Snake Bites On The Rise In South Georgia

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- Valdosta, Ga. - May 18, 2012 -

Our mild Winter this year is causing snakes to be a little more daring.

Snakes love the warmer weather, and so far bites are on the rise. 120 Georgians have been treated for snake bites since January.

Andy Moseley with Animal Control in Valdosta took Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg for a walk around a neighborhood to see how we can protect ourselves.

"Generally there are about 60 deaths a year from venomous snakes in Georgia," Moseley said.

Moseley showed Gullberg a crack under a concrete pad by a backdoor to a house.

"Over here we have a good little den for any kind of snake, not just venomous snakes. But around the house, vermin will grow in there. So of course, snakes are going to be there," Moseley said.

Moseley also explained how buckets can be great hiding spots as well.

With hardly a week of real winter, snake bite calls are on the rise. In the mornings they like it where it's warm.

But Moseley says that during the evening, "They're going to be bedded down somewhere cool. Logs, tires, underneath your car."

He says to be careful around ditches and standing water. And nearby woods can provide a whole snake habitat. Logs and holes in the ground can be excellent hiding spots for snakes.

It's important to remember that if you see a venomous snake to call Animal Control. But if you are bitten by one to call 911.

And if you think about killing snakes before they can bite you, you could land yourself behind bars.

"According to Georgia state law it is a year in prison and a thousand dollar fine to kill a non-venomous snake," Moseley told Gullberg.

Even these creepy critters are a valued member of our Eco-System.

A sign that a snake is venomous is if it has a triangular shaped head.
That's because the sacks that store the venom are in their skull.