Don’t Fear the Spiders Heading Toward NJ This Summer
Another invasive species is coming to our shores this spring and summer, according to a report by the University of Georgia.
The joro spider, native to Japan, probably made its way here on container ships traveling from the other side of the world. They use their webs as tiny parachutes and ride the winds to wherever it takes them, and this year experts predict it will take them here in a few months.
While the look of these giant spiders riding parachute-like webs through the sky may make most of us a little uneasy at first, scientists reassure us that they present no danger to humans and pets. In fact, as NPR points out, they may be beneficial to native predators like birds as an additional food source.
These flying spiders are venomous and do indeed have fangs, but they aren't long enough to penetrate our skin. But many spiders are venomous. One of the most commonly found spiders in New Jersey, the seemingly harmless daddy-long-legs spider, is extremely venomous, but much like the joro spider, they can't penetrate our skin.
They've been hanging out in Georgia for a few years now, and it's hard not to notice them there. Now scientists predict they will spread up the East Coast.
Researchers have determined that they can tolerate colder weather and will "colonize" the eastern seaboard beginning this spring. The joro spider made it to the Southeastern United States in 2013 and has been concentrated mostly in Georgia. They are expected to be on our doorstep this year, making as far north as Delaware. It's just a quick trip across the Delaware into South Jersey from there.
Let's hope the hawks eat them all before they get here, but if they do make their way into the Garden State, we may be better off.