More than 7,000 people get bit by a venomous snake every year and five of those people die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CSRA is no stranger to dangerous snakes.
As the weather heats up this spring in the CSRA, more and more snakes are coming out. Fourth-grader Ria’Dachia Mahone said, “Run or scream or just stand there.” Whenever she encounters a snake.
“They are definitely coming out. We’ve had a lot of rain this year so they’re everywhere,” said Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.
Octavius Murray said, “To me, they’re all bad.”
Seeing a snake is unsettling for many people.
“The way I think of it is the poisonous snakes look like bodybuilders. They’re short. They’re usually chunky or fat and really they’re just solid muscle. Triangle head, most of them but really what you have is the cottonmouth, the copper head, then you got some rattlesnakes,” said Bonitatibus.
Soldier Josh Balasa added, “That’ll send a chill up your spine the first time you hear that.”
How can you spot less-harmful snakes?
Bonitatibus explained, “The non-poisonous snakes, a lot of them are a lot skinnier, hang out. I would always prefer a snake over a rat so if you do find snakes in your yard, then you probably need to look why they’re there. There might be a food source.”
“When it gets really hot, you know, snakes like to go to cool places so they hide under things,” said Murray.
Balasa added, “It evens it out. It’s the natural way of life. You got to have the predators and the prey. You know, keep the balance.”
“If it really bothers you, you can call animal control. You can call somebody to have it removed but again, like I said, if you’re finding multiple snakes in your yard, you probably need to look and see if you have a rodent problem,” said Bonitatibus.
Experts encourage, don’t kill all of the snakes you see because some can actually help you.