December 4, 2023

Pet Life Today

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Your guide to snakes in Fairfax County | Pets

Fairfax County is household to an array of snake species, most of which are non-venomous and pose no danger to folks. Between the most commonly noticed resident snakes are the Jap rat snake, Japanese garter snake, Dekay’s brown snake, Northern h2o snake and Northern ring-necked snake popular and critical predators in our ecosystems.

These snakes, and many others, are effective and present a useful provider in our communities in the way of pest manage.

Consider be aware of the Northern copperhead snake

The Northern copperhead is the only venomous snake species generally uncovered in Fairfax County. Copperheads may be located basking in the solar on trails, in rocky spots and in stream valleys. They are most lively amongst April and October. Copperheads can be recognized by their:

• Triangular head shape

• Vertical pupil

• Hourglass scale pattern that operates the size of their entire body

• Copper, gentle brown or tan color

• Yellow-idea tails on juveniles

Quite a few of our non-venomous snakes are unnecessarily killed each individual year due to the fact they are misidentified as copperheads. For information and facts on identification of the Northern copperhead and harmless search-a-like species, please take a look at the Virginia Herpetological Modern society. Northern copperheads, pictured higher than, are residing in Fairfax County.

Seven tips to lessen your probabilities of a snake chunk

Most snake bites manifest when snakes are dealt with or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing. Subsequent a couple of uncomplicated strategies when outdoors can increase your likelihood of remaining risk-free:

• If you see a snake, stop and preserve a safe and sound distance — give the snake space to shift absent on its personal

• Do not check out to manage snakes, as they could chunk if provoked

• When going for walks or hiking, keep on trails, sidewalks and cleared pathways

• Have on boots or shut footwear and long trousers when performing outdoors or going for walks in wooded areas

• Don leather gloves when handling brush and particles

• Use a flashlight if walking at night in locations the place snakes could be existing

• Retain canines on leashes and pet cats indoors to cut down possibilities of them encountering a snake.

3 ways to limit snakes all-around residences

Most snakes located all around households are pursuing a food supply or using gain of current habitat. The pursuing methods must make your houses and premises significantly less beautiful and out there for snakes.

• Take out favored habitat near the home, such as heavy mulching and substantial rock used in landscaping, wooden and brush piles, debris and superior grass. Mow grass and maintain it shorter. Trim trees and shrubs away from your home and garage and distinct overhanging vegetation that snakes could climb. Go woodpiles away from the house.

• Remove favored foods sources. Transfer birdfeeders away from the dwelling or quit feeding completely. Seed on the ground might bring in rodents that snakes prey upon. Clean up up any residual spilled seed on the floor to minimize their food stuff supply. Make guaranteed to effectively store and protected trash bins to steer clear of attracting rodents that snakes try to eat. Feed animals indoors. If feeding outdoors is important, be confident to cleanup uneaten foodstuff appropriate absent.

• Examine your household for openings and seal cracks and crevices all-around the dwelling and foundation. Check exterior about water pipes, vents, electrical provider entrances, doorways and home windows for compact openings and underneath sidewalks and porches. A 1/4 inch hole is substantial more than enough for some little snakes to enter.

Who to get in touch with

If you come across a ill or wounded snake, get in touch with the police non-emergency line at (703) 691-2131 to be related with the Animal Safety Law enforcement.

If you are bitten by a snake you think could be venomous, seek out unexpected emergency health care interest instantly.

For extra info on running wildlife interactions and resolving human-wildlife conflicts, the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline is readily available toll-free at (855) 571-9003, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday by Friday. This helpline is a collaborative exertion concerning the Virginia Department of Sport and Inland Fisheries and the U.S. Section of Agriculture – Wildlife Companies.