Although eight legs aren’t very handy for a nomadic arachnid that want to move abroad, a troop of spiders has successfully journeyed from East Asia to America owing to the creation of the shipping trade.
The Jor spider (Trichonephila clavata), which is said to have first arrived in the United States in 2014 after stowing away in a cargo container, is currently prospering in its summer habitat of Georgia.
Rick Hoebeck, collection manager at the Georgia Museum of Natural History, discovered the first castway in 2014. The Stowaways first appeared in Atlanta and gradually expanded their presence in the state, but 2021 has proven to be a true celebration for foreigners.
They cover the homes of local homeowners with a 3-meter (10-foot) deep silk blanket. “Last year, there were dozens of spiders, and they started to be a nuisance when I was doing yard work,” said William Hudson, an entomologist at the University Of Georgia (UGA).
“This year, I have several hundred, and with all the filthy webs, they make the house appear eerie — like a scene from Arachnophobia.”
Jor spiders are little, ranging approximately 8 centimeters (3 inches) in length, yet they have the ability to weave massive webs. Jor fever has reported in roughly 25 counties across Georgia, according to the University of Georgia. Symptoms include massive amounts of webs and spiders, with porches, mailboxes, and pretty about everything outside being the most typically impacted places.
While several news sites have labeled the Jors’ arrival as an “invasion,” these spiders aren’t particularly invasive. Scientists are unsure of the long-term effects of hosting these spiders far from home, but those at the institution have yet to observe any detrimental effects, and they do not appear to be outcompeting native species for resources. In fact, some are promoting wandering spiders as a low-cost and simple solution to the states’ most pressing pest problems.
“Jor spiders provide us with tremendous opportunity to reduce pests organically, without the use of drugs,” said Nancy Hinkle, a UGA entomologist. “So I’m attempting to persuade a person that having a billion huge spiders and their webs around is beneficial!” While a meter-thick web decorating your home may not seem ideal, spiders pose little damage to locals beyond their silk spinning. While they can emerge in large numbers and bite (if provoked), they are not hazardous to people and only exist for a few months of the year, leaving just a few egg sacs behind.
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