Frighteningly Huge Parachuting Spider Creeps Across Southern US
This imported Asian spider is about the size of the palm of your hand, it parachutes with its web, leaves really big webs in places you are likely to walk, and yes, it's coming this way.
It's called the Joro spider, or Trichonephila clavata, and it has quickly and quietly taken over northeastern Georgia. According to research done at the University of Georgia - College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Joro made its way to the United States by most likely stowing away aboard a cargo ship from Asia.
Found A New Home
Once here they began to rapidly expand across Georgia and in just a few short years were prolific in twenty-five counties by 2021.
The experts say they are not dangerous unless, of course, you are a flying insect. Or maybe you're trying to carry your groceries into the house and don't see the web. That's when the neighbors think you have lost your mind doing the "Ewww, I just ran into a spider web" dance.
The experts are saying that yes, they are poisonous but they won't typically try to bite humans unless they are cornered, the even better news is their fangs are short and shouldn't be able to pierce human skin.
Entomologists actually think these may be beneficial spiders, the Joro spider doesn't appear to compete with native species and is helping catch even more flying insects, even the dreaded stink bug.
The Joro spider looks very similar to the banana spider, another invasive species that hitched a ride to the US years ago.
But Do They Fly?
Joro spiders do fly, sort of. Baby Joros will send out a small web that will be picked up by the wind and carry them off to nearby destinations. The experts say the most likely way they spread far and wide is by hitching a ride in some cargo from one state to another. Right now they are most prolific in Georgia, upper Florida, and western South Carolina.
If you don't see them in your yard yet, they will be here before you know it. The experts say they are nothing to be feared, just tolerated like most other arachnids.
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