Snake sightings on the rise as temps go up across the Triangle

Amber Rupinta Image
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Snake sightings on the rise as temps go up
Triangle Snake sightings on the rise as temps go up

Snake sightings are on the rise in Central North Carolina.

Warmer weather means snakes are more active and, according to one expert, in the Triangle, development is also adding to the uptick in sightings

"They have completely adapted to suburban areas," explained Talena Chavis, a wildlife agent and founder of NC Snake Catcher. Chavis' company catches and relocates snakes to sanctuary areas. Copperheads, the most common and widespread venomous snake in North Carolina is her top call for removal.

As the Triangle population grows by about 62 people a day on average in Wake County according to Wake.Gov, Chavis says she even gets calls about the snake population in the area for people moving in.

"They call me," Chavis said. "I literally had a man call me that was planning to move here from Ohio. He asked me what kind of house he should get so that he didn't have snakes. I was like, that's not really how it works."

Here's what I tell folks, "there's no magical deterrent what you do is eliminate attractants."

Chavis says copperheads are not aggressive but aren't shy meaning you can spot them sunning themselves. She says the common issue is humans just don't see them as camouflage is their biggest asset.

"I considered the number one defense of copperheads has to be camouflage," Chavis explained. Chavis often gets calls about what type of ground cover is best to keep them away but she says it's really about what allows you to see them in your yard."

"I recommend for groundcover-stone, mulch, and pine straw in that order. Strictly because of contrast," Chavis added.

Chavis says leaving copperheads alone is best and remove any food sources. She recommends keeping outdoor lights off to keep bugs away which draw in bigger animals up the food chain up to rodents then snakes.

Footwear is also a big area of protection during warmer months when snakes are more active.

"I swear to you, if people did this and did it all the time, we could cut the number of bites we have in half," Chavis said. "I tell people, where are your boots? The whole family, they don't need to be special snake boots.

Just put your boots on you and the kids every time they go out and go outside and play night or day and you look where you put your hands."

Chavis says if you need a snake removed you may have faster response times by calling a private removal company because animal control is often busier and has rules for coming out to residences for snakes which must be in a liveable part of a home.

"Animal control is more worried about animals that carry rabies. Snakes don't really carry anything," Chavis said.

"Our average response time is 30 minutes."

WATCH | The six venomous snakes in North Carolina

Here's a look at the six venomous snakes of North Carolina.