8cm Spiders Infest US State of Georgia As Resident Says “No One Wants To Have A Web Face” | US News
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Spiders measuring three inches in diameter (about 8cm) have multiplied in the U.S. state of Georgia, baffling residents and sparking anxious social media posts.
The Joro spider, native to East Asia, weaves golden webs in the shape of a wheel, some 10 feet (three meters) deep. Females have bright yellow, blue, and red markings on their bodies.
In the town of Winterville, Will Hudson estimates he killed more than 300 of the eight-legged creatures.
Mr Hudson, an entomologist at the University of Georgia, said his porch has become unusable.
“The canvases are a real mess,” he said. “No one wants to go out in the morning, go down the steps and have a spider web in their face.”
In Georgia, the first Joro was identified 80 miles northeast of Atlanta in 2014.
They have since been found in South Carolina as well, and Mr. Hudson believes they will spread to the southern United States.
Common in Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan, Joros are not a threat to humans and will only bite if they feel threatened.
A researcher who collected them with her bare hands reported occasional pinching, but said the spiders never broke her skin, Hudson added.
It is not known why there has been an increase in population this year, but it may be related to the amount of rain.
“We are seeing natural ebbs and flows in populations of many different species that may be related to local conditions, especially slight changes in precipitation,” said Paula Cushing, an arachnologist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
These are advantages to the presence of the Joros. Nancy Hinkle, another entomologist at the University of Georgia, said they help suppress mosquitoes and biting flies.
They are also one of the few spiders to catch and eat brown mottled bugs, which are serious pests for many crops.
“It’s wonderful. It’s exciting. Spiders are our friends,” Ms. Hinkle said.
“They are there to catch all the pests that we don’t want in our house.”
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