Arachnophobia is labeled an irrational fear because most spiders are actually incredibly harmless. In fact, lots of ancient cultures, such as China and India, generally viewed spiders as benevolent creatures that brought good luck to homes.

Due to their predation of pests, one could even say that spiders were the original pest control experts!

However, this doesn’t mean that spiders can’t be dangerous, annoying, or invasive. 

Over the years, as a PA resident, you’ve probably dealt with spiders, such as the PA garden spider and other orb-weavers. Thankfully, most orb-weaver species are not harmful to humans and may even do a good job cleaning up your property of other unwanted pests. 

One orb weaver that’s gotten a lot of attention over the past few years is the Joro Spider. This bright yellow spider dawns an intimidating appearance, though it’s almost entirely harmless. So with this in mind, let’s discuss the Joro Spider and what you need to watch out for if you live in Pennsylvania. 

What is the Joro Spider?

The Joro Spider is a species of orb-weaver spiders that originates in east Asia, particularly Japan and China. The female Joro Spider is most recognizable for its bright yellow appearance and blue/green stripes on its dorsum. The female can grow to around 4”  long and create webs around 3” wide and 10” deep. 

On the other hand, the male Joro spider only grows to 0.3” wide, is brown, and is much less intimidating than the female Joro. 

While we don’t know how the Joro spider ended up in the United States, it’s certainly not native to the United States. As a result, this makes these creatures invasive to surrounding habitats. 

The first Joro Spider was spotted in the US in 2014 in Georgia. Since then, it has migrated approximately 100 miles north to states like South and North Carolina. 

The Joro Spider can travel through wind using its silk or by attaching itself to other pests. The Joro Spider will most likely continue its migration outward unless it’s met by a fierce predator. 

As a final note, the Joro spider gets its name from Japanese folklore and is based on a half-woman, half-spider that was beautiful but would eat young men. 

not a threat to PA forests or residentsAre Joro Spiders Harmful?

Thankfully, it’s safe to say Joro Spiders won’t be killing anyone soon since their venom is not toxic to anyone without an allergy. Even then, their venom is still only mildly toxic and would not even require much medical care, if any. 

Joro Spiders are also not toxic to pets or plants as well. There is no evidence that they are harmful to their surrounding environment or ecosystem.

On the other hand, Joro Spiders feed on pests like stink bugs and mosquitos, making them effective pest control deputies. So in some sense, Joro Spiders are very beneficial for homes and ecosystems.

However, Joro Spider nets could be considered annoying, especially if you find an infestation on your property.  Signs of an infestation will include lots of heavy webbing. 

Fortunately, moving these pests away from your property is easy and harmless and doesn’t need to involve killing these creatures. 

Is the Joro Spider a Threat to PA?

The Joro Spider is not a threat to PA forests or residents. Since Joro Spiders are still confined to a few states in the southeast, they would take years to migrate to Pennsylvania. 

However, even if Joro Spiders did migrate this way, there’s no evidence they would cause any harm to local ecosystems or pose a threat to residents. As such, PA residents have nothing to fear from these beautiful bugs. 

What to Do if You See a Joro Spider

If you see a Joro Spider, you don’t need to do anything. These creatures are totally harmless and are an excellent way to get rid of stink bugs and keep other pests away from your property. 

Not all invasive species are considered dangerous or harmful. The Joro Spider is one of these creatures, and fortunately, PA residents have nothing to fear when dealing with these spiders, whether it’s now or in the future.


[wpforms id=”1017″ title=”true” description=”true”]