Tracking the Migration of Joro Spiders: Potential Arrival in New England

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

The Joro spider, a fascinating creature originating from Japan, has caught the attention of many as it potentially makes its way along the East Coast of the United States. With sightings already noted in New York and New Jersey, concerns naturally arise about whether these spiders will extend their reach into New England.

Experts like José R. Ramírez-Garofalo from Rutgers University’s Lockwood Lab suggest that the migration of these spiders into neighboring states is imminent. However, the big question remains: will New England be their next stop?

Professor Laura A. Meyerson from the University of Rhode Island explains that there have been no documented sightings of Joro spiders in Rhode Island or anywhere else in New England. While their range is expanding, uncertainties remain regarding their ability to survive in the region, especially considering their tolerance to colder temperatures.

The accidental introduction of Joro spiders to the U.S. is believed to have occurred through cargo shipments and international travel. Their ability to adapt to diverse environments and reproduce rapidly has contributed to their establishment and spread across the country.

Identifiable by their striking yellow bands and large size, Joro spiders are not considered a direct threat to humans, although their venomous bite can trigger allergic reactions. Despite their capacity to travel through wind currents, primarily via spiderlings using silk threads to balloon, the likelihood of encountering hand-sized spiders descending from the sky is minimal.

While there are no foolproof methods to eliminate Joro spiders, Meyerson suggests minimizing outdoor lighting at night to discourage their presence, as they are drawn to light sources. Moreover, it’s important to note that these spiders are typically found outdoors, rather than indoors.

As Joro spiders continue their journey along the East Coast, it’s imperative to closely monitor their movements and implement preventive measures to address potential ecological and human impacts.

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