Snakes are very common here in Georgia. We have at least 40 species confirmed to live in the state. They're also among the more misunderstood of our Georgia wildlife, so let's take a few minutes to talk about snakes.
First of all, snakes are reptiles and belong to the order Serpentes, or serpents. Like all reptiles, snakes are cold-blooded, which means they have little ability to regulate their body temperatures. In fact, regulating their body temperatures is a big reason why they move around. They're constantly searching for places where the temperature is what they want.
The other reason they move around is to hunt. All snakes are carnivores, and rodents are high on their list of favorite foods. They also eat smaller animals like snails, slugs, grubs, and so forth.
Snakes' easting habits are a good place to segue into the next thing we want to mention about snakes: Snakes are overwhelmingly beneficial animals. This is especially true in crop fields and vegetable gardens, because the rodents and other animals that snakes eat are often farm and garden pests. The snakes themselves, on the other hand, aren't at all interested in eating the crops. That's why organic gardeners and growers are usually happy to have snakes around to do the rodent control for them.
Our Georgia snakes, like Georgians in general, also tend to be very polite. None of the species of snakes in Georgia will attack a human unless they feel threatened. Usually this is because the human accidentally cornered the snake or stepped on it (in which case you really can't blame them for being upset).
The bites of non-venomous snakes are not serious; but snakes (like all reptiles and amphibians) can carry the disease salmonella, which usually doesn't affect the snake, but which can make humans ill. A big part of the reason is that a reptile's body temperature is too low for salmonella to thrive. Humans and other mammals have a higher body temperature, which is one of the reasons why we get sick from the salmonella bacterium, and reptiles and amphibians usually don't. So it's a good idea not to handle wile snakes, other reptiles, or amphibians (just in case you were thinking about doing that).
Of all the species of snakes we have in Georgia, only six are venomous ("poisonous"):
All the rest of our Georgia snakes are non-venomous. But unless you're a snake expert, you shouldn't assume that a snake is non-venomous because many venomous species look a lot like non-venomous species. That's also one reason why any snake bite should be treated as a medical emergency unless you're absolutely certain that the snake is not venomous.
Despite their overwhelmingly beneficial nature, there are times when snakes have to be removed from someplace where they don't belong. So the first step in deciding whether to remove a snake is to decide whether it's really necessary. If you're sure that the snake is not venomous and it's living someplace where it's not bothering anyone, you may decide to just leave it be. They do a lot more good than harm.
Sometimes, however, snakes do need to be relocated. Some examples include:
In addition, when snakes have gotten into a home, the home needs to be made snake-proof so new snakes can't get in. This may be very simple or very involved depending on the situation.
Please contact us for more information about snake control or any of our high-quality wildlife management services.