What Threat Do Joro Spiders Pose to New Jersey?

According to Gothamist's report, although the Joro spiders possess venom, it does not present a notable danger to humans.
Nakasendo Way
Nakasendo Way / David Madison/GettyImages

As the new year commenced, New Jersey Pest Control issued a warning to the public regarding the encroaching presence of Joro spiders, originally from East Asia, in the southeastern United States.

These arachnids, boasting leg spans of up to 4 inches and distinctive yellow and black bodies, are gradually expanding their territory, anticipated to venture northward towards New Jersey in the coming months. While the Joro spiders are indeed venomous, their venom poses no significant threat to humans, as reported by Gothamist.

What makes these spiders particularly conspicuous, according to the company, is their unique ability to fly, a trait uncommon among their arachnid counterparts. However, it's crucial to clarify that their aerial maneuvers do not mimic those of birds. Instead, they employ a method known as "ballooning," whereby they release silk threads into the air, allowing them to be carried aloft by the wind.

The exact mechanism behind the spiders' introduction to the United States remains a subject of speculation among experts. However, it is believed that they were inadvertently transported via cargo shipments, international trade, or personal travel. Despite the uncertainty surrounding their initial arrival, the ramifications of their presence are becoming increasingly apparent, particularly in Georgia, which is considered the epicenter of the Joro spider invasion.

While predictions suggested that these spiders could potentially reach New York by summer, there have been no reported sightings thus far. David Coyle, an assistant professor at Clemson University, emphasized that the Joro spiders are here to stay, citing a peer-reviewed study published last fall. However, Coyle also stressed that there is no definitive timeline for their spread, which is contingent upon various environmental and biological factors.

Got questions about history, trivia, facts or anything else?

Follow us on social media! Send us your questions, and we might answer them here on the site.