ATLANTA — Get ready: It’s snake season!
It’s starting to warm up, so that means you’ll probably be spending more time outside. That also means you may start seeing more snakes basking in the sun.
Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Eboni Deon was at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, where she learned all the good and bad things about snakes in Georgia.
Deon talked to Samantha Kennett, a wildlife technician, about why seeing snakes in your yard can actually be a good thing.
“Snakes are very very important for ecosystem environment," Kennett said. "They are top predators. Rhey’re eating all of the rats, mice, moles, all of the small mammals you don’t want in your yard.”
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Kennett said that seeing snakes in your backyard actually means that you have a good ecosystem.
Kennett said your first instinct may be to run or try to hurt a snake if you come across one. Experts say you shouldn't try to harm snakes in Georgia because most are beneficial and help with rodent control.
"You'll see a lot of nonvenomous native snakes (in Georgia)," Kennett said. "You'll see a variety of Georgia native snakes."
Kennett said you really want to see eastern king snakes in your yard because they eat more venomous snakes like copperheads.
"They're very important as far as rodent control, (and) they eat copperheads, which is a great benefit and they just maintain a quality, balanced ecosystem," Kennett said.
Despite the benefits of some snakes, Kennett said you should be on the lookout for the six types of venomous snakes in Georgia, including the copperhead.
"In metro Atlanta, you are only going to see the Copperhead for the most part (when it comes to venomous snakes)," Kennett said. "
Kennett said there are ways to protect yourself from them.
“Wear closed-toe shoes and pants, is a good rule of thumb," Kennett said. "And you can just sweep them out of your house if you see them in your house.”
Kennett said snakes are as wary of us as we are of them if we get too close.
"They'll stay near their den or burrow so they can scoot back in," Kennett said. "They don't want to be around us. They kind of want to keep their distance, too."
Kennett also said you can remove brush or log piles that could attract mice or other small animals snakes prey on in your yard.
Cox Media Group