In 1983, a Joro spider was found in Hochston, Georgia. This large spider is native to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. This marked the first time the spider had been seen in the United States. Since then the spider has turned up in at least six other states (Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland and Oklahoma).
According to University of Georgia biologists, that here in Georgia the Joro spider has rapidly spread mainly across northern portion of the state. Now it is beginning to appear elsewhere. As its population has steadily increased, so have the number of reports that the spiders are causing problems for both humans and wildlife.
While many experts are urging people not to kill this new invader due to the fact there is no evidence it is damaging invertebrates. However, many homeowners have lost their patience with the spiders and their huge webs. Here is a post from one of our fellow bloggers.
On October 5, 2023, Tom posted, Last year they appeared in numbers I noticed. This year I go around the house twice a day to kill them. Every day they have just built higher. The normal population of spiders is gone. I live in the middle of a forest but have a large open yard. I have not seen one pollinator this year. We have no butterflies when normally we have dozens. I saw a hummingbird tangled in a web. They are the only spider/insect I see.
If Joro spiders have shown up in your yard, I would be interested in knowing about your experiences with them.
In addition, if you would like to view the previous posts dealing with Joro spiders on the blog, type joro spider in the Search Bubble on the right side of the first page of the blog and press the enter button.
In addition, if you want to report a Joro spider, go to jorowatch.org. This site also features a map that illustrates the counties where the spider has been documented in the Peach State.