Snakes on the move in October

Snakes looking for food, mates prior to winter hibe­rnation


Now that the weather has cooled off a bit, you might think your odds of encountering a snake have dropped with the temperatures. The truth is that your odds are actually increasing.

"There is a misconception that snakes just love the heat. Well, South Texas summers are just a little too brutal for them," said Jerrod Forthman, Park Manager at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels.

Snakes usually hide from the summer heat and are now coming out to find food to sustain them through the winter. They also have two breeding seasons: spring and fall. Snakes are being born in the fall and are on the move looking to mate again.

If you want to keep snakes from visiting your yard, don't make it a hospitable place for them to live.

"They're going to find food - mice and rats - where there is a whole lot of thick grass in places for mice and rats to hide. That's also a snakes shelter. If you keep your yard pretty much cleaned up, its less desirable for a snake to go there," Forthman said.

Copperheads tend to like areas where dead leaves have accumulated, so it's important to keep your yard raked.

If you encounter a snake in the wild, there usually isn't a need to panic.

"Snakes aren't out to get people. Snakes don't chase people. Those are myths and misconceptions," Forthman said. "If you see a snake - whether its harmful or not - you leave it alone, it's going to leave you alone."

South Texas is home to more species of snakes than any other region of the United States.

Of the more than 100 species of snakes that make their home in Bexar County, only four are venomous, and with the exception of the Western Diamondback rattlesnake, your chances of seeing the three other venomous snakes are rare.

For a list of recent stories John Honore has done, click here.

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