What to know about snake season

Mallory Maher with Oconee County 4H Youth Development provides tips to stay safe this snake season.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:19 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - As the temperature warms up, snakes will soon be spotted across the Upstate.

FOX Carolina spoke with Mallory Maher with Clemson University’s Oconee County 4H Youth Development to learn how South Carolinians can stay safe this snake season.

How to tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes?

Maher says venomous snakes have a short stocky body, triangular head and cat-like eyes, while non-venomous snakes have a long, slender body, narrow shaped head and normal eyes like humans.

There are 38 species of snakes that live in South Carolina, but Maher said you are most likely to come in contact with them when you are gardening.

“So, the biggest thing that I always tell people is to remove their habitat,” said Maher. “So by creating kind of like wood piles and brush piles that is attracting things like rodents and insects, which are the snakes food source, they [snakes] are more likely to come into that area.”

What to do if you are bitten by a snake?

The first thing Maher suggests is to take a photo of the snake and identify it, but it is also important to be mindful of where you are stepping to avoid disturbing any snakes.

“They don’t want to bother you,” said Maher. They have all these things like camouflage and rattlesnakes have a rattle to warn you to stay away.”