Expert tips on staying safe this snake season: 'Leave them be'

Cindy Bae Image
Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Expert tips on staying safe this snake season: 'Leave them be'
Area veterinarians say they've seen an uptick in snake bite cases among pets like dogs.

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's snake season! As the warmer months bring out the slithery creatures, it's bringing in more patients to Truss Vet in Cary.

Truss Vet said it has seen an uptick in snake bites among dogs.

There are about three dozen snake species in the state, including six that are venomous, such as the Copperhead.

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

"We tend to see a big uptick in reptile activity in North Carolina between March and November," Dr. Brad Waffa said. "So naturally, we're going to see more human and pet interactions with snakes in the summer months."

Waffa said he has been seeing 1-2 snake bites per week. He said most bites occur when snakes are deliberately tampered with.

"They don't like to be around human dwellings," Waffa said. "They generally occur there just because there's a great opportunity for food or shelter but snakes in general, if left alone or handled properly, are totally harmless."

Experts like Stephen Prior said anyone needing to relocate a snake should call a professional.

Prior, who's a board member of the Rattlesnake Conservancy, has helped get some venomous snakes out of peoples' homes in Wake County. He said there are other trained experts, like him, who can help.

"You don't want to go off killing snakes. They're great for the environment, keeping away different pests and stuff," Prior said. "You don't want to put yourself in a situation to where you're putting yourself in harm. So again, the best way to handle it is leave them be. If you can't, call an expert."