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Snake sightings more common in Tallahassee

Published: Jun. 30, 2017 at 11:19 PM EDT
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By: Tiffany Lewis | WCTV Eyewitness News

June 30, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is estimating that the number of people bitten by venomous snakes each year is on the rise.

Florida and Texas are cited as the most “at risk” states.

Now, with the return of the warm summer months, snakes are beginning to pop up more frequently around the Big Bend. Jay Ammerman, a pest controller from Black Thumb Wildlife Services, says that he has received more snake calls this year than ever before.

“I would say that in the past three to five years, snake sightings have just continued to go up and up,” Ammerman says, “I get about 7 to 10 calls a week.”

But, experts are saying not to panic. Brooke Talley, a conservation commissioner at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, says more snakes are not moving to the sunshine state, they’re simply responding to their environment.

“Around Tallahassee we have been having a lot more rain,” Talley said, “Just like people, it starts raining, and the snakes don’t want to get stuck in the rain and they want to move. So you know there’s a higher likelihood of them being encountered after a rain event.”

Talley is also urging people to stay calm and proceed as normal if a snake does cross their path.

“Snakes are more scared of us than we are of them,” Talley said, “Try not to touch or move the snake. If you’ll just leave the snake alone, it will almost always crawl away on its own.”

Although terrifying to some, snakes do help keep the rodent population under control. Talley and Ammerman are both encouraging residents who spot a snake in their yard to remember their benefits before immediately calling to have them removed.