NY POST – Joro spiders, arachnids known for their vibrant yellow-and-black patterns and ability to weave parachutes, are thriving in the Carolinas and are expected to spread across the East Coast in the coming years, according to a new study.
Clemson University researchers have found that the Joros, which made their way to the US aboard shipping containers from Asia nearly a decade ago, have since expanded and reside within a 75,000-square-mile ecosystem across North and South Carolina and Georgia.
Some of the spiders, which can grow to the size of the palm of a hand, have even been spotted in Maryland as they head north by riding their parachutes.
“And not only that; they are spreading like wildfire,” researchers noted. “Data shows that this spider is going to be able to inhabit most of the eastern US.”
Unlike their native Asia, Joros have found little to get in their way in North America, as the spiders have no natural predators here and enjoy plenty of food.
“These spiders don’t seem to care what gets in their web; they’re just as likely to eat brown marmorated stink bugs as they are to eat a Monarch butterfly,” lead researcher professor David Coyle said in a statement … read more.
“They seem to love structures. So, I just tell people to take a stick or broom and remove them.”
One Giant Leap: Joro Spiders in North Carolina
June 30, 2022 Justin Moore
Agiant, hand-sized spider is heading to North Carolina. And like thunderstorms heralding the arrival of a cold front, the internet is saturated with misleading headlines announcing the arrival of the Joro spider.
The globe-trotting arachnid journeyed from Asia to the U.S. during the 2010s, and has since spread from Georgia to the Carolinas — and possibly your backyard, at least eventually.
While there have been isolated reports of the Joro spider in Western North Carolina, experts predict it will indeed spread across much of the Southeast and beyond over the coming years.
Bigger isn’t always badder. Joro spiders are harmless to humans and create little if any cause for concern at this time.
As with its compatriot the Asian Giant Hornet, often mislabeled as “murder hornet” after appearing in the U.S., headline after headline has painted an unflattering or incomplete picture of the Joro spider. While large and formidable in appearance, it is not aggressive and its small mouth parts mean any bite is harmless.
It may be a bit soon to brand it as the Big Friendly Joro (BFJ), but it’s certainly not a menacing threat. Watch as our expert entomologist, Matt Bertone with NC State University’s Plant Disease and Insect Clinic, provides more “Joro Spider 101” insight!