A palm-sized spider with yellow stripes has been slowly but surely spreading across Georgia, scientists say.
The Joro spider, a colorful spider native to Asia, has seen a population explosion in northern Georgia, almost a decade after being discovered in the U.S. state.
The first sightings of the Joro spider were reported by the University of Georgia between 2013 and 2014.
According to University of Georgia Dept of Entomology spokesperson Michele Hatcher, the spider species have now been sighted in around 25 counties and parts of South Carolina.
Although the spider might seem threatening, scientists say they aren’t interested in humans; instead, they serve as pest control, says entomologist Nancy Hinkle.
Joro spiders, with yellow-striped legs and golden webs, out in force across North Georgia https://t.co/XBbm0Xva3H— Athens Banner-Herald (@onlineathens) September 27, 2021
The spiders feed on insects like mosquitoes, flies, and even stink bugs.
Hinkle says the spiders will mostly die off in November, but not before laying sacs full of eggs, possibly adding to their population come springtime.
In their relatively short time in the U.S., scientists from the University of Georgia have not discovered any adverse effects on local, native species, which concern the Joro spider’s arrival.