These massive spiders are invading Georgia and they may colonize the entire East Coast
Good news: The Joro spider may look scary but it’s completely harmless. Bad news: You’re might see a whole lot more of them
A massive species of spider, native to Japan, arrived in the U.S. around 2013 and has spread across Georgia.
The Joro spider may look scary and attract human aggression, but this nonnative species isn’t harmful at all. When it does bite, its fangs are too small to pierce human skin. Even though it is venomous, its venom isn’t a threat to humans.
In fact, it may even be an additional food source for birds.
“Last year, there were dozens of spiders, and they began to be something of a nuisance when I was doing yard work,” said Will Hudson, University of Georgia entomologist, talking about his property in Winterville, Georgia.
“This year, I have several hundred, and they actually make the place look spooky with all the messy webs — like a scene out of ‘Arachnophobia,’” he said.
So far, the Joro spider has made its way to parts of Tennessee and the northern Carolinas, as well, according to AL.com. These spiders, with bright blue and yellow striped bodies and black and red legs, will soon be hard to miss as they begin to gain a foothold in the southeastern U.S., according to a new study published by the University of Georgia.
“People should try to learn to live with them,” said study co-author Andy Davis. “If they’re literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they’re just going to be back next year.”
“The way I see it, there’s no point in excess cruelty where it’s not needed,” added co-author Benjamin Frick, an undergraduate researcher in the School of Ecology. “You have people with saltwater guns shooting them out of the trees and things like that, and that’s really just unnecessary.”