At almost 3 inches in diameter, Joro spiders appear threatening. Add to this the bright yellow and blue-black stripes on their backs, the red markings on their underbelly, and their thick, golden, orb-shaped webs, and the spiders can seem downright scary.
Though not dangerous to humans, Joro spiders have nonetheless become a pest in the American Southeast. Originally from East Asia, they first appeared in northern Georgia in 2013, and have since multiplied and spread. This fall, the Joro spiders have been especially numerous, and experts believe the spiders will return in the spring of 2022 in equal or greater numbers.
Joro spiders have yet to spread to New Jersey. But if your property is infested with other spiders, you may be inclined to try to get rid of them. Unfortunately, brooms and boots can only go so far toward getting rid of the pests. If you want to eliminate the spiders from your property, consider hiring professional exterminators such as TermiGuard Services to get the job done.
Will Joro spiders spread to New Jersey?
It’s too early to know for sure how well just how far the Joro spiders will spread. In less than a decade, though, Joro spiders have spread from the town of Hoschton, Georgia, to 25 counties throughout northern Georgia and South Carolina. They have been spotted from Johns Creek, Georgia, in the west to Greenville, South Carolina, in the east.
The spiders have spread so fast due to their ability to travel with the wind. Like other species of spiders, Joro spiders spin silk threads designed to catch a breeze. This allows them to spread naturally and find a mate. On a windy day, a Joro spider can travel up to 100 miles away from where they hatched.
Experts say it’s likely that Joro spiders will spread throughout much of the deep south. The regional climate is warm and humid, similar to the climate of the species’ native East Asia. However, Joro spiders’ eggs can survive the cold temperatures of northern climates, meaning it’s possible Joro spiders will spread as far as New Jersey. Only time will tell.
Impact on the ecosystem
Whenever a new species is introduced to a non-native habitat, scientists worry it may hurt the environment. Invasive species have been known to outcompete other predators for food or hunt prey to the point of extinction. This is because the local ecosystem has not evolved to support the invasive species. They may have no natural predators, or their prey may not have developed any defenses against them.
In the case of Joro spiders, however, experts have not yet discovered negative impacts on native species in Georgia or South Carolina. In fact, the spiders may be providing a service by serving as a form of natural pest control. In addition to hunting pests like mosquitoes and flies, Joro spiders feed on stink bugs, an invasive species that can damage crops and infest homes.
As Joro spiders continue to multiply and spread, it’s important to be cautious about their spread. The species may negatively impact some local ecosystems as they spread. It’s difficult to predict the impact of an invasive species before it reaches a new ecosystem. Fortunately, natural predators like mud dauber wasps and birds should limit the proliferation of the insect.
What to do if you see a Joro spider
Despite their threatening appearance, Joro spiders do not pose a serious threat to humans or dogs and cats. They do not bite unless provoked, and their venom is not life-threatening. However, like any insect, the spiders can quickly become a noisome household pest, especially when they appear in large numbers.
Some homeowners in Georgia report being unable to enjoy their porch or yard because of the presence of dozens or hundreds of Joro spiders on their property. After mowing the lawn, they may find their lawnmowers covered with spider webs. A casual stroll along a familiar path may now involve ducking to avoid spider webs every dozen steps. And of course, no one enjoys walking out the front door into a spider web first thing in the morning.
If your home is infested with Joro spiders, consider calling the exterminators. DIY methods will only get you so far and are unlikely to prevent the spiders from laying eggs and returning to your property in the spring. To learn more about TermiGuard Services’ pest control programs, give us a call today.