According to the University of Georgia, giant spiders the size of your palm are set to parachute from the sky all over the Eastern United States this summer.
The massive blue, black, and yellow arachnids, called Joro spiders, are set to “be all over power lines, in trees around town and even on your front porch come summer,” according to the university’s statement.
And humans are likely at fault, because we accidentally imported the spiders as stowaways on shipping containers from Asia, the researchers suggest. Sorry, folks — the giant spiders are your own damn fault!
While it’s an invasive species, there’s a silver lining: scientists don’t believe the critters impact local ecosystems much.
They also aren’t prone to bite humans unless provoked. Besides, their tiny fangs aren’t often long enough to break human skin.
“People should try to learn to live with them,” advised Andy Davis, corresponding author of a new study published in the journal Physiological Entomology, and research scientist at the University of Georgia, in the statement.
“If they’re literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they’re just going to be back next year,” he added.
Surviving the Cold
The Joro spider is a relative of the golden silk spider, which landed in the US from the tropics in the 1800s.
Using a sightings tracking app called iNaturalist, the team of researchers kept track of the spread of the species to find out if, like the golden silk spider, it was confined to the Southeast due to its vulnerability to colder temperatures.
According to their new study, however, the Joro spider can withstand even brief freezes and its metabolism keeps working in colder climates.
That means we should expect it to show up in much wider swathes of the country.
“Just by looking at that, it looks like the Joros could probably survive throughout most of the Eastern Seaboard here, which is pretty sobering,” Davis said in the statement.
READ MORE: Joro spiders likely to spread beyond Georgia [University of Georgia]
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