Mild winter has more NC snakes slithering about


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Snakes are out and about early this Spring.

Snakes
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A GALLERY OF SNAKES COMMONLY FOUND IN NC

And when there are more snakes – there are more snake bites.

RELATED: Snakebites surging in NC, poison center says

“I’m terrified of them so they are always on my mind. I’m always scared of snakes, they’re not my thing,” says Erika Verdi, who likes to spend time outside.

This Spring, the reptiles out and about a month early.

“Snakes, they don’t have a calendar. They don’t come up in a specific month, it is very temperature dependent,” said Phil Bradley, head of Terrestrial Exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

The mild winter and warm April has them on the move.

Verdi saw one just the other day.

RELATED: House of snakes: Dream home turns out to be a nightmare

“My friend had seen a garden (sic) snake and it was eating, like, a worm. He goes, ‘Erika, there’s a snake.’ And I went, ‘Nope!’ And I was just gone, booked it,” she said.

The Carolinas Poison Center has received nearly four times as many calls about snake bites this April as it did last April.

The calls jumped from 19 to 71.

Bradley knows what snakes to look out for in North Carolina.

“We have six venomous species. Two of them are very rare, the coral snake and the eastern diamondback rattlesnake are rarely encountered in the state,” said Bradley.

Bradley says snakes are attracted to the warmth of streets and sidewalks.

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If you’re out for an evening walk or jog, be prepared to share the road with some of the cold-blooded creatures.

“The reality is the likelihood of a negative encounter is extremely low,” said Bradley.

But, Bradley says if you are going to face off with a venomous snake, it will most likely be a copperhead.

You should never try to handle or move snakes.

Bradley says that will only increase your chances of being bitten.

If you are bitten by a snake, you can call the Carolina Poisons Center to decide whether or not a hospital visit is necessary. The center’s number is 1 (800) 222-1222.

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