FULTON COUNTY, Ga — The Joro spider has overrun Georgia, and now it’s heading up north.
Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen visited Fulton County on Thursday, where families have had to deal with these yellow spiders.
Delon Allen had just moved his family to a quiet little corner of Alpharetta when suddenly, it wasn’t quite so quiet.
“The kids and my wife were very startled by them. They come screaming. I’m the guy who kills all the bugs around the house,” Allen said. But he’d never seen one quite like the Joro spider — big and yellow, with really long legs. They were everywhere, building big webs.
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Mark Erickson first noticed them in the neighborhood about five years ago.
“They weren’t too bad at first, but then they kept getting bigger. They’re kind of frightening-looking, the color and the long legs,” Erickson said.
Researchers with the University of Georgia believe the spiders arrived in the state around 2013, all the way from Japan. They may have arrived in cargo that came through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. They have been spreading ever since. A new UGA study predicts they will now move all the way up the East Coast. Unlike most of their cousins, these spiders can not only take the Georgia heat, they can still survive when it gets cold.
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Researchers say there’s no getting rid of them. Allen will give it a try.
“It’s part of the job of being a dad. We definitely try to keep the webs down as much as we can. Seems like they reproduce really fast, though,” Allen said.
On the brighter side, UGA researchers say the spiders don’t harm people, pets, or the ecosystem.
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