The Joro Spider

 The Joro Spider

By Terri Estes

Just when you thought it was safe to venture out of the house … enter the Joro spider!

We have dealt with many invasions as of late, and now we have another migrant set to lay claim on our soil. This one, like the dreaded spotted lanternfly, hails from Asia.

The Joro spider was first detected in Georgia in 2014. It is thought to have hitched a ride in a shipping container to enter our shores. Since then, it has spread to Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Ohio.

The Joro spider is known for having a large sized abdomen with very long legs. These legs can be up to four inches long and have yellow and black stripes. They also make webs that can be up to six feet wide. Imagine walking home from your local establishment on a Saturday night and stumbling through that! Nope! That is enough to keep me home!

The Joro spider is venomous but offers no threat to humans. Their mouth is small and their fangs most likely cannot penetrate our skin. They can, however, take down butterflies, hummingbirds and other small flying insects.

There are currently many reports warning us of this arachnid flying into our area in the near future, but the fact is that they really don’t fly. Instead, they use a natural mechanism called ballooning which allows them to move through the air by releasing webs to catch the wind currents. The winds can carry them for over 100 miles to new locations where they can take up residence.

The good news about this spider is that they are actually quite shy and do not seek interaction with humans. They may look terrifying, and are the size of a human hand, but thank goodness, they are not aggressive. So let’s welcome (or not) the newest New York resident — the Joro spider! Just what we needed…

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