An invasive species of spiders are expected to spread up and down the East Coast of the United States. The venomous Jorō spiders, which can grow up to four inches in size, have been in the southeast since 2014 when they likely arrived on a container ship from East Asia to Atlanta, Georgia.
The spiders have flourished in Georgia, quickly spreading to surrounding states. A team of ecologists began studying the invasive spiders to determine how far north they could migrate. In a paper published in the journal Physiological Entomology, ecologists Andrew Davis and Benjamin Frick said they determined that the Jorō can survive in colder climates.
“The jorō spider is here to stay,” Frick added.
Frick and Davis said the spiders are harmless to humans, despite their large size and the four-foot-wide webs they spin.
There is no evidence that the spiders are harmful to local ecosystems, and they could actually be beneficial if they eat agricultural pests.