You may have heard it in the news in recent months: there’s a new pest in town. And their appearance and their webs are leaving locals unnerved.
Large, colorful, and weavers of highly organized webs, the Joro spider is the newest pest driving homeowners up the wall all around the Southeast.
We’ve got everything you need to know about them in this month’s blog.
Meet the Joro Spider
The Joro spider (trichonephila clavata) is large and colorful, striped yellow and blue with red underbellies, and known for weaving wheel-shaped, highly organized webs.
And they’re not from around these parts.
The Joro is part of the orb weaver spider family, indigenous to Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan. By some means—it’s unclear how, exactly—these East Asian natives have made their way to the American South, where they seem to be thriving.
The spider was first documented almost 100 miles outside of Atlanta back in 2014. Since then, they’ve been seen across northern Georgia, as well as parts of South Carolina.
But according to experts, their numbers have exploded this year. They aren’t sure why this year has seen such a strong uptick in the spider’s numbers, but some experts are convinced the Joro will soon spread across the entire region.
Is the Joro Spider Dangerous?
Fortunately, the colorful spider is not a physical threat to humans or pets. Despite their size, the Joro is not likely to attack or bite unless directly provoked.
What’s more, the cold of the winter months is expected to cull the population. But entomologists acknowledge the likelihood of a resurgence this coming spring.
Unfortunately, it is “not yet [known] if there will be any negative impacts from this non-native species on the local ecology of South Carolina,” or the rest of the South, according to information published by Clemson researchers.
On the other hand, the Joro spider does feed on other pests, like biting flies and mosquitos, and they’re one of the few species in the world that catch and eat brown marmorated stink bugs. So there could be a plus side to let them weave their webs in your yard, according to some experts.
Two other large orb weaver spiders that have made the southeast their home are the black and yellow garden spiders (Argiope spp.) and the golden silk spiders (Nephila spp.). Like the Joro spider, these can be beneficial to have in your yard to help control many garden pests, and are not dangerous to humans or pets.
If it turns out you don’t want to share your home or yard with the Joro spider—or any other pest for that matter—rest assured that the experts at Terminix are ready to spring into action.
Spied a spider? Call the experts at your neighborhood Terminix to put your pest problems behind you—spider or otherwise!