Northeast U.S. braces for invasion of giant parachuting venomous spiders with half-inch-long legs

The Joro spider, native to Japan and other parts of Asia, is known for its striking appearance and distinct behavior. These spiders are hard to miss, with a leg span of up to 4 inches and a vibrant yellow and black coloration. What sets them apart, however, is their ability to fly, a trait uncommon among spiders.

The Joro spider has been spreading across the southern and eastern parts of the United States since its initial appearance in Georgia about a decade ago. This invasive species, known for its large size and vibrant colors, is expected to continue its expansion, potentially reaching as far north as the Great Lakes and northeastern United States, including New York and New Jersey, in the coming months or years.

The Joro spider’s ability to spread is partly due to its unique method of travel. The spiderlings can use their webs to spin a “balloon,” and harness wind currents, allowing them to travel up to 100 miles from where they were born. This method of dispersal, combined with their adaptability to various climates, has contributed to their rapid spread across the country.

While the Joro spider is not harmful to humans or pets, its presence can be alarming due to its size and the fact that it is an invasive species. There are concerns about the spider’s impact on local ecosystems, as it may disrupt the balance of native insect populations and potentially affect the food web.

Their venom is generally harmless to humans and pets. The fangs of Joro spiders are not big enough to puncture human skin, so even if they were to bite, it would not cause harm.

Experts believe that the Joro spider is here to stay and will likely become a common sight in many parts of the United States.