The Timucuan Preserve is back with us to talk about one reptile that is abundant in Florida: the snake. With a variety of types of snakes in Jacksonville, it is important to know the difference between a deadly, venomous snake and one that is harmless. Here are some tips about identifying snakes, preventing a snake bite, and more!
·Many animals have homes in Timucuan Preserve including snakes. The most commonly seen are black racers, rat snakes, rough green snakes, garter snakes, coach whips. Venomous snakes most often seen at Timucuan Preserve is the Eastern diamond-back rattlesnake.
·You can quicky tell the difference between a venomous and non-venomous snake by the shape of its head. Venomous snakes have a head shaped like a triangle, while non-venomous snakes have rounded heads.
·Snakes do not want to be bothered by humans. They want to slither away or hide. They are camouflaged with their environment so many be difficult to see.
·Venomous snakes warn us of their presence because they do not want to use their venom on a human. They need to save their venom for their prey, mice and frogs. The rattlesnake warns by shaking its rattle while the water moccasin or cottonmouth opens its bright white mouth to warn of its presence.
· If you see a snake in the park, give it space and remember you are in its home. If you are hiking with your dog, always keep your dog on a leash.
·If you see a snake in your lawn, do not try to catch or kill the snake. Walk away from it slowly and keep an eye on it from a safe distance (several feet away). It will usually move on in its own time. If the animal does need to be removed please hire an insured nuisance wildlife removal specialist.
Steps to prevent a snake bite: Do not touch or handle any snake, avoid climbing on rocks or piles of wood where a snake may be hiding, snakes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk and in warm weather, wear boots and long pants when working outdoors, wear leather gloves when handling brush and debris.
·Snakes provide free all-natural pest control by eating rodents and insects including mice, cockroaches, mealworms and slugs.
·Timucuan Preserve provides a home for snakes to live in their natural environment.