very bad spiders, sigh, get the proper stuff and spray. The wood piles, the corners, the vents...this is one spider you do not want to be bitten by. Facial surgery if bitten on the face.

I have had tarantula pets, snakes, lizards...you name it. This spider is the ONLY spider I would...catch and put outside? Spiders are the good guys big time...this is the only exception. Black Widows? Big Deal. Hobo spiders are scary and not good to have in the house. They actually prefer out doors away from people.

Don't spray everything. You should be able to find their homes in your basement, attic. Tunnel spiders have these webs that form a tunnel into the spider's dining room...keep bed clothes from draping down to the floor from the bed. You will also find them in your bath tub in the mornings.

Sorry. I am seeing I've probably made this spider scary...well, he IS.

Edit: Here is a picture of a Huntsman Spider. See how the legs in back are shorter than the other legs? Huntsman Spider And seriously, spiders control other insects in the home. I hate killing spiders and capturing them taking them outside is what I do. But the hobo and wolf and there are a few other tunnel spiders one needs to not allow themselves to be bitten by. Killing spiders with pesticides is a big no no but when it comes to these spiders...even though I couldn't squish one if my life depended on it, I just am unable to give you my live and let live soap box speech. Looking at all the pictures of these spiders, I could only do so much! What a wimp I've become! They are all going to be different colors and different patterns as they adapt to their surroundings kind of sort of like Octopi (my fav animal of all, and look at all those legs...each with a brain of its own...). Perhaps there is some sort of an ORGANIC pesticide company. One that understands killing everything will be a bad thing, and they HAVE to have a Commercial Pesticide Applicator's License that is current. But I am still looking for other options for control. Do you have any rock work for walls or fireplaces in your home? A basement for utilities? Laundry room? Wood piles around or near your home?

  • Thank you, this is extremely helpful. The house has been vacant for over a year, the homeowners pretty much just walked away from it and left things everywhere. Wood piles all around the house, a garage with big holes in the exterior to allow easy entry. Do you have any suggestion for a specific spray that will work? The spray I have used list Hobo Spiders but I've seen them crawling on places I've sprayed the previous day, without any rain to wash away the pesticide.
    – matt.
    Aug 26, 2017 at 4:25
  • I did a search for Hobo spiders on Google to see what I could find. A few references are saying that Hobo only gets to about an inch in diameter. The big one found in the garage was a little smaller than my palm. I'd say 3.5 inches. Can these still be Hobo spiders?
    – matt.
    Aug 26, 2017 at 4:57
  • 1
    The males I guess get big and travel around at night. 3.5" is what I remember. The spiders were able to get big with no humans around for two years. If you are in Western Washington, it would be the Hobo. Tunnel spider. They all look kind of similar...Aggressive House Spider. I guess they've changed the name of the Genus from Tegenaria to something that starts with an E...sorry.
    – stormy
    Aug 26, 2017 at 7:15

I live in Europe and I frequently see giant house spiders (Eratigena atrica), very similar to this one in size and appearance. Especially the markings on its cephalothorax and abdomen look strikingly similar.

They are also found on both US coasts (and the aggressive house spider, in turn, is sometimes found in Europe) so there's a chance this could be one.

They grow up to the size of a palm and they run FAST so they've given me a scare more than once. Thankfully, they always flee rather than fight. I've never heard of anyone getting bitten but allegedly, the bite is not dangerous.

Mind you, I'm not an expert on spiders.

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