Snake population on the rise in Georgia - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Snake population on the rise in Georgia

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Jarrod Yasenchok of Jarrod's Wildlife and Pest Control on Veteran's Parkway has seen it all. He's been called to catch and release every type of small animal you can think of, and snakes are no exception.

"Every year snakes are increasing. We've gotten about thirty snakes this year, and it will get worse. Spring and summer is when they're going to come out."

Georgia and Alabama are home to at least six varieties of venomous snakes, and you can tell the difference between which are dangerous and which are harmless by looking at their heads. Snakes with heads that are the same width as their body don't have venom, but the ones with spade-shaped heads do. Jarrod says you should just stay away from all of them. He also suggests cutting the grass to make your yard less inviting.

"Do your yard maintenance. If you keep your grass short, they're not going to be there."

He says most snake bites occur when a person is approaching a snake and they don't know it.  Some of the venomous snakes in our region have rattles, and if you hear the sound you should stop in your tracks, try to spot where it is, and walk in the opposite direction. If you do get bitten, Jarrod says you don't need to know what kind of snake it was because the hospital's anti-venom works on everything. And contrary to what you may have seen in Hollywood, you shouldn't try to suck the poison out.

"No, that's a myth too. They say cut an 'X' into it. Cut an 'X' and suck the venom out. That won't work either. Number one - you're sucking it right back into your saliva in your mouth, and now you're putting the venom into two spots. Those are in the old Western movies and the things that are on TV. You don't want to cut it and suck it out. You don't want to catch [the snake] or kill it.  If you get bitten, leave it alone. Like most animals, if you leave it alone, it will leave you alone."

He says snakes can bite more than once, and if you try to catch it without a professional, you're likely to find that out the hard way.

If you have a rodent problem in your house, Jarrod says you are opening yourself up to a snake visit, because snakes like to eat mice. Also, check your dryer vent to make sure there's no holes an animal can fit through. Snakes are attracted to hot places, like attics, asphalt driveways, and dryer vents.

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