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Snakes on the Move

Snake sightings have been increasing over the last several weeks.  Spring and late summer to early fall tend to be when folks have a good chance of seeing snakes.  Our 3 most commonly sighted snakes include the Greenish (aka Yellowish) Rat Snake, the Black Racer and the Cotton Mouth (aka Water Moccasin).  The Glass Lizard is often mistaken for a snake because this lizard has no legs.   The increase of snake sightings on Dewees Island tend to be a result of the following factors.  First, periods of heavy rainfall appear to put snakes on the move and perhaps this is due to the increase of prey options such as frogs and toads.  Second, young snakes are born this time of year so for a short time we do have more snakes on the island than other times of the year.  During the spring; sightings are common since snakes are coming out of hibernation and are on the move looking for food and mates.  Finally, during the fall snakes are looking for places to hibernate.  Snakes are a very important part of our ecosystem and beneficial in helping to control the rodent population.  To ensure these beneficial animals are transient around our homes and not taking up residence in areas frequented by family and pets please keep these followings points in mind.  All animals need food, water and shelter to survive.  If an animal can find these resources near each other they have found a great home.  To discourage snakes (and rodents) from taking up shelter take away options for food, water and shelter.  Think like a snake as you walk around the ground level of your home and consider where these animals may find food, water or shelter.  Look for:

  • HVAC pipes dripping water (fresh drinking water)
  • Stacks of lumber (shelter for snakes and rodents)
  • Ground level decking and boardwalks with gaps underneath (shelter for snakes)
  • Piles of dead vegetation debris piled against house (shelter)
  • Seashells and other containers holding water (fresh drinking water)
  • Gaps between pilings and ceilings under your home (shelter for rodents)
  • Fish cleaning stations under your home (food for wildlife)
  • Bird feeders dropping food on the ground (food for wildlife)

If you would like additional information about any of the points above, would like a snake relocated from your property or have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  For identification of snakes found on Dewees Island please click here.