Almost everyone with internet, tv, or radio who lives in the Southeastern United States has likely heard of the new spider species that is destined to take over the region – the Joro spider, or often simply referred to as the Parachuting Spider. But are there any real dangers of this species, and what is all the fuss about? Nelon-Cole, your Carolina pest control professionals, is up-to-date on the very latest and we are happy to help educate our region on this new pest.
PARACHUTING SPIDER – WHAT?
The Joro Spider is believed to be native to China, India, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. It is likely that the species hitched a ride in a container vessel of some kind, such as a ship or a cargo plane. From there, it was first noticed in the Georgia area of the Southeastern United States, sometime around 2013 or 2014. In more recent years, the Joro Spider has been seen in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They have also been seen as far west as Oklahoma, though at the time of this writing this is believed to be an isolated incident of a single spider hitching another cargo ride and ending up there, rather than natural migration to that area. These spiders are known for their large body size, quite similar to a common garden spider, and for their very large and highly organized webs – some as large as 10 feet.
you would be forgiven for mistaking the Joro for the common garden spider
They have earned the nickname of ‘Parachuting Spider’ for their ability to be lifted easily and carried by the wind, enabling them to travel many miles quickly. Upon landing, the females can lay eggs and reproduce in large numbers.
ARE THESE SPIDERS HARMFUL?
The Joro Spider is quite hearty and seem to be more likely that other spider species to be able to withstand unusually cold temperatures, making them naturally able to better survive cold winter months. The spiders themselves have a much more menacing appearance than their demeaner would back up. They are quite docile under normal, non-threatening situations. Their fangs, while a lethal threat to other unlucky insects, are unable to puncture human or animal skin, making then harmless to both people and pets. At the current time, experts do not believe that they are a significant threat to plant life either, which makes their huge webs more of a nuisance than a threat.
Joro Spiders seem to rely on a diet of typical insects of our area – stink bugs, yellowjackets and wasps, mosquitos and more. This would seem to make them much more friend than foe to Carolina homeowners.
HOW FAST ARE THEY EXPANDING?
As these are some of the only known spiders that are able to travel by wind (hence their name), predicting their expansion into other states can be tricky, but it is thought that as they are able to survive colder temperatures better than other spider species, it makes them an ideal candidate for expansion northward, following the Atlantic coastal states into the Northeast as the years go forward. Experts predict that it may be a slow migration, taking up to 10 years for the species to be seen in the New England states. However, with the wind playing a part in their eventual migration it is difficult for anyone to say exactly when or where they will show up.
though menacing in appearance, the Joro is largely harmless to people and animals
SO, THERE IS NO DANGER THEN?
There appears to be no danger associated with this species to human, animal, or plant life. There is a general sense of amusement and fascination as a new species gets introduced to our ecosystem, and there are certainly many unknown factors at play there. Should the reproduction and migratory habits negatively affect the food chain, there may then need to be further analysis of potential damages, but for now there are no alarm bells going off. As always, the technicians and staff at Nelon-Cole stays educated on the very latest research on the Joro Spider and many, many other insect and pest varieties. It is our job to both educate you and to assist when you need more aggressive pest control measures. It is the reason why we are the most trusted and award-winning source of pest control solutions, and we are here to go to work for you! Charlotte Pest Control Services - Carolina Pest Control Services - Gastonia Pest Control Services - Hendersonville Pest Control Services