GEORGIA — Spring is snake season in Georgia.
As more people are going out to enjoy the warm weather, they’re more likely to encounter snakes, which are also more active this time of year.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said it is fielding more calls and emails about snakes in the spring, and usually the first question is, “Is it venomous?”
DNR’s Daniel Sollenberger says the answer is “probably not.” Only six of 46 species of snake native to Georgia are poisonous, and only the copperhead is common in suburban areas.
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“While at least one of the state’s six species of venomous snakes could be found in each county in the state, seldom are they the most common species encountered,” Sollenberger said.
What should you do if you encounter a snake? The DNR gives the following advice:
- Try to identify it from a distance. The DNR’s website provides information on snakes of Georgia.
- Give the snake space and do not try to handle it. Most bites happen when a snake is cornered and defending itself.
- If you believe a snake is venomous and in an area where it could be dangerous, contact a wildlife removal specialist. The DNR website has a list of resources.
Native snakes provide benefits. Many eat rodents and venomous snakes, and some eat garden pets like snails and slugs.
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If you do want to keep snakes away from your home, the DNR recommends removing brush, log piles and other habitats that attract mice, lizards and other prey for snakes.
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