BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Snake sightings are on the rise in Central Alabama. That is according to one local wildlife professional who says he sees an uptick in calls each year when the weather heats up.
Snakes are both diurnal– active during the day– and nocturnal, around at night. It all depends on the time of year.
Mark Hay, of Alabama Snake Removers, tells us, snakes become inactive when it gets too hot. They hide out until around dusk, during summer months, just about the time when folks are out walking or hiking.
Hay showed us a harmless rat snake and a venomous copperhead. He says, if you come across a snake and you are not 100% sure as to what you’re dealing with, it is best to turn back and leave the snake alone. If it is in your yard or your home and you want it gone, Hay advises you call a professional.
“Killing a snake or trying to remove it yourself puts you at an 80% greater risk of being bitten by the snake… and don’t corner a snake. Give him the space he deserves because they’ve been here. They’re doing a job, they’re helping us. Whether a lot of people actually want to see it or not, they’re helping us,” said Hay.
Hay says certain snake venom toxin is used to make medicine, not to mention snakes control the rodent population. Hay tells us, if you come across a snake, venomous or not, it is not looking to hurt you. If you leave it alone and keep an eye on your pets, Hay says even venomous snakes do not pose a threat.
He says snakes attack when they’re cornered or when they’re startled, so give them space. And if you cannot see what’s inside a space, a reminder not to put your hands or feet inside.