Could This Huge Invasive Spider be Headed Here to Louisiana?
Louisiana is apparently not just a melting top for all types of diversity in cultures, but apparently we've left the Welcome Sign up for a number of unwanted invasive species as well.
We are obviously mired in the battle with the invasive aquatic weed Salvinia and it would appear it is a losing battle.
We've recently learned that another invasive species of fish, the Lowland Cichlid, has joined the ranks of the Russian boars, Apple Snails and Silver Carp, that daily threaten our ecosystem.
The newest invader comes with eight legs in the form of the Joro spider. In an article from the University of Georgia College of Agriculture, we learn that this Asian spider was first discovered in Georgia eight years ago in 2013.
The palm-sized spider, measuring nearly three inches across, has since established a well-entrenched foot print in Georgia and according to experts, will most likely spread to any area with climate like that in the North Georgia counties.
They're in Georgia. What Makes Experts Think They'll Come to Louisiana?
Guess who's climate is just like that? Yep, we do. So, Louisiana is a likely target for the spread. The biggest drawback to the Joro is its massive webs, some of which measure ten feet in diameter.
In an article from smithsonianmag.com, we get a better perspective about those webs:
"Last year, there were dozens of spiders [on my property], and they began to be something of a nuisance when I was doing yard work," Will Hudson, an entomologist at the University of Georgia, says in the press release. "This year, I have several hundred, and they actually make the place look spooky with all the messy webs—like a scene out of 'Arachnophobia.'"
Is it all bad news? Not so much. Apparently, Joro spiders really don't pose much of a threat to humans.
According to the article from the University of Georgia, Byron Freeman, director of the Georgia Museum of Natural History, says, "All spiders have venom that they use to subdue prey. If you put your hand in front of one and try to make it bite you, it probably will. But they run if you disturb their web. They’re trying to get out of the way."
Just take a look at this video from the University of Georgia and you'll get an idea of what's possibly headed our direction.