Snake season: What to do if you encounter them and how to avoid them

Experts say most snakes people see are harmless unless provoked.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 7:39 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The weather is beginning to warm up, and that means you can expect to see more little critters outside, and sometimes inside your home.

“Snakes are exothermic meaning that they don’t produce their own body heat. So they need to come out when the sun is available so that they can warm up,” Director of Education at Cheehaw Park & Zoo Jackie Entz said. “You’re typically going to see them moving most around dusk and dawn probably around the 80s (degrees) is when they’re going to be the most hectic.”

Snake season typically lasts from March or April through October. But there are only a few people should be aware of.

Dr. Vanessa Lane is the Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“We have the cottonmouth, the copperhead, the timber rattlesnake, which is sometimes called the canebrake rattlesnake, the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the pygmy rattlesnake and then the coral snake. So there are only six species of venomous snakes in Georgia,” Dr. Lane said.

Experts say most snakes people see are usually harmless unless provoked.

“We have 46 species of snakes. Of them, six are venomous,” Dr. Lane said. “The other 40 are completely harmless to you. And so when I have, I realize that snakes generate a lot of fear with people. But if you’re unsure of snake identification, you only have six species of venomous snakes to learn. Everything else will be harmless to you.”

And places like Cheehaw Park & Zoo are working to further educate people on all things reptiles.

“Snakes are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem for everybody here in Georgia,” Entz said. “Especially being that we have so much agriculture. So it’s incredibly important that we learn to coexist and do a really good job of taking care of these creatures in our wild.”