Almost 50 years after “The Giant Spider Invasion” made its brief, sci-fi mark on American film culture, what one expert expects to be “zillions,” of massive spiders are expected to invade the East Coast.
The Joro spider, which can grow to the size of a child’s hand, is expected to begin appearing in May by parachuting from the sky, according to researchers at the University of Georgia.
“It looks like the Joro could probably survive throughout most of the Eastern Seaboard here, which is pretty sobering,” said Andy Davis. a research scientist in the Odum School of Ecology, according to Axios.
An invasive species of spider the size of a child’s hand is expected to “colonize” the entire East Coast this spring by parachuting down from the sky, researchers announced. https://t.co/Dnwer6RC8j
— Axios (@axios) March 9, 2022
He said he expects the spiders will range as far north as Washington, D.C., but it will depend upon the weather.
Given the right conditions, locations as far north as Canada could see the spiders.
A report by Accuweather said females have yellow, red and blue markings on their bodies and can have a leg-span of up to four inches.
Do you think the Joro spider will be helpful for the environment?
The spiders, which are native to Japan, were first found in Georgia in 2014.
“Our best guess is that it came in a shipping container and dropped off here somewhere on I-85 in the Braselton area,” Georgia Museum of Natural History Collections Manager Rich Hoebeke said, according to Online Athens. “They are great little hitchhikers!”
Joro spiders are not “invading” or “infiltrating.” These morally charged words are inappropriate. They are simply here now. They are harmless and there is no evidence they are a threat to any native species. Also, they are beautiful. Chill out, people. pic.twitter.com/jWoKH1zPL9
— Emma Marris (@Emma_Marris) March 9, 2022
The spiders not only spread by catching a breeze with their webs, but also as people move from place to place.
“The potential for these spiders to be spread through people’s movements is very high. Anecdotally, right before we published this study, we got a report from a grad student at UGA [University of Georgia] who had accidentally transported one of these to Oklahoma,” researcher Benjamin Frick said, Accuweather reported.
“There’s really no reason to go around actively squishing them,” Frick said, according to the University of Georgia. “Humans are at the root of their invasion. Don’t blame the Joro spider.”
University of Georgia entomologist Nancy Hinkle said the spiders eat bugs, not people, and they offer “free pest control.”
A giant, invasive spider could spread throughout the East Coast, a recent scientific study warns. The Joro spider, a yellow spider that can grow to about the size of a human palm, originated from Asia and was first seen in Georgia in 2013. pic.twitter.com/1K01TTZqRa
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 9, 2022
“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,” Hinkle said, according to Accuweather.
Experts said their sheer numbers mean that wiping them out is never going to happen.
“I think people need to make peace with Joros and accept the spiders because they are not going anywhere,” Hoebeke said, USA Today reported.