Those flying spiders are harmless; don't tell that to arachnophobes

Those flying spiders are harmless; don't tell that to arachnophobes

June 6, 20241 min read

A breed of flying arachnids known as Joro spiders are headed to the northeast this summer, specifically Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Experts say there's nothing to fear, but that doesn't make them any less scary to those who have an issue with the eight-legged bug eaters.

Two University of Delaware experts can provide insight and (some) comfort regarding any potential risk to humans.

Brian Kunkel, an expert in landscape and household insects and entomology for ornamentals with UD's Cooperative Extension, confirmed the yellow and black spider will be making its arrival in the Tri-State area but said it isn't likely to be noticed until the fall, when it grows to visible size. Regardless, there is no need to be concerned. In the unlikely event that it bites, you would feel something akin to a bee sting, Kunkel said.

Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology, confirmed the spiders are on the way but echoed Kunkel's assessment that there is nothing to be worried about.

To set up an interview with Kunkel, send an email to

If interested in an interview with Tallamy, visit his profile and click on the contact button.

Connect with:
  • Doug Tallamy
    Doug Tallamy Professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources

    Prof. Tallamy researches how plants that evolved elsewhere impact food webs and biodiversity.

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