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DeKalb Residents Battle Influx of Snakes

Warm weather has snakes slithering across yards and driveways, to the dismay of some DeKalb County residents. One community has asked a reptile rescue group to release more snakes to edge out venomous species.

Warm weather has snakes slithering across yards and driveways, to the dismay of some DeKalb County residents. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV
Warm weather has snakes slithering across yards and driveways, to the dismay of some DeKalb County residents. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV

A reptile group is releasing non-venomous snakes in the Druid Hills area in an effort to crowd out the copperheads and other poisonous snakes that are troubling residents and their pets. 

Gary McKenney, who lives on Barton Woods Road, told WSB TV that he recently killed a large copperhead after his dog was bitten.

“I mean it is even scary walking up to the mailbox because the snakes like to come out on the driveway,” he told the TV station. 

The community is adjacent to Fernbank Forest, giving the reptiles plenty of cover.

Neighbors arranged for Southeastern Reptile Rescue to release non-venomous snakes into their yards in hopes they will deplete the copperhead’s food source.

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Jason Clark with the rescue group says many people kill the non-venomous snakes in their yard, which will boost the odds that a venomous snake moves in.

Snakes have also become more prevalent in Dunwoody, according to the city’s website, with reports of reptile sightings in yards and city parks. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division says snakes can be beneficial to areas because they eat rats, mice and other pests. Outdoor enthusiasts and gardeners may sometimes run across small ringneck, worm, red-bellied, brown, earth, and crowned snakes.

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While none of these species are very large and do not bite, the city says there are several larger snake species (corn and rat snakes, as well as racers) which can be found in residential areas.

Residents should be on the lookout for snakes around piles of brush or firewood and near crawl spaces underneath homes.

If a venomous snake is in an area where it pose a danger to children or pets, consider contacting a wildlife removal specialist such as Matthew B Field at  All Wildlife Control, 404-427-2515 or http://www.allwildlifecontrol.com/index.php), the city suggests.

Or contact the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division for a list of private wildlife removal specialists.

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Liz Taylor June 30, 2014 at 09:13 AM
Snakes are incredibly valuable in the environment keeping rodents populations in check. If you don't want them around your house, keep trash, grains, fallen fruit and other draws for rats, mice, squirrels cleaned up.
Jeff Orr July 07, 2014 at 07:32 AM
Okay, some of these comments are a bit confusing for those who don't understand the article or snake biology. I am a wildlife specialist, licensed by the Georgia DNR so let me hopefully help with understanding. First, those snakes aren't there because the people are filthy. There are rodents all over, when added with the right habitat and water supply you will get snakes. The non-venomous snakes don't just control the venomous by eating the food supply of rodents. The non-venomous snakes eat the venomous ones as well as the rodents. Introducing the black rat snacks is a common method of controlling snakes such as the copperhead. Not noted in the article about the copperhead - they are not aggressive like some other venomous snakes. In other words they will not seek and attack people like say... a cobra that will chase you down. However, a copperhead WILL bite you. The way to get bitten by one is to mess with it, accidentally step on or place your hand or other body part near them. If they feel threatened they will bite! By the way more people in Georgia are gotten with the dead venomous snakes then live ones. If you see one dead DO NOT pick it up and/or mess with it's mouth area. The venom is still there, active and can be deadly.
knee jerk July 07, 2014 at 10:43 AM
"More people in Georgia are gotten with the dead venomous snakes then live ones", I'd expect nothing else in Georgia.
Tim July 07, 2014 at 05:59 PM
Eastern Wolfers Wildlife Management, LLC. 404-583-2378
Mary Jones July 07, 2014 at 07:18 PM
Some of this news is REALLY old. I'm in favor of not having a patch email everyday if there's nothing new to write about.

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