What to do about snakes
Snakes instill a deep-rooted fear in many people that few other animals can match.
Even other animals seem to put them in a special category; many wild animals recognize snakes as threatening, and some birds and monkeys even have special vocalizations for sounding an alarm when a snake is seen.
But there’s no justification for the persecution of these animals and the acts of violence often committed when even the most harmless of them is sighted.
Snakes suffer greatly from changes in their habitat. Isolated when their natural land is broken up by development, they can’t easily move across the unfriendly terrain.
Many species are either already gone or are rapidly disappearing from city and suburb, lowering the number of human-snake conflicts, but depriving those who delight in encountering them that pleasure.
Exclusion (preventing entry or re-entry)
Excluding snakes from buildings can be as difficult as excluding rodents. And keeping snakes out of yards or gardens may be completely impractical.
Snakes in houses may be there either accidentally (for instance, washed in by flood waters) or purposely to find prey or shelter. They can become trapped inside and may die from lack of food or moisture if not captured and removed.
Note: Some snakes may hibernate in cellars or crawl spaces of older houses. The presence of shed skin usually indicates that a snake has been living in the house for some time.
Reduce the chance of a snake moving in your yard by making it less attractive (to snakes, at least).
Removing potential hiding places for both snakes and their prey including:
- Piles of rocks, wood, or other debris.
- Tall grass and undergrowth.
- Cracks around concrete porches and sidewalks.
- Storage sheds with space under the floor.
Public health concerns
Snakes are not known to transmit any disease to humans.
When a non-poisonous bite breaks the skin:
- Treat the wound like any other puncture wound that can get infected.
- Immediately consult a physician.
If bitten by a poisonous snake:
- Call 911 or transport victim to the hospital immediately.
- Secure the snake if possible for identification.
- Stay calm and inactive.
- Do not cut open bite wound to bleed or suck out venom.
While all venomous snake bites are potentially fatal, the neurotoxic venom of coral snakes is more deadly than the hemotoxic venom of pit vipers. Source