Beware of snakes! Here’s how to keep them at bay as it warms up

As temperatures warm up in Georgia, more of us will get outside, and that means we could run into snakes.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Eboni Deon talked to Jamie Nichols, a service manager for Arrow Exterminators, about why you could see more snakes in the days ahead -- and what to do about them.

"Snakes are mainly active in the 70 to 90-degree weather," Nichols said."Snakes are generally more sluggish in the below-60 range."

Nichols said that April and May are typically when snakes start to emerge, but cool temperatures have kept them at bay so far this year. But as temperatures warm up, that will change.

The most common snakes you will find in Georgia are gray or black rat snakes and king snakes, but the majority of snakes that populate metro Atlanta are not harmful. In fact, some are good.

Smaller snakes eat insects, while the larger ones take care of rodents.

Still, Nichols said you can keep them at bay with a few simple steps.

“Mae sure your vegetation in and around your house is kept at a low level,” Nichols said. “That way, things can’t hide in there. Also, eliminating food sources (helps).”

Bird feeders can draw rodents into your yard at night, which attract snakes.

“The further you can get (feeders) away from your house the better,” Nichols said. “The reason is that at night, there’s a whole different set of animals that are at your bird feeder while you’re in bed versus during the day when you’re enjoying it.”

If you see a snake in your yard, Nichols urges you to call a professional, because a lot of their markings look the same, and you just can’t be too careful.