Hungry Snakes Search for Mates

Snakes enjoying the warm weather

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com

    Snakes are slithering out from hibernation after a long North Texas winter.

    The scaly reptiles are hungry after months without food and water, and the warm weather has heated up the search for mates.

    Spring Snake Season in Texas

    [DFW] Spring Snake Season in Texas
    After the long winter and heavy rain, North Texans are seeing snakes out and about for the spring. (Published Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010)

    Operator of A Wildlife Pro, Matt Evans said the mix of recent rains, breeding season and the long winter are to blame for recent, increased snake sightings in North Texas.

    "This is the time of year, of course, where they have been underground hiding for three or four months and they’re hungry, so they're out looking for food on these first warm days," said Jonathan Campbell, a professor of biology at the University of Texas at Arlington.

    "This is also breeding season," Campbell said. "That, coupled with the fact that most snakes are really subject to dehydration, so with the rains that we’ve had, (it) makes it especially good to be above ground and moving about and looking for mates or food."

    Tall grass and beneath shrubs are ideal hiding places for snakes, but sometimes they slither into people's homes.

    Snakes are often found in and around air duct systems, in attics and garages. Often times it's the snake's innate and eager search for food that makes them cross the threshold of someone's home.

    "If you have a snake in your house, that means you have prey in your house, whether it be bugs, rats or something else," said Evans.

    Campbell warned about the Texas rat snake, what he considers to be one of the most common snakes found in North Texas.

    "These are snakes that get up to in excess of five feet long," Campbell said. "They are completely nonvenomous, but they do have sort of feisty disposition and will bite on occasion."

    But a "feisty disposition" pales in comparison to the venomous bite of another commonly found snake, the copperhead.

    Mostly found near streams and creeks, the poisonous, cold-blooded creature attacks without provocation.

    "We know of a couple of bites that occurred, even here in Arlington," Campbell said."So if you’re in an area where you think snakes are, or you know snakes are going to be, don't go barefoot, especially after dark."

     Click here for information on a medical website that lists symptoms and treatments for snake bites.