More snakes spotted around Birmingham area as weather warms up

Snakes getting more active
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Now that it’s nice and warm outside, we aren’t the only ones getting more active. Snakes are too.

Alabama has around 40 different species of snakes but only six are venomous. That’s only around 15%. So while you should be careful if you spot a snake, a local expert says there is no reason to go out of your way to hurt or kill them.

“You have a greater chance of getting bit if you’re trying to catch it,” said Mark Hay, co-founder of Alabama Snake Removers. “You have a greater chance of getting bit if you’re trying to kill it.”

He says it’s better to just let the snakes be because they’re more scared of us.

“A snake looks at us as something big like we would look at a bear,” he explained. “As it sees us coming, the first instinct is going to remain still, try to use their camouflage to blend in to their surroundings and not be seen.”

There seconds is to slither away as quickly as possible to a safer location, said Hay. But if someone continues to bother them or even hurt them, they may lash out just like a person would.

“Once you hurt this snake, the snake has nothing else to live for so he’s going to pack you with as much venom as he possibly can,” said Hay. “So the safest thing to do and the smartest thing to do is just turn around and walk away.”

There are some things you can do to help prevent snakes from being attracted to your yard and they don’t include products you might expect.

“A lot of people ask me if moth balls work or Snake-A-Way works, lime, mint, I’ve heard ropes soaked in diesel fuel works,” he said. “None of these things work.”

Snakes need water, food, and shelter and people can easily get rid of the last two so snakes will seek them elsewhere.

“The biggest things that I recommend are keeping a tidy yard,” said Hay. “Keeping your grass cut low. Keeping leaves and piles of debris raked up. If you do have to feed your dog outside or something, make sure you don’t leave a bowl of food around that the dog is not going to finish before the evening.”

That pet food can attract rodents which could attract snakes.

“If it’s on your property, in your yard, especially in your house and you can’t live with them -- I understand,” he said. “Give us a call. They don’t have to die.”

So if you see a snake while out on a walk this summer, Hay says it’s best to just simply walk away. Contrary to popular belief, he says a snake will not try to come after you if you leave it alone.

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