Massive Joro Spiders Invade The Southern US

If you’re afraid of spiders and you like in the US, then you’re probably not going to like the recent development surrounding the Joro spider. The almost 3-inch arachnid is native to East Asia. However, it has come to light that the large spider has been spotted in Georgia – most likely having come over on shipping containers.

Back in 2014, the Georgia Museum of Natural History collections manager, Rick Hoebeke, confirmed its presence in the state. Since the spiders’ initial landing, they have been quite active.

According to HuffPost, the yellow-bodied orb weavers have really made themselves at home in Georgia, and now there are millions of the Joro spiders. But as of late, it seems that they have made the trek across state borders and they’re now in South Carolina as well.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/pamsai

In a UGA press statement, University of Georgia entomologist Will Hudson said, “Last year, there were dozens of spiders [on my property], and they began to be something of a nuisance when I was doing yard work. 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.”

While these spiders might seem intimidating to those who have a fear of spiders, there is actually nothing to fear according to scientists. Even though there has been a large explosion of the Joro population, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable adverse effects on the local wildlife.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As a matter of fact, a Joro spider moving into your vicinity might be a good thing after all. As UGA entomologist Nancy Hinkle noted in the press release, they do help to keep mosquitoes and biting flies populations under control. And there is another perk to the Joro spiders – unlike other spider species, they actually eat brown marmorated stink bugs.

Hinkle explained, “Joro spiders present us with excellent opportunities to suppress pests naturally, without chemicals, so I’m trying to convince people that having zillions of large spiders and their webs around is a good thing!”

Photo: flickr/Christina Butler

Of course, with such huge numbers of the Joro spiders, Hudson did admit that if you need to squash a few that are invading your home there is no need to feel bad as there are so many of them. Hudson also added that you could use insecticide on them if needed.

But given the time of year that it is, a few Joro spiders around your house might help with the Halloween decorations. Hudson did joke, “Halloween is coming up, so we all have fine, natural decorations for the kiddos to enjoy.” And what is better than totally authentic and totally free decorations?

Check out the footage below:

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