AUGUSTA, Ga. – Snakes are slithering out of their hiding spots more now that it’s towards the tail end of summer. With this happening, there is a higher chance for people to run into one.
“Not harm it. Just let it be and let it live in the wild,” says Blake Croinin, a snake id participant.
8-year-old Blake Croinin says learning more about snakes has helped him overcome his fear.
“Learning that some snakes can’t hurt you. Some snakes won’t hurt you. Even if you’re scared it’s not that bad.” says Blake.
Organizers at Reed Creek Nature Park held a snake identification class to give more knowledge to the community about snakes.
“There are only six species of venomous snakes in Georgia. There’s no like solid rule of this is a venomous vs this is a non-venomous. The best thing you can do is to learn what the six venomous species are here,” says Jessica Sharp-Miner, Reed Creek Nature Park Organizer.
Those six out of 41 species are- the diamondback rattlesnake, cotton mouth, copperhead, canebrake, pygmy, and coral snake.
Organizers gave strategies to keep unwanted snakes out of your yard.
“Remove any hiding places or food sources that you think the snake might be using. Firewood piles, cutting your grass so that it’s not too tall, any bushes that you have cutting them so that they’re not touching the ground giving them a little bit of space,” says Jessica.
And strategies if anyone comes across a snake.
“Spray it with a hose. Snakes don’t like being sprayed in the face with water and it’s a humane way of shoeing them away without getting too close,” says Jessica.
Or killing them. in the state of Georgia it’s illegal to kill a non-venomous snake and you will be hit with a fine if you do. Even though some people fear snakes, they are all beneficial.
“Snakes are fantastic rodent control. They are very very important for keeping pest species away. A lot of people that don’t know that I’m very passionate about with venomous snakes is that scientists have actually used snake venom to create drugs that are very important. In fact, the cotton mouth has been used to help breast cancer research,” says Jessica.
If you come across a snake and unsure of the type and if it’s venomous, you can reach out to the two Facebook pages: Reed Creek Nature Park and Snake Identification.