Parachuting North – Joro Spiders Make Their Way Up The East Coast

pic credit:

pic credit:

Pierce Pearson

Have you ever seen a spider bigger than your own hand? Well, in a few months, you may see thousands of spiders that big, known as Trichonephila clavata, or “Joro Spiders,” all throughout the east coast!

In 2013, these Joro spiders were spotted flourishing in Georgia, and people became scared of these hand-sized spiders, especially because they tended to inhabit East Asia, not the U.S. They were declared non-threatening to humans, however, and the super-sized female population began retreating into the forests where they were not spotted very often again. Shortly afterward, the spider appeared in bulk in South Carolina, but that seemed to be the end of the spider’s migrations in the U.S. Now, scientists are not so sure, reporting that Joro spiders have begun to move north through the East Coast, and they could reach Maryland in a matter of months.

This is a very scary predicament for Centennial students as there seems to be a widespread case of arachnophobia. Centennial Sophomore Ben Klein, for example, sarcastically remarked that “when those spiders get here, I’m going to purchase a gun to take them out. Those things are huge!”

Sophomore Sriya Chary also voiced her negative opinion of the spiders, exclaiming, “if one of them flew onto me, I think I’d just cry!” She advised all students to “get help from others” when combating these fluttering spiders, but sometimes help is not all you will need; sometimes you need the courage to face your fears, and that kind of courage is instilled in junior Lewis Huynh — to a certain extent.

“I’d rather not encounter a spider, but I’m not really afraid of them,” claimed Huynh on the subject of these goliath arachnids. “I’ve seen spiders bigger than my own hand before, mainly when I’ve been shown large ones on vacations.” Having prior experience with these spiders, or at least experience viewing them, he seems to be comfortable with potentially viewing the Joro spiders, but what about encountering them?

Huynh says that he would “do what most people would do when there are giant flying spiders outside — stay inside.” Though no one can be certain just how dominant the Joro spider will be in Maryland’s environment, staying inside in the scenario that these spiders are flying around and falling like rain sounds like a logical conclusion. 

All in all, the Joro spider seems like a very scary concept given their size and flying capabilities, but each one can only fly so far before it dies. Its venom is also supposed to be somewhat harmless to humans and common pets like dogs and cats, so the ones who need to be worried about the spiders the most are the stink bugs, mosquitos, and yellow jackets that they devour; these spiders are actually getting rid of pests for you! 

Plus, if one of these large spiders does happen to fly and land on you, you can always depend on Huynh’s final advice: “stock up on bug spray, or maybe even flamethrowers, and put them to use!”


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