How Long Before These Spiders Are Invading Illinois?
Here's how to gauge your own level of arachnophobia: if you said "Wow, what a colorful and interesting specimen," you've got a pretty small case of spider-phobia, if at all.
However, if you said "When that happens, I'm leaving Illinois immediately after burning my house to the ground," you might be my wife and/or daughter.
Meet The Joro, A Breed Of Spider That's Currently Freaking Out The State Of Georgia
The Joro is also the breed of spider that many experts believe will eventually find a home for itself in each and every state in America. Here's how CBS News describes this relatively new visitor to the United States:
The Joro — Trichonephila clavata — is part of a group of spiders known as orb weavers for their highly organized, wheel-shaped webs. Common in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan, Joro females have colorful yellow, blue and red markings on their bodies. They can measure three inches across when their legs are fully extended.
Experts believe the Joro hitched a ride on a shipping container (common M.O. for so many creepy-crawlies) that was found along the side of the road in Georgia in 2014. What started out as a small invasion has grown much bigger over the last 7 years.
Do They Bite? Are They Mean? I've Heard They'll Pull A Knife On You
I'll try to answer those questions in order. Yes, they bite, but not hard. No, they don't appear to be angry, surly, or violently anti-social. As for the knife, I'm going to have to see some video proving or disproving their propensity for blade-work before passing judgement. They are big, as this totally real photograph taken...uh...someplace shows:
It's scary how those people don't even notice the giant spider. They're walking right into its trap!
Paula Cushing, an arachnologist at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, along with other experts say Joros are not a threat to humans or dogs and cats and won't bite them unless they are feeling very threatened. Hudson said a researcher collecting them with her bare hands reported the occasional pinch, but said the spiders never broke her skin.