‘Parachuting’ spiders found in the Upstate

Joro spiders are popping up in the Upstate.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 11:32 PM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The newest species of spider to South Carolina is here.

We first told you in the spring that Joro spiders were making their way to the Upstate.

The spider, which is native to Asia, first popped up in the U.S. in Georgia about ten years ago.

This year in the Upstate, sightings of the spider have happened as early as mid-May.

But it’s late summer to early fall when the adult females are at their biggest and most noticeable.

“It’s very fair to say that we will see more Joro spiders in the Upstate in the coming years. It’s fair to say that there’s a lot of them around,” explained Clemson University Assistant Professor Dr. David Coyle.

The spider may look scary, but Coyle says they are no threat to people or pets. Like many other spider species, the Joro spider can also use their web to create a “balloon” they can use to ride the wind right after they hatch.

“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Yeah, they can be high population, and yeah they can be a nuisance. But they’re not going to fly in and do anything crazy like that,” he said.

While walking through the Botanical Gardens in Clemson, we found four different Joro spiders in their golden-colored webs while walking just a few hundred yards.

“It was gross. Disgusting. Scary,” said one woman walking.

For Coyle, the only real concern at this point is what impact they could have on other species and the ecosystem.

“Joro spiders, the way their population seems to be increasing really it seems highly likely that they’re going to push out a bunch of these native ones. Now we don’t know for sure, there’s a group of spider biologists and we’re trying to figure this out. We’re trying to monitor populations of Joro spiders and native spiders kind of side by side to see what happens,” he said.

More research will need to be done before anything is fully known.

In the meantime, if you see one on a walk or in your yard or garage Coyle says it’s best to leave the spider alone or move it away, not just the web.