What to Do About Snakes

What to Do About Snakes

There is a lot to love about late spring and early summer in the foothills and mountains of the Carolinas and Virginia. It is the perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. We are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore. Rivers and creeks roll from the ridges through the valleys, inviting people to go whitewater rafting, kayaking, or fly fishing. It is a season where you can comfortably sit outdoors at your favorite restaurant or on your own patio well into the evening. You can get out and grill, garden, and set up the sprinkler for the kids. 

If there is a downside to this time of year, it might be slithering around your yard or in your attic. You may find it under a rock or hiding in the rafters of your barn. You may see it in your garden or crossing your path on your lawn. Snakes are an unfortunate part of the summer. Finding one can be quite frightening for you and your family. 

Here is what you can do about snakes. 


Learn How to Identify Snakes

There are many different species of snakes in our area. Many of them are mostly harmless to humans. A few of the non-venomous snakes in our area include:

  • Eastern Racer: Otherwise known as black racers, these snakes can be found throughout North America. They can grow up to six feet long and move quite quickly. Their diet consists mostly of mice, rats, frogs, and lizards. While they are not venomous to humans, if they are cornered, they may strike, and the bite can hurt. 
  • Ring-Necked Snake: These are small snakes, typically only growing to 10-15 inches in length. Their venom is not harmful to humans. You will typically find them in wooded areas. They are identifiable by the single ring of color around their necks. 
  • Eastern Garter Snake: Garter snakes are not venomous. They are typically between 16 to 26 inches long. They typically eat toads, worms, slugs, and frogs. 
  • Eastern Rat Snake: Also known as black snakes and black rat snakes, adults can grow to be as long as six feet. Rat snakes eat mostly mice, rats, and frogs; however, they have been known to eat animals as large as chickens. They are not venomous, but their bite can be painful. 
  • Kingsnake: Colorful kingsnakes are rare to see in our area. They are distinguishable by their red bodies with black and white markings. They are often confused with highly venomous coral snakes; however, coral snakes have yellow rings amidst the black markings. Kingsnakes actually eat venomous snakes as well as lizards, rodents, and birds. 

There are only four types of venomous snakes in our area:

  • Copperhead: Copperheads are among the most venomous snakes in the Carolinas and Virginia. They are, unfortunately, relatively common and the cause of most snake bites. You can recognize them by their copper color and darker colored hourglass pattern.  A bite from a copperhead requires medical attention. 
  • Timber Rattlesnake: Timber rattlesnakes live in western North Carolina and Virginia, often preferring rocky areas and high elevation. They can grow up to four feet long and have potent venom. The most obvious distinguishing features are their colors, tan and black, and, of course, their rattles. A bite from a timber rattlesnake is dangerous and requires immediate medical treatment. 
  • Cottonmouth: Otherwise known as water moccasins, these snakes are mostly found in or near freshwater in the easter parts of the Carolinas and Virginia. Cottonmouths are dark-colored and comparable to a copperhead in their bite. 
  • Eastern Coral: Eastern coral snakes may be found in the southern part of our area, near the South Carolina border. They are rare but quite venomous. To distinguish this snake from kingsnake, remember this rhyme, "Red on black, a friend of Jack. Red on yellow hurt a fellow."

Take Steps to Make Your Yard Less Appealing to Snakes

Snakes find their way into your yard for a variety of reasons. However, by understanding that for which they are looking, you can make your yard less appealing

  1. Watch for snake skins in and around your home. If you see a skin, you know a snake has passed through or is currently hanging around your property. 
  2. Make your basement or crawlspace less appealing. Seal those spaces. 
  3. Remove woodpiles and rock piles from your property. 
  4. Keep your grass and weeds under control. 
  5. Remove the clutter that attracts snake food. Garbage and pests attract rodents, and rodents attract snakes. 

However, if you do find snakes in your home or on your property, it is important to have them removed by a professional wildlife management company.

Contact Professional Wildlife and Snake Relocators 

Snakes in basements, crawlspaces, and attics can be difficult to identify, and therefore, dangerous to remove on your own. If you have a snake problem, you need a wildlife management company that will safely and humanely relocate them. Rid-A-Bug Exterminating can help. Our staff is trained in the humane removal of all types of unwanted wildlife. Contact Rid-A-Bug to get rid of your snake problem today.