joro spider ontario

Palm-sized invasive spiders could literally parachute into Ontario very soon

Arachnophobes have a brand new horror to be mindful of as a colossal, terrifying-looking spider is threatening to invade Ontario.

And it's so much more than their palm-sized bodies, terrifyingly bright patterns, and invasive habits that make these so-called Joro spiders something for those with a fear of creepy crawlies to start worrying about immediately.

Native to Japan and other parts of Asia, they arrived in the western hemisphere back in 2013 after sneaking aboard a cargo vessel destined for Athens, Georgia. Since then, there has been an explosion in the Joro spider population as they expand along the U.S. East Coast and threaten to work their way into Ontario very soon.

When you do a little homework on the species, also known as Trichonephila clavata, it's no surprise that these brightly-coloured invaders are expected to arrive in Canada in the coming year or two.

Perhaps the most commonly-shared fact about these critters is that their hatchlings create parachutes out of webs and are capable of hitchhiking as far as 160 kilometres using just wind currents.

So the idea of massive spiders para-dropping into your hair from above is a new thing you can start worrying about.

But they have more methods of infiltrating our borders, as they're also really good at hitching a ride on cars and trucks, further aiding their rapid spread in North America.

Despite bright blue and yellow colouring, a jarringly huge size that can exceed centimetres including legs, and pretty much everything that sets off that innate caveman fear within all of us, the Joro spider poses no risks to humans other than maybe a heart attack when one lands on you.

In fact, they might result in you being bitten less during your outdoor adventures, as the terrifying predators are mostly hunting for smaller insects like mosquitoes.

The tiny fangs of a Joro spider are unlikely to cause you any pain if bit, and if even if you have unusually fragile skin, their venom (all spiders have venom of some kind) is unlikely to have any effect on a person.

They are also very timid, and if you encounter one, it's probably going to get the heck out of there at the slightest sign of danger.

Even though the Joro spider may be a lot more bark than bite, it's still an invasive species, and if encountered (none have yet been documented in Ontario) sightings should absolutely be reported to authorities.

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