Venomous Flying Spiders May Soon Invade the East Coast, Experts Say

The East Coast may soon be home to giant venomous flying spiders

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 05:31:04 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 05:31:04

The East Coast may soon be home to giant venomous flying spiders.

Experts say the Joro spider, which can have up to a 4-inch leg span and the ability to fly, will potentially be seen on the East Coast sometime this year.

The spiders, native to Asia, were first spotted in Georgia in 2014 and are believed to have been brought to the U.S. via shipping trucks or containers. By 2021, residents began reporting sightings of the arachnids in urban and rural areas in Georgia and other states in the Southeast, the New Jersey Pest Control shared in a January blog post, noting that they could be potentially reaching the area "later this year."

"While not accurate flight in the avian sense, Joro spiders utilize a technique known as ballooning, where they release silk threads into the air, allowing them to be carried by the wind," the company explained.

Data from a peer-reviewed study published last fall showed that "there is an abundance of suitable habitat forT. clavatathroughout eastern North America and in some areas in the western part of the continent."

"Those data show that this spider is going to be able to inhabit most of the eastern U.S. It shows that their comfort area in their native -

range matches up very well with much of North America," David Coyle, one of its authors, shared in a press release.

A study published by the University of Georgia in February supported the findings, as it discovered that Joro spiders are capable of living in"human-dominated landscapes."

“If you’re a spider, you rely on vibrations to do your job and catch bugs. But these Joro webs are everywhere in the fall, including right next to busy roads, and the spiders seem to be able to make a living there. For some reason, these spiders seem urban tolerant," said Andy Davis, corresponding author of the study and a research scientist in UGA’s Odum School of Ecology, in a press release.

According to EarthSky, Joro spiders do not pose a threat to humans or pets and "may even be beneficial."

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"The spiders eat insects such as stink bugs, which cause crop damage and swarm in homes. They can help control insects without the use of pesticides," the organization shares on its website.

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