If there's one thing we have plenty of here in Georgia, it's snakes. In fact, we have about 40 different species of snakes that we know of, and most of them can be found in and around Metro Atlanta.
Snakes are reptiles of the taxonomic suborder Serpentes. Like all reptiles, they're ectothermic animals, which means that they have little ability to regulate their body temperatures using internal heat production. They rely on external heat to keep their bodies within the temperature range needed to maintain their metabolism. They do this by moving from place to place, looking for temperatures that are neither too hot nor too cold.
What this means to us legged creatures are that snakes are often found in places where we don't expect them. Maintaining their body temperatures is such a central part of their survival that a place with exactly the temperature they're looking for is a great find for a snake -- even if it's less-than-ideal in other ways. We find snakes in kitchens, bedrooms, basements, crawl spaces, soffits, attics, garages... pretty much everywhere, actually.
Most Georgia snakes are non-venomous, but we have our share of venomous ("poisonous") snakes, too:
All the rest of our Georgia snakes are non-venomous. But because some venomous species look very similar to non-venomous snakes, you really shouldn't be messing with any snake unless you're an expert at telling them apart. Call us instead. We'll sort them out for you.
One more thing we want to mention here, because some folks ask about it, is that there's no need to worry about "orphaned" snakes starving if their parents are removed. Snakes are self-sufficient and fend for themselves from the day they hatch. Laying her eggs in an appropriate spot fulfills a snake's maternal responsibilities.
A lot of people hate snakes, and a lot more are afraid of even the harmless species, so let's spend a few moments talking about some of the good things about snakes.
The first thing we should mention is that pretty much all snakes are beneficial, mainly because practically everything that they eat is something that we humans consider a pest. All snakes are carnivorous, and most of the ones we find around Atlanta preferentially eat rodents. Without snakes, the populations of rats, mice, and other small nuisance wildlife would skyrocket.
Other snakes, like the common garter snake, prefer smaller prey. They'll eat small rodents like mice, but they also like insects, spiders, grubs, and other small invertebrates. This makes them at worst harmless -- and more likely beneficial -- in a vegetable garden because they help control insect and small rodent pests, but have no interest in eating the crops.
Snakes are also rather passive animals by nature. They don't attack humans or domestic animals except in self-defense. Unfortunately, that often does happen when humans or our pets or livestock animals accidentally stumble across or step the snakes.
Unfortunately, as beneficial as snakes are, there are times when they have to be removed a particular place. When this is necessary depends on the snake, the place, and the people and other animals involved.
In the case of non-venomous snakes, whether or not they need to be controlled depends on the situation. Because some snakes do eat small birds and bird eggs, for example, we certainly wouldn't want them hanging around a chicken coop. But we might welcome them in a vegetable garden (or not, depending on the person tending the garden). Some people can't stand any snakes, and they simply want them gone. That's a perfectly acceptable reason for humanely capturing and relocating a non-venomous snake.
Another time when even people who aren't afraid of snakes will usually want them removed is when they get into the house itself. Lots of folks don't mind snakes in the garden, but they draw the line at snakes in the bed.
In the case of venomous snakes, snake removal is always recommended if the snakes are in or near places where people or domestic animals live. Having copperheads or rattlers in the back yard is a lot different than having a black snake under the porch or a garter snake in the garden. The risk of someone getting bitten because they accidentally stepped on a venomous snake is much too high to take any chances on peaceful coexistence.
Snake control keeps us pretty busy, especially in the summer months. Snake-removal jobs are quite varied, ranging from simple capture-and-remove jobs, to snake-proofing entire homes. Rid-A-Critter handles snake-removal calls of all kinds, for all Georgia snake species, both venomous and non-venomous. We provide both capture-and-remove and snake-exclusion services throughout the Metro Atlanta area.
Please contact us for more information about snake control or any of our high-quality wildlife management services.
Snake Control Gallery
Here are some pictures of snakes we've met in the Greater Atlanta area, as well as some of the non-toxic, environmentally-friendly snake control and removal methods that our animal control technicians use to manage snakes. You can also click here to watch a video of Jeff removing a snake from behind the shutter of a home.