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Springtime sunshine and snakes: Tips on how to avoid slithery encounters

As the weather warms up many of us will be hitting the trails to enjoy a walk through the great outdoors but you might have a slithery friend cross your path.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 4:46 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -As the weather warms up many of us will be hitting the trails to enjoy a walk through the great outdoors but you might have a slithery friend cross your path. Here’s what you need to know if you come across a snake while spending time outside.

First, If you are on a trail or at a campsite, just leave them alone. Most Missouri snakes are not venomous and will only attack if they feel threatened.

“You could just walk around it, chances are that snakes going to want to move it’s not going to be your one,” said Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation. “It’s not going to want to be around you any more than you want to be around it. Give it its space and it will give you your space.”

Next, if you do get bit by a snake, try to take a picture of the snake that bit you then see a doctor. By taking a picture of the snake the doctor will be able to tell if it was venomous or not and know how to treat the bite.

“Another thing to remember is just because a snake is not venomous, doesn’t mean that that snake won’t bite,” said Skalicky. “Even if it’s a non-venomous bite, it can still hurt.”

When hiking or camping, remember that you are in the snake’s habitat and all snakes native to our state are protected. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards, and most turtles as nongame which means there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically unlawful to kill them.

“It can be an issue is if you see a snake on your deck in your garage in your patio,” said Skalicky. “In that instance, it really comes in handy if you know what kind of snake you’re seeing, and that can help you figure out how you’re going to remove that snake.”

If you don’t want to see a snake near your home make sure to keep your grass mowed and woodpiles away from buildings. If you need someone to remove a snake for you, call a pest control service or the Missouri Department of Conservation. For a guide to Missouri snakes CLICK HERE.

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