Asian Joro Spiders Famous for Parachuting Out of the Sky Expected to Move Towards the Northeast: Reports

An image of the Joro spider in its web its weaved.
Getty Stock Images

But there is no need for alarm: Despite their rather intimidating appearance, they are harmless to humans.

Joro spiders, described to be as big as a ‘child’s hand,’ are expected to make their way towards the East Coast this spring. The spiders don’t only crawl, but apparently ‘parachute’ down from the sky, researchers at the University of Georgia announced last week, according to published reports. 

Researchers say the Joro spiders are able to tolerate cold weather, and millions of them are expected to hit the Southeast, particularly in and around Georgia, as early as May. Some may make it as far North as D.C., or Delaware, NPR reported.

The spiders, identified by their large bulbous body, bright blue-black color, yellow striped legs, and distinctive red marking on their underbelly, can grow up to 3 inches long. They are also known to lay an egg sack containing up to 1,500 eggs and can spin webs as wide as 10 feet, USA Today reported. 

Experts say early spring is when their life cycle begins. The month of June is when they get bigger, and are more prevalent in July and August. 

Though massive and scary looking, these creatures are apparently harmless to humans and pets, researchers say. 

And their fangs “aren't even big enough to puncture human skin,” according to researchers.

In fact, one of the Joro spider’s claim to fame is the large webs they weave, which look as if they are spun from golden silk, NPR reported. 

Andy Davis, a research scientist in the Odum School of Ecology and one of the authors of a recent study told UGA Today, a publication of the University of Georgia, said the spiders don’t have a significant effect on local agriculture or ecosystems. And, they may even be an additional food source for birds, the news outlet reported. 

Native to Japan, the Joro spider — named for Jorōgumo, a creature of Japanese folklore that can shapeshift into a woman or spider before killing its prey — began infiltrating the U.S. in 2013, Axios reported.

For those who have any fears, Davis suggests, "people should try to learn to live with them."

“If they're literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they're just going to be back next year," Davis said.

Related Stories