‘Extreme Numbers’ Of Large Invasive Spiders In Georgia May Be A Good Thing

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Georgia residents would be forgiven for being a little creeped out by the thought of copious palm-sized invasive spiders taking up lodging in their state. But scientists say there’s no reason to fear the creatures, which are actually beneficial. Joro spiders are large spiders with bulbous yellow abdomens and thin yellow stripes on their legs. They originally hail from East Asia, but were first spotted in Georgia in 2013 . They likely arrived by stowing away in shipping containers, Rick Hoebeke, collections manager the Georgia Museum of Natural History, said in a late September news release from the University of Georgia. Advertisement “They are great little hitchhikers!” he added. A Joro spider. University of Georgia At this point, the spiders are thriving and exist in “extreme numbers” in Georgia, Michele Hatcher of the UGA Department of Entomology told USA Today . The arachnids have also made an appearance in South Carolina. The eight-legged critters don’t seem to be any cause for concern. So far, they haven’t had any negative effect on native species, and they also don’t pose any danger to humans. In fact, they provide a big benefit ― eating pests like mosquitoes, biting flies and stink bugs. […]

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