Warm weather means more snakes: Here’s what to do

(Courtesy: Katie Valentine via WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tis the season for snakes. As the weather warms up, reptiles are on the move in search of food.

Sightings are up across Tennessee, both in and outside of homes, with a flurry of snake posts popping up online.

In a Nashville home, Haleigh Hoster returned to find her cat and dog had a new friend.

“I opened the door. I think it was like the first thing I saw,” she explained. “Just saw a snake sitting in front of my kitchen table.”

Hoster took her find to the internet. Her post was one of several that have been shared on Facebook this Spring.

“They’ve been, for lack of a better term, hibernating all year,” explained Barry Cross with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “Now snakes are coming out, the warmer temperatures, they’re ready to feed.”

Should you spot one, your course of action depends, of course, on the type.

If you find a corn, garter, or king snake, officials say you could scoop it up with a bucket and broom, but should you encounter a copperhead, pygmy, or timber rattlesnake, call a professional.

The state now offers resources on how to tell the difference.

“We have a sight called Watchable Wildlife,” noted Cross. “Go on there, you can see every snake we have in Tennessee. That may help you know what course of action you need to take.”

Hoster took care of business with a broom before letting the little guy go outside.

“Yeah, just swept him up in there,” she said. “He’s terrified. I felt bad for him at that point.”

But should you even question if it’s a cottonmouth or a common garter snake, leave removal to an expert.

“If you try to handle it in any shape, form, or fashion, you may get hurt,” said Cross.

The TWRA urges everyone should you encounter a snake, and you’re not in imminent danger, in most instances you should let the snake be.

The non-venomous variety, if left in a backyard, can help control bugs or other pests. Click here to read more.

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