You’ve probably seen a snake or two in Dripping Springs, either in your backyard or in a park. Many people are absolutely terrified of these slimy, legless reptiles. They slither all over and they flick those forked tongues to taste the area around them looking a snack. Only some snakes are venomous, which is what most people are afraid of. These are typically pit vipers and use infrared sensors which help them to detect the heat of whatever they are hunting. The most common venomous snakes found in Texas are coral snakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes.
Most snakes that you will encounter are non-venomous and can actually be beneficial to have in the area. They are often seen out in the sunlight soaking up some rays, as they are cold-blooded animals and rely on the sun on to keep their body temperatures regulated. Snakes come in many different sizes, ranging from just a few inches to several feet.
Venomous or non-venomous?
Venomous and non-venomous snakes are relatively easy to differentiate if you know what you are looking for. Venomous snakes will have more triangular-shaped heads, with pits between their eyes and nostrils where the infrared sensors are contained. While I don’t recommend getting close enough to check, venomous snakes will also have more elliptical pupils rather than the oval ones that non-venomous snakes have. While many non-venomous snakes have adapted the “rattle” sound to warn off predators, only a venomous rattlesnake will have a true rattle.
While different species of snakes require different habitats, they will still seek out the same type of dwelling spaces. Most often, things such as debris piles, tall grass, or overgrown shrubbery. They will also seek out areas with high populations of rodents for them to prey on. Typically snakes are seeking out a home to sleep in when they are digesting their meals or to seek shelter from harsh weather.
While most snakes are not dangerous and will only bite when they feel extremely cornered. The most damage snakes do is the shock of fear that goes through people when they see a snake. Even if you get bitten by a non-venomous snake, there won’t be any lingering effects other than a tender spot where the bite was. However, if you are bitten by a venomous snake you should seek medical attention immediately. While lethal snake bites are not one of the leading causes of death in the United States, it could be fatal without medical attention.
If you aren’t wanting snakes to venture into your yard, you can take measures to remove any potential shelter sources. This includes clearing out any debris piles as well as keeping your grass trimmed. You can also remove any potential food sources that may be luring them in, which would mean rodent-proofing your home. If you live in an area that has a high snake population naturally, you may also want to invest in snake fencing.
You should always be cautious when handling snakes, especially if you aren’t able to tell if the snake you are dealing with is venomous or non-venomous. There are many companies that offer snake removal and can assist you with all snake removal.
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