What To Do When You See a Joro Spider

No Need to Panic

You See a Joro Spider. Now What?

If you’re me, you’ll pull out a camera and try to get a great photo. I’m not a professional photographer, but I love remembering local fauna through photos.

If this spider is new to you might not feel that way. Here are some ideas.

Don’t panic. These aren’t dangerous. They don’t fly like angry wasps or jump like rabid squirrels. They won’t attack you.

Don’t scream. That’s like panicking. What’s there to scream about? Were you bitten? No? Then you don’t feel pain.

About that bite — it might hurt. There’s enough poison to kill an insect. Nothing more. It might feel like a bee sting. Go ahead, say, “Ouch!” Then get a Band-Aid and move on with your day. Feel free to tell the tale (include heavy drama) to your friends while watching the game, but don’t whine about it.

Don’t spray it. We understand you might not want a six-foot golden orb web on your porch. Spraying is largely ineffective. It only works if you hit the spider spot-on. Meanwhile, you’ve spent money spraying poisonous chemicals on your property. That can hurt pets, helpful insects, and small animals.

Big scary web? What if there’s a big web on your porch or some other inconvenient place? Just get a broom and give it a swish. The spider will scamper into a bush and likely build elsewhere out of sight. The webs will increase in size from Spring through November.

What if you walked into that large web? OK, we know that will give you the willies. You might want to wiggle uncontrollably, looking something like someone possessed mixed with someone with itching powder in their pants. Very understandable. What should you do? Look where you walked. See a spider? It might still be there and has no interest in you. Most webs have just one spider. Meanwhile, take off your jacket and set it on the chair (you have a chair on your deck or porch, right?). Calmly look around your body. No spiders? Good. Do you see one? Brush it quickly off with your hand. The spider will be happier off your body.

Get your camera out. Try to get a picture with the sun in front of it. If it is behind the web, the spider will be just a black silhouette. You’ll also miss the beauty of its golden orb. Look for varied angles. Each side displays different colors and patterns. Once you’ve identified a Joro compared to other orb spiders, there’s no mistaking it but each isn’t the same. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all need this photo. Tag us. Share it with our group.


Joro spider webs have three major parts so be careful approaching it. You’ve got the famous orb part, but you also have two cobweb-like parts — one on each side.

Call your neighbor and point out how cool it is you’ve one. “Hey Dave, check out the Joro spider web on my tree in the front yard.” Dave will rush over, admire it with you, and leave singing songs of the glorious sighting. Or, he might use the opportunity to brag about the one on his deck at which you’ll head to his house. Be a good guest; bring snacks or drinks.

IMPORTANT: If you are allergic to bees and such, though, be extra careful. Ask your doctor before you get bit. Don’t trust this site for medical advice.

The Short Version

Don’t panic. Step back and enjoy.

Joro Spider

The Stuff of Nightmares or Gardens?

Maybe both. As you learn more, the nightmares will disappear.
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