Joro spiders: What you need to know

GHENT, WV (WVNS) — They’re big, they’re bright, but you don’t need to worry about their bite!

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Joro spiders have been in the news a lot recently with sightings reported all over the southern United States.

This orb weaver is a gentle giant, however.

Rarely aggressive and with venom that’s not dangerous to humans, the Joro spider has actually been in the states for around a decade.

Jakob Goldner, Conservation Entomologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, said they are not confirmed in West Virginia as of yet.

“As far as the sightings in West Virginia, they are not officially confirmed. I believe people have posted them on things like iNaturalist, and so it’s not really confirmed if they, by confirmed, we mean, we’re not sure if they were brought here on accident like on a vehicle or something, or if that means that they are breeding here now, if they’re spending the winter here, reproducing,” said Goldner.

Goldner said confirmation of breeding populations should come out by the end of this year or next though.

He said there will be some ecosystem upheaval if Joro spiders begin to populate, but there’s no way to tell how much.

Goldner encourages people to report all of their Joro spider sightings to the DNR and to take a moment to observe just how interesting these East Asian transplants are.

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