DEEP: Don't go batty when you spot a snake

Shelton-Snake-Gartner

The gartersnake is perhaps the most common, widely distributed, and familiar of all North American snakes. It is found throughout Connecticut, sometimes in yards and even in urban areas. (Photo by Paul J. Fusco, DEEP Wildlife Division)

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding residents that snakes are becoming more active at the same time people are venturing outdoors to enjoy the nice weather.

We’ve all jumped a little when a garden snake appears while we’re weeding or just sitting outside. DEEP is reminding residents that it is not always necessary to kill a snake if you see one outside.

Hundreds of snakes are needlessly killed by people each year because of mistaken identity, fear, and misunderstanding.

Residents are unlikely to encounter a venomous snake around their home. The two venomous snake species found in Connecticut (timber rattlesnake and northern copperhead) do not have wide distributions. These venomous snakes, along with the other 12 Connecticut snake species, are not aggressive and will only bite if threatened or handled. If left alone, snakes pose no threat to people.

If you come across a snake, the snake is likely as startled as you are. There is no reason to kill it. Instead, you should observe it from a distance and allow it to go on its way. All snakes will retreat from humans if given a chance.

If you wish to discourage snakes from your yard, remove the places where they can hide. Cut grass short, remove brush and rock piles, and trim shrubs up off the ground. These methods will discourage snake prey species from the yard as well.

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