Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Friday, June 07, 2013
Reducing Snake Problems Around the Home
JACKSON-Snakes are as much a part of Mississippi life as mosquitoes, and, in most cases, are harmless, beneficial creatures that eat rodent and insects in residential yards. Of the 42 species of snakes native to Mississippi, only six are dangerous to humans: cottonmouth, copperhead, pygmy rattlesnake, coral snake, timber rattlesnake, and eastern diamondback rattlesnake.
Upon encountering a snake, it is best to leave it alone. Approximately 75 percent of all bites by venomous snakes occur when an individual is trying to kill or otherwise harass the snake. Most snakes are not aggressive and do not chase people; they are most likely to bite when they are threatened.
Suggestions for reducing snake problems and avoiding snake bites:
- Learn to recognize the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes and understanding their habits.
- Watch where you walk, sit or place your hands. Snakes like to hide in stumpholes, under boards and sheet metal, in brush piles, and next to fallen logs. If you encounter a snake, simply back away from it.
- Leave dead snakes alone. Recently killed snakes can bite reflexively.
- To reduce the number of snakes around you property, keep areas free of trash, brush, and log piles. Mow the grass near your home frequently. Rats and mice make up the diet of most snakes and they are attracted to unkept areas. As a result, snakes follow in search of both food and shelter.
It is also important to remember that after a storm, flood, or hurricane, snakes are forced into spaces where they are not commonly found and extra precautions should be taken during such weather conditions.
For more information regarding venomous snakes in Mississippi, visit www.mdwfp.com. Call us at (601) 432-2400.
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