Joro spiders are here to stay.
For the past couple of years Joro spiders — which are widespread in China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan — have taken up residence in Northeast Georgia.
People around Hall County have spotted dozens of these large spiders with yellow markings along trails and in their backyards. The invasive species made its first appearance in the region in Braselton around 2014, and their numbers have been on the rise. One female Joro spider can lay between 400-1,500 eggs in a year.
Not to be confused with the writing and banana spider, Joro spiders stand apart by their larger size and distinctive, gold-tinted multi-layered webs. The females, including their leg span, can reach up to 3 to 4 inches.
In the fall, Joro spiders grow to their full size, nearing the end of their year-long lifespans. Like most spider species, the females are significantly larger than the males, flaunting bright yellow hues and a splash of red on their abdomens.
This genus of spiders are professionals at spreading. They use a ballooning technique, in which the spiders spin a web to catch the air current, allowing them to fly for 50-100 miles before latching onto a tree.
Joro spiders thrive on the edge of woods and around homes, and are often found congregating in groups.
With their long-banded legs and large abdomens, these arachnids may seem intimidating, but they’re not dangerous to people. Like all spiders, they’re venomous, with a bite one could compare to a bee sting. However, unless a person is specifically allergic to Joro spiders, they shouldn’t be concerned.
Squashing Joro spiders may feel like a good deed, but it won’t have a significant effect on their population in Northeast Georgia.
This article originally published in our sister paper the Gainesville Times.