(AscendHealthy)- In 2020, murder hornets buzzed in the background of COVID-19 news. By 2021, they seemed to fade into the background of the daily news cycle. However, scientists have reported a new invasion coming to the southeastern United States: giant invasive spiders that parachute into the picture.
Whether you have arachnophobia or simply an aversion to giant insects, the Joro Spider from East Asia could seem like worse news than murder hornets. There’s good news and bad news. Let’s take a look at what we currently know about Joro Spiders and the latest bug invasion.
Joro Spiders Are Easy to Spot
Joro Spiders are quite distinctive and easy to identify. While the male Joro Spiders are brown and plain, female Joro Spiders are black, yellow, or red with blue and yellow legs. They can even get up to 3-4 inches long. Their webs are even more distinctive. They are orb-shaped and gold-colored.
Joro Spiders Are Invasive
These invasive spiders are suspected to have come into the United States on cargo ships, and they’ve been in the area since 2013. They travel by ballooning into the wind and using their silk threads to land. Because they prefer warm, humid climates, it makes sense that they would gravitate to the southeastern part of the United States. While the term “invasive” may seem intimidating, it simply means that Joro Spiders aren’t native to the U.S.
Joro Spiders Probably Won’t Hurt You
Unlike the murder hornet, Joro Spiders won’t hurt you if you leave it alone. Although it’s named after a Japanese spider demon, entomologists report that these spiders are relatively harmless. They are not aggressive to humans and will only bite if they’re trying to defend themselves from attack. They are venomous, but this is only a danger to humans who are allergic to this particular spider species.
Joro Spiders Could Help Manage Other Pests
There’s good news for anyone who hates bugs. Joro Spiders might initially seem intimidating, but these spiders enjoy snacking on yellow jackets, mosquitos and stink bugs. Keeping them around could help reduce the prevalence of these other pests.
Joro Spiders Are Here to Stay
There’s been a resurgence of Joro Spiders in the U.S. recently, and this invasive species isn’t likely to go anywhere. Entomologists believe they’re going to stick around, enjoying the humid climate in states like South Carolina and Georgia. While they may look frightening, they’re unlikely to do harm to humans or the surrounding ecosystem.
There are many dangerous bugs in the world, but Joro Spiders may not make that list. The words “invasive parachuting spiders” may trigger fear, but scientists assure us that we don’t need to be worried. To minimize their presence, keep your home clean and avoid leaving food out that could attract spiders. If you see them, consider keeping a respectful distance, and remember that they could help minimize other, more annoying outdoor pests.
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