Giant venomous flying spiders with 4-inch legs are headed to the New York area as they spread across the East Coast, experts say

First came the spotted lanternsthen the cicadas — what now, the spiders? The northeastern United States is bracing for an invasion of venomous giant spiders with 4-inch-long legs capable of parachuting through the air.

Earlier this year, New Jersey Pest Control warned of the spiders’ arrival, saying Joro Spiders will be “hard to miss” as females have a leg span of up to 4 inches and are known for their vibrant yellow and gray bodies.

“What sets them apart, however, is their ability to fly, a rare trait among spiders,” the company explained. “Although they do not fly precisely in the avian sense, Joro spiders use a technique known as ballooning, where they release silk threads into the air, allowing them to be carried away by the wind.”

A Joro spider

Dave Coyle/Clemson University

José R. Ramírez-Garofalo, an ecologist at Rutgers University’s Lockwood Lab and president of Protectors of Pine Oak Woods in Staten Island, told SI Live that “it’s a question of when, not if” the spiders arrive in New York and New York. York.

A peer-reviewed study published last October by invasive species expert David Coyle found that invasive species are “here to stay.” The arachnids are native to Asia but were introduced to northern Georgia around 2010, according to the study, and continue to spread. The experts have Warned that spiders could spread in New York since 2022, but none have been detected – yet.

“Anyone who doesn’t like all these creepy, crawly things has all the characteristics that make them disgusting,” Coyle told CBS News, saying in a press release that “the data shows that this spider is going to be able to inhabit the major part of the eastern United States.

“This shows that their comfort zone in their native range matches very well with that of much of North America.”

People have reported seeing Joro spiders across much of the eastern United States, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Ohio. New York is “right in the middle of where they like to be,” Andy Davis, a researcher at the University of Georgia, told the New York Times in December. He thinks the spiders could show up in New York and neighboring states this summer — that is, any day now.

“They seem to be okay with living in the city,” Davis added, saying he has seen Joro spiders on street lights and telephone poles, where “ordinary spiders wouldn’t be caught dead.”

Arachnids are venomous, but Coyle says they are. does not pose a danger to humans. This venom, he says, is reserved for creatures that get caught in their webs, including butterflies, wasps and cockroaches. They could also pose a threat to native spiders.

“We have no evidence that they caused harm to any person or pet,” he said.

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