As the temperature rises, more snakes will be visible, but there’s no need for alarm, according to North Carolina wildlife officials.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission cautions that snakes will begin to appear on trails, in wooded areas, along roads, and in yards as spring progresses.
If you encounter a snake, the agency recommends maintaining a safe distance, refraining from harming it, and reporting the sighting based on the snake species, as advised by the NCWRC.
“Snakes play essential roles in ecosystems, helping to control rodent, slug, and insect populations,” said Jeff Hall, a reptile conservation biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, in a statement. “Coexisting with snakes is important since, of the 38 native snake species in North Carolina, ten are endangered, threatened, or of special concern.”
Wildlife officials assert that most snakes will leave people alone if unprovoked. If you find a snake in your yard, they suggest using a garden hose to gently spray it away. To keep snakes away from your home, they recommend tidying clutter, mowing your lawn regularly, closing gaps and holes in your siding and foundation, and sealing openings around doors, windows, and water pipes.
Native Snakes in NC
Some snakes you might encounter include the timber rattlesnake, pigmy rattlesnake, Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, and Northern pine snake. While the rattlesnakes are venomous, the pine snake is not.
NC wildlife biologists are studying the distribution of the pine snake and request that anyone who spots one report the sighting. The pine snake, which can grow up to 7.5 feet, is commonly found in open areas within pine oak forests in the Sandhills and along the southern Coastal Plain.
“Public assistance in recording and documenting the pine snake is crucial because it’s hard to conserve a species without knowing all the places it inhabits,” said Mike Martin, a state wildlife technician.
If you’re planning a camping trip in North Carolina this season, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take the necessary precautions to stay safe. This article highlights some great camping spots in the state and provides tips on how to respond effectively in case of encountering snakes.
How to report a snake sighting
You can report snake sightings through the HerpMapper mobile app, available for download from the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Windows Store. Alternatively, you can report Northern pine snake sightings to [email protected] and rattlesnake sightings to [email protected], along with photos and information about when and where you saw the snake.
For assistance identifying snake species, visit HerpsofNC.org. If you have any questions, you can also call the NC Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401.