Snake Control and ID
Living in Texas, many residents have encounters with snakes. While many species of local snakes cannot harm you, there are others that can be very dangerous to not only people, but domestic animals. Snakes are a crucial part of the ecosystem. Learning to recognize, and to allow them to pass through benefits the environment and humans in many ways.
Increased human encounters with snakes are primarily caused by three issues.
People inexperienced with snakes encounter them when hiking, or find them around residences, and think they are fast enough to catch or kill a snake safe. Snakes have reflexes that are far quicker than those of humans, and the majority of venomous snake bites in the United States are directly due to intentional exposure to the snake, whether to catch it or to kill it. Only 1/3 of bites are purely accidental, (the snake is not seen beforehand.)
Removing predators that prey upon snakes in rural residential settings: This includes (but is not limited to) birds of prey, bobcats, and other snakes. Loss of native habitat for both snake predators, and snakes themselves, leaves them with less areas in which to live. A marked increase in wildlife encounters in expanding residential areas is the rule, not the exception.
An overabundance of prey in residential areas: Rodents lead snakes straight into areas they might only be seldom seen. High populations of rats, mice, squirrels, or rabbits is a clear and constant invitation to all snakes. What snake doesn’t want to easily find and catch prey at an ” all-you-can-eat rodent buffet?” Snakes go where food sources are, and if one is being provided, they’ll eventually find it.
Unfortunately, snakes suffer due to all of these human-caused issues, and people do as well. A fear of snakes causes many people to take matters into their own hands, and snakes are often killed, regardless of species. Failing to control rodents can cause property damage, and has the potential to spread serious illnesses to pets, livestock, and people. With less snakes, rodent populations have fewer predators and is a valid reason for population explosions.
When living in snake country, it is important to educate yourself and your children
on the basics of snake safety. By learning some basic identification techniques,
you can alleviate your concerns, or know whether you should call for assistance,
should you find a snake on your property.
We are happy to identify species and advise, or humanely relocate live snakes if needed.
This article excerpt is courtesy of Annie Lancaster at High Desert Wildlife Control, and adjusted to reflect the species found in DFW.
on what to do. Generally, you can encourage a snake to go on its way by gently
spraying it with a water hose, or simply move away from it and let it be.