Close up of a black hobo spider on a wall

Hobo spider, not brown recluse, prefers Portlandia

Oregonians are too quick to name the brown recluse when they think they see a potentially venomous spider or spider bite. The hobo spider on the walltruth is that your chances of seeing a brown recluse are slim to none, as they aren’t native to the Pacific Northwest, confirms the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Plant Division. Our Portland pest control experts would add that the Portland spiders most individuals mistakenly identify as brown recluse are actually hobo spiders.

Here’s a look at how to tell the two species apart.


The hobo spider is light brown or yellowish-tan in color. One of its most distinguishing marks is the dark brown V-shaped pattern that runs down the center of its abdomen.

The brown recluse spider is dark brown or dark tan in color and has long legs, with dark, violin-shaped marking on the dorsal surface of its head. The most distinguishing features of the brown recluse are its eyes because it only has six (most spiders have eight eyes).


While the hobo spider is originally from Western Europe, it is widely established throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The brown recluse spider is not native to the Pacific Northwest. It makes its home in the southern states of the U.S. and the lower parts of the Midwest.


One of the reasons people confuse the brown recluse spider with other hobo spiders is because the bites and the resulting symptoms are similar. Both species’ venom can lead to necrosis. The Center for Disease Control and U.S. Forestry Service state that spider bites attributed to the brown recluse are often really from hobo spiders.

The brown recluse spider and hobo spider are not naturally aggressive; they’ll only bite if provoked, startled or frightened. If you believe a spider has bitten you, apply a cold compress to the affected area. If the inflammation gets worse or you develop flu-like symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

Furthermore, if you believe you have a hobo spider problem in your home, call a Portland pest control company to help. Here at Western Exterminator, we can accurately identify the spider and suggest a course of action.

Mr. Little

He’s represented Western for nearly a century. But he’s no old fogey. Follow Mr. Little’s blog for pest tips and facts!

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