What are these Joro Spiders invading the East Coast?
As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough. Now we have giant parachuting Joro spiders invading the East Coast, and already in Georgia! A new level of fear has been unlocked, and it doesn’t look like they’re going away any time soon.
Mother nature must be bored, and decided to shake things up a bit. She chose to send us these wonderful, 3-inch (yes, that big) Joro spiders.
Research and Background
A big thanks to our friends at the University of Georgia for their research and insight. They made us aware of the horrifying news and say it’s an invasion that we are now too late to do anything about. In fact, Georgia is already seeing this new resident.
Andy Davis, a researcher with the University of Georgia says we should “try to learn to live with them.” He adds, “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.”
No End In Sight
Yes, that’s right. We don’t see an end in sight with these unique, parachuting creatures. Not only do we have to worry about spiders crawling up from the ground… they can now dive bomb us with their parachutes.
The Joro spider creates massive silk webs. These webs get picked up by wind, creating these parachutes that can fly the spiders across long distances. So why are we just now preparing for these bright yellow, blue-black and red spider invaders? UGA scientists say the spiders have been all over since at least 2013, but they expect a spread to the full Eastern Seaboard before long. Even as soon as this summer.
Where Joro Spiders Came From
The Joro spiders come from Japan and are related to the golden silk spider. They have high metabolisms and are much stronger than their cousins (great, even more to worry about). The Joro can survive colder temperatures, even brief freezes.
Davis says it looks as if the Joro could survive throughout most of the Eastern Seaboard.
If there’s any “good news” in this story… it’s that these new-to-us creatures seem to be pretty friendly. Maybe. UGA says we have no reason to panic. The spiders shouldn’t bite unless they are cornered, but their fangs are usually too small to break human skin… Usually.
“There’s really no reason to go around actively squishing them,” Benjamin Frick, a co-author of the study, said. “Humans are at the root of their invasion. Don’t blame the Joro spider.”
Wonder how great our new residents are dealing with pandemics, high gas prices and foreign policies? We could use a little help there!