What to do if a flying Joro spider bites you

The venomous Joro spider population is headed northward, with New York City and parts of the Tri-State Area likely in its path.

"If you're an arachnophobe, these things are your nightmares," ecologist Andy Davis says. 

The large, long-legged spider, can, in fact, bite humans and pets, according to exterminator experts.

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Fully grown, the Joro spider is the size of a human palm. (Carly Mirabile/UGA)

Although no attacks have been reported, researchers are working to manage the spider invasion by monitoring their spread and studying their behavior.

Here's what to do if you come in contact with one. 

What is a Joro spider?

The Joro is part of a group of spiders known as orb weavers for their highly organized, wheel-shaped webs. Joro females have colorful yellow, blue and red markings on their bodies and can measure three inches across when their legs are fully extended.

The eight-legged spawn of the golden orb-weaver, when full-grown, is about the size of a human palm. 


The large and brightly colored Joro spider is easily noticeable. Native to Southeast Asia and Japan, the eight-legged spawn of the golden orb-weavers was first found about 2013 in Georgia and has since spread across the state and into the Southeast.

How to kill a Joro spider

"The most direct way to get rid of problematic spiders is to kill them," according to research from the University of Georgia. 

Instead, wrapping them up in their web and stepping on them is the best way to get rid of them. 

Joro spider

A Joro spider in its web. (Ben Frick, co-author of study)

What to do if you are bitten by a Joro spider

These spiders are not considered to be aggressive, however, they are venomous. 

If you ever encounter a Joro spider, don’t be alarmed. They are very skittish.

Scientists say they have a neurotoxin venom used to immobilize their prey; however, it is not very potent and only causes some redness and blistering to people, except those with allergic reactions.

Orkin experts say that a Joro spider bite is comparable to a bee sting, unless a person is highly allergic.

According to Orkin, a researcher collecting Joro spiders with bare hands reported an occasional pinch, but said the spider’s bite never broke the skin, so venom was never transmitted.

Joro spiders and their webs are usually found along trails in the woods, in backyards and on house porches.

Joro spider map 

Click HERE to see the known range of Joro spider.