Experts Say Don’t Squash These Invasive Flying Man-Hand-Sized Japanese Spiders
If you happen to see one of these in Houston, TX, good luck trying to squash that sucker anyway. From the looks and size of them, one is liable to catch your foot mid-squash and put you in a rear naked choke. But that's not why you don't need to squash 'em.
While some may describe these brightly colored spiders as beautiful, I just can't. It's bright yellow markings scream too loudly to me "no, keep away, do not touch!"
The Joro spider is native to Asia and is a type of golden silk orb-weaver. It was first spotted around Georgia in '13 and has steadily and continuously increasing in numbers across the Southeast over the past decade. They have yet to be seen in Texas.
Experts at the University of Georgia say these invaders will have little to no effect on local food webs and ecosystems. "They could even be viewed as beneficial, contributing to pest reduction as they prey on plant pests and serving as food themselves to birds and other predators, according to UGA Today."
All I read is that the invasion will come from the East.
Andy Davis, research scientist at Georgia's Odum School of Ecology and co-author of the study, told USA Today in a statement, "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."
While they are invasive to the continental U.S., at this point stopping them is futile. They are likely here to stay, so we might as well learn to live alongside them.
"There’s really no reason to go around actively squishing them," Frick said. "Humans are at the root of their invasion. Don’t blame the Joro spider."
And while their sheer size will frighten any sane person, experts they won't hurt you. "They are venomous, but they don't bite humans unless they are cornered. Plus, their fangs don't penetrate human skin," Benjamin Frick told USA TODAY.
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