Invasive parachuting spiders invading South Carolina
UPSTATE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Heads up South Carolina! A new kind of frightening-looking spider is making its way to the Upstate in big numbers.
The Joro spider is already in Georgia and parts of the Upstate, but will soon become a bug you won’t be able to miss.
These spiders can do interesting things such as use their webs to ride through the wind like a balloon.
“I feel like I’ve already probably seen one of those at some point,” said Joy Brown.
“Oh, are you kidding,” replied Brian Brock when shown a picture of the Joro spider.
Ready or not here they come.
The long, yellow spider with a red belly and a golden hue on its web is native to East Asia.
Researchers believe it made its way to the U.S. on shipping containers about a decade ago.
“It’s like a murder hornet and a writing spider, they’ve morphed. That’s why we didn’t see the murder hornets last year because they morphed so stay away,” said Pam Banks.
Professor of Biology at USC Upstate Jon Storm says the Joro spider doesn’t pose any real threat to people or animals.
“There’s no concern with them as far as safety. The main concern that I would have for them is taking up habitat that would be used by a writing spider, abandoned garden spider,” he explained.
Storms says that the species doesn’t appear to have an impact on the environment either at this point, although more research needs to be done.
But these spiders are continuing to move into the Upstate.
“Like it or not, they’re probably just going to be here to stay. There’s going to be too many of them,” said Storm.
For people living in Greenwood County, the sight of our new neighbors is not a welcomed one.
“I’m glad to know that it’s maybe not more harmful than we think, but I don’t want to meet it on the trail,” said Brock with a laugh.
Brown does not want to see a Joro spider next time she’s working on her yard.
“These are the last days and that’s how I feel. I feel like the Lord is coming back, you know species like that. I just happen to be afraid of spiders but I mean still, that’s unnormal,” she said.
Storm says the prime time for these big spiders is in late summer into the fall.
There are already some in the Upstate, but Storm adds that everyone should start seeing them if not this year then definitely in the next couple of years.
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