SNAKES

SNAKES

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

Please view the attached pages “SNAKES of New York” courtesy of the NY DEC, who have highlighted the 5 most common snake species (of 17 species) found in NY State. These are the 5 species you most likely will be encountering at your home and should call Critterex to assist with removal and exclusion if feeling threatened or notice increase activity or hatchlings.



How do you tell which snake is venomous and which snake is not? Besides species identification, you could look for its Loreal Pit, which is a heat sensing pit on each side of the head between the eye and the nostrils. Non-venomous snakes do not have the Loreal Pit.

ARE THEY DANGEROUS?

Yes, treat all snakes with respect because identification of the species can be difficult as they may vary depending on age, genetic variation and area. Only 3 species found in NY State are venomous and all are Pit Vipers; the Timber Rattlesnake, the Northern Copperhead and the Eastern Massasauga. The Massasauga is the least common of the three in our region. Viperine venom is typically haemotoxic (blood toxins), necrotising (death of tissue), and anticoagulant (preventing the blood from clotting) thus making medical assistance essential if bitten.

First Aid for a Venomous Snake Bite: Move away to avoid a second strike, stay calm so your heart rate doesn’t climb thus spreading the venoms speed of travel and get to the nearest hospital. Remove any jewelry, watches or other restricting clothing as swelling may prevent these articles from being removed and will result in a tourniquet action. No ice or tourniquet as it may increase tissue damage, no cutting of the skin or “cowboy movie style” sucking out the venom but rather rinse the wound with water to remove any residual venom.

Remember that the snake is usually only defending itself against a human and the first response when encountering any snake is to rather leave the snake alone. It would be a great help if you could safely take a photo of the snake from 2 snake lengths away before you give Critterex a call, but once again, only if safe to do so.

WHAT DAMAGE CAN THEY CAUSE?

Zero damage if left alone but they do pose risk of salmonella if handled or allowed to traverse over food sources around a home, some snakes immediately defecate if provoked or handled like the Common Garter Snake. Snakes are great indicators of the existence of its natural prey living in your home if the snake is found in your home as it most likely picked up on the scent trail that lead it indoors, an example is a Black Rat Snake seeking Rodents that live in your home. In winter, the snake could purely be seeking refuge in your warm home but may leave once the weather warms up.

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF THEM?

Remember the reason they are there in your house is looking for rodents, warmth or nesting area. Critterex will close all the mouse and rat holes we find thereby reducing the primary purpose for the snake sharing occupancy with you in the first place. Sometimes, especially in warmer weather, snakes will sun themselves on the blue stone or concrete pathways but pose no threat but if you feel threatened then feel free to give Critterex a call so we can safely move the snake from your dwelling area.