Presence of snakes in Central Texas to rise as warm weather returns

With incoming warmer weather, the presence of snakes is bound to slither upward as many snakes come out of hibernation, experts say. Snakes are ectothermic, or cold-blooded, so they rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. Snakes, along with other forms of reptilian life, go through a hibernation-like period during the winter months called brumation, according to
Exotic Animal Park, said it doesn’t have to be cold for snakes to start their brumation. Most snakes will start to hibernate when the days become shorter after Daylight Saving Time ends in November. Ectothermic creatures can’t control their body temperatures, so they have to burrow underground. Once early spring comes around the busiest time of the year for many snakes they start to travel. Females are looking for food to prepare for mating later in the year. Snakes will travel further in order to attain food, and lots of baby snakes born in the fall are now more prominent and will travel, as well.
Forthman said there are 85 different subspecies of snakes around Bexar County, and only four of them are considered dangerous/venomous. Forthman said the four main venomous snake types to be wary of are the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, the Western Cottonmouth or “Water Moccasin,” the Broadband Copperhead and the Texas Coral Snake. Remember: “Red Touches Yellow, Kills a Fellow.”
To keep snakes away from a home, make sure that habitats aren’t developing for the snakes. That means tall grass, rock piles, brush piles and other forms of debris should be removed from the vicinity of your home or backyard. Insects and rodent populations also should be controlled by people living in areas that wish to keep snakes away, as this will reduce their food supply, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Some other things to keep as far away as possible from the home are wood piles, trash dumps and livestock pens. Overturned boats, tarps and similar objects are also potential shelters for snakes. Holes in the main home should also be covered or filled to ensure snakes cannot get into the home, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Forthman said snakes are lot less harmless than most people think. Most snakes will only harm you if they are threatened. “Snakes would rather flee than fight,” Forthman said. He added that snakes are good for the environment, as they kill off rodents and other vermin.