There is an abundance of wildlife including a wide variety of retiles. Snakes, and their cousins the alligators, crocodiles, turtles and lizards, play an interesting and vital role in Florida’s complex ecology. There are about 45 species of snakes living in Florida, with only 6 that are venomous, and only a few of them are home to us in Southwest Florida. So, that leaves 39 species that are non-venomous and harmless, unless you break your leg or neck trying to get away from one.
Many people have an uncontrollable fear of snakes. Whatever the reason for disfavor, all snakes are beneficial to the balance of life and the animal kingdom. They eat insects, rats, mice, worms, toads, frogs, fish and some, like the Indigos and Kingsnakes, eat other snakes including venomous ones. They all help keep the ecosystem they live in at a good balance.
Florida snakes are not aggressive and, unless they are cornered, most will flee when humans approach. If you find a snake and you do not know whether or not it is venomous, here’s word of caution. Do not catch a snake and do not handle one unless you are sure it is not venomous. Occasionally, you might encounter a snake that is reluctant to leave because it is basking in the sun to get warm.
Among most snakebite victims, an unacceptably high number are bitten on the hands and arms when they are handling a snake. It is also known that after a snake has been killed, its reflexes may continue to work. Those reflexes typically cause the body to writhe slowly for awhile, but they can cause a convulsive contraction and the snake can still bite you. Do not handle a freshly killed snake.
The only acceptable treatment for venomous snake bite involves the use of antivenin. So, if you or someone you are with is bitten by a venomous snake, seek immediate medical attention at the nearest hospital or medical facility. Stay as calm as you can, remove any rings that could restrict circulation if your tissue swells; keep the bitten area of your body below the level of your heart.
Because snakes occupy a variety of habitats, it is generally impossible nor would it generally be desirable to eliminate the snake population in an area. If a snake pest is killed or removed from an area, it is likely that more snakes will eventually reoccupy the area, as long as the area remains attractive to snakes. The most effective control of snakes is to remove as much snake harborage as possible to make the area unattractive for new snakes to inhabit. Areas such as woodpiles, rock piles, scattered debris, tall grass, thick foliage, and any area a snake could hide. A good rodent control will also help to reduce the snake problems, as rodents make up much of the diet of many snakes, especially the poisonous ones.
The control of snakes is limited since there is no registered chemical or baits to kill or control snakes. There has been some limited success in trapping some types of snakes.
Collier Pest Control, Southwest Florida’s Pest Authority, does offer a Snake Repellant and trapping Treatments to keep unwanted snakes from entering an area for a limited period of time. Yes, we can apply our specialized snake repellant 30 to 40 feet away from and around your home or business to repel and keep problem snakes from crossing the line of repellant material or we can set effective corrective traps to catch any unwanted snakes that can be a pest to your family and pets.
If you live in Naples, Fort Myers, or anywhere in Southwest Florida call Collier Pest Control for a free estimate and a complete explanation on our Snake Repellant Treatment, trapping, or any of our services, or look us up on our web site at collierpestcontrol.com. Don’t let unwanted pests spoil your beautiful Southwest Florida lifestyle. Remember, Florida does not have to be shared with pests!