Gigantic Joro Spiders Have Invaded Georgia

Until recently, the nearly 3-inch-long Joro spider was more or less confined to its native East Asia. However, they have been spotted in Georgia, possibly having hitched a ride on shipping containers. The yellow-bodied orb weavers have been busy and Georgia is now home to millions of Joro spiders. Fortunately, humans have nothing to fear from the harmless crawlers, and despite the population explosion, this particular invasive species hasn’t done any discernible damage to the local wildlife. In fact, you might even consider the Joro spider to be a welcome guest. According to UGA entomologist Nancy Hinkle, they may help keep mosquitoes and biting flies at bay, and unlike some other spider species, they’re happy to gobble down a particularly reviled pest: brown marmorated stink bugs.