Expert shares tips for snake season

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - If you’ve spent any time outdoors lately, you may have already seen a snake or two. An expert shares things to keep in mind this snake season.

It’s that time of year, snake season. Parks like Hagerman Wildlife Refuge are full of snakes like this Western Rat Snake. Experts say to educate yourself on which ones are harmless like this little guy, and which ones should watch out for.

Amethyst Roney is a snake enthusiast and has been part of educational programs in North Texas for the past 15 years.

“We started educating because the majority of the snakes that you see are nonvenomous. Yes there are the venomous out there but a lot of the times people just don’t know any better,” said Roney.

Springtime is the most active time of year for snakes when the weather warms up and they move around to hunt.

She says there over 100 different species of snakes in Texas; only 12 are venomous. In Texoma, you can find Copperheads, Cottonmouths, and sometimes Timber Rattlesnakes.

“This happens to be good habitat for them up around Lake Texoma. The Hagerman Wildlife Refuge has some,” said Roney.

But most of the snakes you may find in your backyard are harmless.

“My son who’s very observant, I hear out of nowhere, he’s like ‘daddy is that a snake?’ I went into dad mode, sure enough it was a snake,” said Dustin Belvin from Durant.

Local dad finds snake in backyard playset, turns to internet for help identifying.
Local dad finds snake in backyard playset, turns to internet for help identifying.(KXII)

Belvin found a snake in his kid’s outdoor playset this week, and says he’s never seen one so close to the house.

He consulted with the internet before going near it, which is what Roney recommends.

“After I confirmed it wasn’t poisonous I just kind of shooed it off, you know tossed some stuff near it and it went away,” said Belvin.

“Some of them will eat those copperheads, some of them will eat the mice and rats. It’s good to have them around in some cases,” said Roney.

She says to identify the snake before going near it, stay calm, and if needed, call for help to have a venomous snake relocated.

The best thing to do is leave them be and watch your step.

Roney is an admin “snake identifier” on the Facebook page “What kind of snake is this? North Texas Educational Group.” Members can post photos of snakes found in the North Texas area for help with identifying information.

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