What is your typical reaction when you see a snake? Recently the Town of Kiawah Island provided the following interesting information about snakes.
Snakes are likely the most misunderstood animals. They are often feared, reviled, and persecuted. Although they can make some cringe or fearful, snakes serve a vital role in our ecosystem and rarely cause conflict with people. Snakes fear people and will retreat when approached, unless cornered. As the weather warms, you may see more snakes as you move through the island, and here is some information to keep in mind as you do.
The three most common snakes in this area are all non-venomous and include the yellow rat snake, black racer, and corn snake. All three feed on insects, frogs, rats, and mice. The most common venomous snake is the copperhead, but it is rare to see them here. Often what people think are copperheads turn out to be corn snakes. To identify a copperhead, look for hourglass-shaped blotches, browner in color, and a large, triangular-shaped head (see image).
If you encounter a snake in your yard, simply leave it alone. Instruct your landscapers to refrain from killing snakes they encounter on your property. In a world without snakes, rats and mice would devastate food crops and cause countless economic and ecological problems. The next time you see a snake, stop to think about the good things that snakes do, and enjoy the encounter just as you would with any of the island’s other wildlife species.
While snakes are important predators and prey, they can be dangerous. If you see a snake, keep your distance, step back and allow it to proceed. Do not try to handle a snake, even if you think it is dead. To learn more about living with snakes, click here.