Here in Georgia, everybody has seen a snake at some point.. And most of us have heard the saying “If red touches yellow, kill a fellow, red touches black, you’re alright, Jack” … This is a saying used for the description of the venomous Coral Snake, (which lives on more coastal areas of Georgia), so it would be rare to see one around here- but we do have a Scarlet Kingsnake that looks very similar but is non-venomous. They are pretty. How many snakes have you seen this year?
Growing up, we knew that if the snake has what looks like Hershey’s kisses on it’s sides, it was a Copperhead. But don’t let the sweet non-venomous Corn Snake get confused with that Copperhead. The Corn snake’s markings on it’s sides are more square, with a black margin and a reddish to brown color inside the square, like Indian Corn. Now, If a snake flashes the inside of its mouth to warn you away, it’s a Cottonmouth (hence the name).. We also knew that if a snake is in the water with it’s head sticking out of the water, it’s also a Cottonmouth, one of the more aggressive snakes! (Most other water snakes travel with their head pretty much floating in the water). We also knew that if it had big eyes and a round head, it was probably non-venomous… but if it was short, fat, with little bitty mean looking eyes and a triangle shaped head, then it was to be left alone!!!
Whew, it usually sends a terror through most of us to see a snake near us, but some people are “alright” with the snakes. (Its obvious that they have learned to identify them). Once you actually learn to identify the snake, you will be more comfortable with having them around. Or maybe not- just depends on the kind of snake, I guess. When you find out that the Black Racer and the Black King Snake (with the white markings) will actually kill and eat the poisonous snakes, maybe you will feel a little better about having them around. They love to keep your barn and yard free of poisonous snakes, rodents, lizards and some insects. Yes please, I will take a few of those kinds of black snakes for my barn, woods and gardens! Just remember that all snakes will bite if provoked and the best thing to do is leave them alone. I cant stress that enough.
There are 3 main types of venomous snakes in North America that you need to be able to identify. Georgia has an excellent climate for all of these snakes! 1. Cottonmouth and the Copperhead are Agkistrodons. 2. The Rattlesnakes are Crotalus. And 3. The Coral snake is a Micrurus. Check these venomous snakes out and learn to identify them..
Let’s say that one day, you find a snake in your house! Yikes! Can you identify it easily? Everyone should take some time to learn about and teach their children to be able to identify some of the more common and snakes in our state. Venomous and non-venomous. Not all of them are bad, as they have a job to do. And besides, it will probably save your furniture if you knew the snake was not venomous. You will be a little more calm (hopefully) if you tried to remove the animal yourself. When it comes to the venomous ones, removal is not a job for you or your local “County Animal Control” office.. you might want to call a wildlife removal specialist.
A great company comes to mind, when thinking of wildlife removal (and yes, I have hired them before to help me with a problematic wildlife “situation”) . I was extremely pleased with their humane treatment of the animals during the assessment and removal process. They were also very professional and personable. The company is Animals-B-Gone, Inc. Their website is www.animalsbgone.com . They will come out and assess the situation. You might even need to know if you have an infestation of certain types of wildlife. These skilled, trained professionals provide commercial and residential wildlife control and removal services in the Atlanta (770)-757-1783 ,and the Athens ( 706)-543-0610 areas. Their website has a whole list of animals that they will be glad to help you with.
Here’s an interesting fact: The Eastern Diamondback Rattler was almost selected as the National Animal of the U.S. (instead of the Bald Eagle)… I like the Bald Eagle way better! They will eat a snake… I have attached a 2 minute video, that you will find interesting for some of the snakes mentioned here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oV7I2NTHHI