Best way to combat snakes, avoid them

By Danielle DavisJuly 13, 2016

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FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 13, 2016) -- According to one local pest control expert, snakes are good for the environment and help control pests.

"I like to think of snakes as on our side. They provide 24/7 pest control protection for humans. They prey on pests such as rats and rodents," said Ted Roever, the environmental program manager and pest management coordinator for the Directorate of Public Works.

Snakes are active during the summer but not in the open areas. In the spring and fall when it's cool, the snake has to come out to warm up, he continued.

"Of the 41 species of snakes found in Georgia, six are venomous. The most common snake in this area is the gray rat snake," Roever added.

"It feeds primarily on rodents and birds and is gray in color. There's another called the black racer. Both snakes' names contain their descriptors. The black racer is grayer than black and very swift. That's what makes it hard to catch," he explained.

The black racer is common around houses because it feeds on frogs and lizards, which are often found near houses, Roever added.

He advised anyone lacking expert knowledge to stay away from any snakes they might encounter.

"Snakes are more afraid of us than we are of them," Roever said.

If individuals are afraid of snakes or want to keep them away from their homes, the best way for them to do that is make the area surrounding their homes unfriendly to snakes, Roever explained.

Roever suggested that homeowners get rid of any water that might attract frogs. They should also turn off lights that might attract bugs, which attract the frogs and lizards that snakes eat.

Don't give the snakes places to hide either. Ensure that all trash containers have lids that are tightly secured. Don't leave any debris or branches out back, clean that type of stuff up and throw it away. Individuals should keep their grass and vegetation trimmed as well, Roever said.

"If bitten by a snake, contact emergency services immediately. Get yourself to a hospital," Roever said.