EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new type of spider may soon arrive in New England.
The Jorō spider, originally from Japan, was found in Georgia, and research shows it may soon spread out along the entire East Coast.
A study by the University of Georgia says the 3-inch-long spider features a bright yellow, blue-black and red color scheme.
According to a report from UGAToday, the Jorō spiders first arrived to the United States in 2013 and have since spread around the southeast.
Benjamin Frick from the University of Georgia told 12 News that it’s hard to nail down the exact timeline, but we could start seeing these spiders locally in the next 5 to 10 years, if not sooner.
Frick added that people can expect to see these spiders all over, from parks and trails to outside homes.
Frick said the study looked at how the climates of Japan and the East Coast of the United States are similar.
“These spiders are what is referred to as a ‘generalist species,’ meaning they can live in pretty much any location where environmental conditions are right,” Frick explained. “The native range of the Jorō spider extends from 35 to 45 degrees latitude.”
“It looks like the Jorōs could probably survive throughout most of the Eastern Seaboard here, which is pretty sobering,” said Andy Davis from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia.
Humans are likely to transport the Jorōs across the United States. The spiders use a process called “ballooning,” where they’re able to be carried by the wind using their silks, according to the research.
“The potential for these spiders to be spread through people’s movements is very high,” Frick said.
The research does show, however, that the spiders are considered harmless to people and pets. Jorōs typically won’t bite unless they’re cornered, and most of the time, their fangs aren’t large enough to break human skin.