Snakes: They’re everywhere
After a noticeable absence last summer, snakes now seem to be everywhere -- under water meter covers, in flowerbeds, crossing Limestone County roadways and even in trees.
“I’m sure they were there last summer, but we probably just didn’t see them,” said Rick Knipe, a wildlife biologist for Texas Parks & Wildlife. “I don’t recall seeing a one last year, except maybe a few around water.”
Knipe said snakes likely were staying in shaded areas during last year’s great drought.
“They can’t handle extreme heat, and we sure had a lot of extreme temperatures a year ago,” he said. “I think they just weren’t moving around as much. Now, though, temperatures haven’t been quite as hot and we had a wet winter and early spring. We may end up having another severe drought this summer, but so far it hasn’t been quite as hot.”
Knipe explained that because last year’s summer was the hottest in Texas history, little is known what to expect after a drought or the long-term effects of that record-breaking drought.
“I’ve definitely seen a lot of snakes on roads and elsewhere this year, but I’m not sure why that is,” he said.
Since late February the weather has been just right for snakes to come out of hibernation and start breeding.
“Over in this area we have a lot of non venomous snakes, but of course we do have our coral, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads,” Knipe said.
Knowing the difference between a venomous and non venomous snake is where a lot of people get into trouble.
Although Central Texas does have a few snakes with a bad reps, some are actually helpful.
Many of the snakes we have in the area not only eat pesky rodents like rats and mice, but also eat venomous snakes that could hurt your family or pets.
“They’re not looking to run into you, and your not looking to run into them, so just be on alert when your walking,” Knipe said.
Experts said if you do see a snake the best thing to do is keep your eye on it, take 10 to 15 steps back slowly, and walk away.