Gulp. Giant Invasive Spider Spreading Throughout the Southeast
A species of giant spider from Asia been taking over spots of the southeastern United States over the past decade, and wildlife experts say there isn't much we can do about it.
The Joro spider first arrived in the U.S. around 2013 via shipping containers. The large arachnid, native to Japan, has since spread across Georgia and the Southeast. And it's just getting started. According to new research from scientists at the University of Georgia, the invasive spider has the ability to spread through most of the Eastern Seaboard.
Fortunately, Joro spiders don't appear to pose a risk to humans or local ecosystems. While they are venomous, they don't bite unless threatened and have very small fangs that are unable to break human skin.
"People should try to learn to live with them," Andy Davis, a research scientist at UGA's Odum School of Ecology, said in a news release. "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."
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A joro spider can grow to be about 3 inches long and has a bulbous body with bright yellow stripes. They weave large three-dimensional webs that are a golden color and have been reported as deep as 10 feet.
"There's really no reason to go around actively squishing them," Benjamin Frick, an undergraduate researcher, agreed. "Humans are at the root of their invasion. Don't blame the Joro spider."