Palm-sized exotic spiders have invaded and taken up residence in northern Georgia.
Millions of Joro spiders, which are native to Asia, are spinning multi-layered golden webs in at least 25 counties and have even expanded into South Carolina. They are hard to miss with their yellow bodies and stripped legs which span 3 to 4 inches.
The spiders are part of the golden orb-weaver genus and create webs with yellow silken threads that appear golden when the sun hits them.
Scientists who have been studying the invasive species believe they arrived by shipping containers between 2013 and 2014.
Their numbers have only increased over the years and experts say they are here to stay.
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Although the lifespan of an adult Joro spider is just one year, they reproduce at a rapid rate. “One female Joro spider can lay between 400-1,500 eggs in a year,” reports Forsyth County News.
While their size and appearance may seem intimidating, they aren’t dangerous to people or pets.
University of Georgia entomologist Nancy Hinkle advises people not to kill the spiders often seem around homes and on trails because they feed on mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
“Joro spiders present us with excellent opportunities to suppress pests naturally, without chemicals,” Hinkle told USA Today. “I’m trying to convince people that having zillions of large spiders and their webs around is a good thing.”
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