Why Michigan Might Actually WANT the Joro Spider to Come to Town
If you've turned on the news or checked social media within the last week or so, you've most likely heard about the giant parachuting spiders that are "set to invade the entire east coast of the United States."
News outlets all over the country released articles with slightly inflammatory headlines like, "Big invasive Joro spiders experts say will begin to cover entire East Coast." Inflammatory and lacking a bit of grammar, most of the headlines made it sound like the east coast of the U.S. would be wall-to-wall spiders.
The truth, of course, isn't that extreme. Yes, the Joro Spider is an invasive species because it has no natural enemies which means it can repopulate easily. Yes, they can travel with the wind using their silk threads. No, they do not pose a threat to humans (unless you are allergic).
In fact, they're likely to stay away from humans unless we are messing with them or pose a direct threat to their habitat or eggs. Read more here.
So, Why the Heck Would Michigan WANT These Things Around?
Even with no direct threat to humans, it's easy to understand why people would panic at the news that these spiders may soon be more prevalent in their area. I mean...look at the size of them:
However, it's what they eat that might have Michiganders feeling a bit more welcoming. Their diet primarily includes pesky bugs like mosquitos and stink bugs.
Stink bugs, like the Joro spider, don't pose a threat to humans but MAN are they annoying. They get in your house and fly around while you try to simultaneously keep your very curious cat away and get it out of your house. Plus, if they feel threatened they release a horrible smelling odor, as their name suggests.
According to an article from pest control company Griffin Pest Solutions,
They also release that odor when they’re killed, especially if they’re crushed. Stink bug excrement and secretions can also stain surfaces such as walls and flooring.
And, while they're also not dangerous for our pets, the odor they release could irritate the stomachs of dogs and cats causing drooling or in some cases vomiting. See? Stink bugs are obnoxious. Literally.
The trade-off of dealing with large spiders for the reduction of the stink bug population might be worth it. At least for those of us that do not have a phobia of spiders.
While the news of their arrival has been everywhere lately, these Joro spiders were actually first spotted in Georgia in 2013. They have recently been observed in mass quantities in multiple Georgia counties and do have the ability to travel 100 miles with the wind using their "parachute" which is leading experts to predict a higher population in other areas...eventually.
Read more about the Joro spider, how big they get, the kind of habitat they like, and more at a-zanimals.com.
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