Watch your step! Snakes more active this time of year - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Watch your step! Snakes more active this time of year

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The warm weather is the perfect time to spend the day in your garden or to set out on a hike, but if you’re out during the early morning or at night, you’ll want to watch your step.

“Every year at this time of the year, most snake species are more active,” said Jeff Boundy, Herpetologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “They start showing up mid-March and around the middle of May you will see far fewer.”

Just like all critters, snakes make the most of the beautiful weather.

“They are more common at this time because they are out eating and mating,” Boundy explained. “At the hottest point in the day, they’ll go into hiding.”

People in Ascension Parish have reported seeing a high number of Blue Racer snakes. Unlike other snakes, the Blue Runners do not shift to a night schedule when the days are long and hot. For this reason, you’re most likely to see them during the early morning.

“You don’t really have to worry about them,” Boundy said. “They are non-venomous. They really only bite if you pick them up.”

As for venomous snakes, we have plenty of those in the Bayou State.

“Venomous snake bites are infrequent in this state,” Boundy said. “There are typically less than 40 a year. I’ve been here for 25 years and I’ve only seen three deaths because of it. One guy didn’t seek medical attention. One guy was out in the woods when they found him so it appears he didn’t make it out in time. And the other was a medical error.”

But don’t be fooled, there are plenty of venomous snakes in the state. However, people are just less likely to get bit.

“The reason people used to get bit more often is because they would go outside at night and walk around barefoot,” Boundy explained. “People are just less likely to do that nowadays.”

So the moral of the story is to wear shoes and seek medical attention should you get bit. And of course, there’s one other big one that should seem like common sense.

“Over half of the snake bites occur because of people fooling with them.”

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