How to Prepare for a Snake Encounter This Summer

The summer is almost here and and we can finally pack away the warm winter clothes and enjoy the shorts and bare feet type of weather. But as you are playing with your dog in your back yard or cleaning out dead brush from your property, keep in mind that you are not the only one enjoying the sun. By now, most Maryland snakes have come out of hibernation to catch some rays and find some prey to hunt. And while they regard humans as more of a threat than a food source, unpleasant encounters with snakes are quite possible. Our Maryland snake removal experts are happy to share a few safety tips for you to keep in mind this summer.

Know Your Venomous Snakes

Of course, getting bitten by a non-venomous snake can be just as painful, but it’s not as dangerous. Thankfully, there are only two venomous snake species in Maryland, so you should be able to easily remember and identify them.

Timber Rattlesnake

Timber rattlesnakes prefer rocky terrain, which is why the are more common in western Maryland counties, such as Frederick County and Garret County. This is a rather low-profile snake in terms of coloration: it’s brownish with uneven, ring-like dark brown or black pattern. You would expect a poisonous snake to be brightly colored, but not this one. However, it’s the only snake in Maryland that has a rattle on its tail—so this is your number one identification tip. If you hear rattling, stay away!

Northern Copperhead

The Northern Copperhead is common throughout the North-Eastern U.S., including Maryland. You can tell it apart by its distinct tannish-copper color and hourglass-like pattern on its skin. Below is a video of how to identify this snake if you happen to encounter it.

Know Where to Expect Snakes

Snakes are cold-blooded creatures, so in summer they regulate their temperature through sun exposure. They may come out and lie in the sun to warm up or hide in the shade to keep cool, depending on the temperature of the surroundings. Many snakes are also nocturnal, so they tend to stay hidden during the day and come out to hunt at night. Here are some of the places around your property where a snake may find a nice spot to build a den or hide:

  • In a pile of wood, brush, rocks or fallen leaves
  • Underneath the deck or porch
  • Underneath steps and landscaping stones
  • In cracks inside concrete patios, porches and sidewalks.
  • In or underneath rarely used storage sheds and other outdoor structures
  • In tall grass
  • On a hiking trail

When you are doing yard work or any other activity around these areas, be careful and watch out for snakes. Some smaller snakes may make it into your home through small gaps and cracks—they often hide in basements and other dark and humid places.

Know-How to Deal With a Snake

First of all, see if you can tell for sure whether the snake is poisonous. If it’s not and it’s your first encounter with a snake on your property, slowly back away and let it escape. Snakes are generally not aggressive and won’t attack unless you pose a threat. For this reason, never try to chase the snake away, kill it or handle it, whether it’s poisonous or not. If you step on a snake by accident and get bitten, seek medical help right away. If the snake was poisonous, you may not have much time to take the anti-venom. If you’ve encountered a poisonous snake on your property or inside your home, it’s best to call Maryland snake removal professionals to take care of it. There may be a snake den somewhere in your backyard, which may pose risk to your family and pets. Contact us today if you need help reclaiming your yard from snakes!