Joro Spiders: The Spread of an Invasive Species Across the United States

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

Picture this: a colorful and sizable spider making its way from Georgia up through the United States, capturing the curiosity of researchers and the public alike. That’s the Joro spider, an invasive species that has been steadily expanding its territory since its discovery in 2014.

David Nelsen, a biology professor, understands the fascination people have with creatures like the Joro spider. But he wants to ease any worries: these spiders might look intimidating, but their bite is usually harmless, causing nothing more than a little itch or mild reaction.

Originally from East Asia, Joro spiders were first spotted in northern Georgia and are now slowly but surely moving north. With their distinctive yellow bodies, they tend to keep their distance from humans, preferring to avoid contact whenever possible.

Rebekah Wallace, an expert from the University of Georgia, explains how these spiders catch the breeze with their webs, helping them spread to new areas. While they’re mainly centered in Atlanta, they’ve started popping up in other states like the Carolinas, Tennessee, and even Baltimore.

While it’s important to keep an eye on the Joro spider’s movements, there are bigger concerns when it comes to invasive species. Climate change and global trade are making it easier for pests to wreak havoc on crops and the environment. Hannah Burrack, a professor at Michigan State University, stresses the importance of tackling these more immediate threats.

So, while the Joro spider might be making headlines, its impact on humans is relatively minor compared to other invasive species. The key is to stay vigilant and take proactive steps to protect our ecosystems and agriculture.

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