EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD)– The Palmetto Poison Center says they have had a 30% increase in calls this year through April compared to the same time period in 2016.
“We have no snakes that attack but they do defend themselves if we get really close to them and they think we are going to harm them. They will bite us if we step on them or touch them, some people even get bit trying to kill snakes,” says Ted Clamp.
Ted Clamp owns and operates the Edisto Island Serpentarium. He says it is likely the increase is due to the weather. A mild winter and early spring means snakes could be more active earlier in the season.
“Most of our spring has been warm and that is what causes snakes to move and in the spring they look for food,” said Clamp.
He says we are also more likely to run into a snake in the spring because we too are spending more time outside.
“We want to get out and work in the garden or plant corn in the field, do things in the yard like raking leaves and snakes move from one place to the other and their instinct is to hide so they will hide. They hide anywhere under hay or in the pile of leaves your raking,” said Clamp.
Clamp says it is important to make sure your yard is tidy.
“If you want to try and keep snakes out of your yard or off your property you have to keep it clean,” said Clamp.
Snakes look for food while on the move. He says it is important to remove anything in the yard that could be home to a rodent and then possibly a snake.
“No debris lying around, boards, or tin, or anything like that those are perfect places to live under,” said Clamp.
Clamp said snakes will leave you alone unless they feel threatened so it is important to be aware.
“If you always look where you put your hands and feet you won’t get bit.,” said Clamp.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about snakes stop by the Edisto Island Serpentarium!
They have a large collection of venomous and non-venomous snakes as well as alligators, crocodiles, and turtles.