Ahhhh! Spiders! Joro Spiders And It’s Not That Serious

East Coast residents have been warned to prepare for an invasion of brightly colored, hand-sized spiders! The Joro spider, an invasive species native to East Asia and common in countries like Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan, has been expected to spread across the eastern United States for the past few years. However, it has not happened yet. But it makes for good clickbait.

You may have read that it’s as big as a hand. However, that’s only if you measure from the tip of one leg to another. Going by that, I’ve seen Daddy Long Legs bigger than that. They might be bigger than what you’re used to seeing but there aren’t face huggers! I mean take a look at this beauty:

Now this is a big spider.
This guy was as big as the palm of my hand.

The female Joro body is about an inch long while the male’s body is less than half an inch. They are like the size of gummy bears.

Are Joro spiders going to drop from the sky like 8 legged Army Rangers?

These spiders employ a unique mode of travel known as “ballooning,” where they use their silk to catch the wind and float to new locations. We don’t know how far they’ll be able to travel, though, and there’s really no reason to believe they’ll be dropping from the sky all over the East Coast. Many of you reading this have actually seen spiders do this before!

Are Joro spiders venomous?

Yes! But all spiders are venomous and despite their intimidating appearance, Joro spiders pose no real threat to humans or pets. Their fangs are too small to penetrate human skin, and their venom is not harmful to larger animals. Instead, these spiders are more likely to become a beneficial part of the ecosystem, providing a new food source for native predators such as birds.

The spiders’ lifecycle begins in early spring, with their growth peak in the summer months of July and August. They are expected to survive and thrive even in colder climates due to their high metabolism, which allows them to endure the kind of winter temperatures we get around here.

Should you kill these spiders?

Please don’t. In contrast, some invasive species can be problematic in their new environment. Spotted Lanternflies, for example, should be killed on sight. And besides, Joro spiders aren’t expected to cause any significant damage they’re just spiders and spiders eat bugs. More spiders eating mosquitoes, stinkbugs, and hopefully, lanternflies are just fine by me.

As these arachnids continue to spread, understanding their role in our ecosystem and overcoming the initial fears can help communities coexist with these new, colorful inhabitants. If they ever manage to get anywhere around us.


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