Summertime usually means more time spent outside, from yard work to outdoor recreation. Humans aren’t the only ones drawn out by higher temperatures, as reptiles tend to freely roam. Out of the species, people can relate to seeing snakes most notably.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) officer Dean Hudson said more snake sightings this time of year is normal. He added he hasn’t killed nearly as many snakes as normal this year on his own property.

“It’s not a bumper crop or anything,” he said of snake activity this year. “Warmer weather brings them out. They’re reptiles and the warmer it is, the better it is for them. They’re like alligators and everything else. When it’s cold weather, they lay up.”

He said it’s not unusual for people to see snakes in the winter in Mississippi.

“People have called me and said, ‘Guess what I killed.’ On a warm December morning or afternoon, it’s not uncommon if they’ve come up on one. The warmer it is, the more they move,” Hudson said.

According to a MDWFP press release, snakes find dens and can sometimes take refuge in buildings during colder times of the year when they’re inactive. It continues to state people who hunt and fish have greater chances of snake encounters because they’re in their native habitat.

Suggestions for

avoiding snake bites

The MDWFP press release gave the following tips for snake safety. Although snake bites are quite rare, leaving snakes alone and allowing them to go on their way is the best way to keep both you and the snake safe.

Most snake bites occur when people try to move, kill or harass them. Mississippi is home to more than 50 species of snakes, but only six species are venomous. If you do not have a lot of experience with snakes, it is not always easy to distinguish venomous snakes from nonvenomous.

Glaring distinguishing features such as eye shape or heat-sensitive pits are not easily recognizable from a distance. If you are close enough to see those variations, you are probably too close to the snake.

Venomous snakes commonly found in Mississippi are copperheads, cottommouths, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, canebrake, also known as timber, rattlesnake, pigmy rattlesnakes and coral snakes.

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