Dealing With Snake Emergencies

Help! I Just Saw A Snake! If you have a snake actually inside your house, or trapped and cornered somewhere on your property, this is the time to call a snake handling professional to safely remove the animal. If you have the snake trapped or caught, or you know exactly where it is and it cannot escape, click here for a list of direct phone numbers of people who are willing to come and pick up the snake without charging you money. Remember, don't kill the snake, or we can't help you. If the snake is injured we will try to get it to a wildlife veterinarian.

If you don't already have the snake trapped or cornered, or if the snake is no longer in sight, you will need a professional field herper from Snake Removal to do a property sweep. Click on Snake Removal if you can no longer see the snake and you don't know where it might have crawled off to, or call 1-800-339-9470. In this situation, call Snake Removal, do not call Snake Getters. They can do property sweeps for "lost snakes", or snakes you don't know the exact location of, and we cannot do this. Snake Removal is a professional service and does cost money.

Was That Snake Dangerous? For some help identifying the four basic types of venomous snake found in North America, read this article: Beware of Snake: Knowing for sure which ones are dangerous. Keep in mind that most snakes are harmless to humans. Some kinds of snakes are docile and rarely bite even if picked up, but some will hiss, strike, puff up, spray foul smelling musk or even play dead in order to defend themselves against big, scary predators - like humans, for instance. Four kinds of snakes in the United States are dangerous to humans - rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads and coral snakes. Here are some photos of these venomous snakes.

Central Florida has four species of venomous snakes - cottonmouths, coral snakes, pygmy rattlesnakes and Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. Copperheads and canebrake (timber) rattlers only occur at the extreme North end of the state.

I Caught It! If you have a snake trapped or cornered where it cannot get away, now is the time to call Snake Getters and ask for a volunteer to come and pick the animal up. Click here for a list of volunteers' phone numbers to call for emergency snake pickups. We will treat the snakes in a humane manner, placing them in good homes either with qualified individuals or with zoos and other educational or research facilities.

I Keep Seeing Snakes! If you have a recurring snake problem, maybe we can help by hooking you up to some avid snake collectors from your local herpetological society. You give permission for them to collect on your land, and they remove the snakes so that you don't have to see them again. Click here to request a visit from snake collectors.

I See A Snake! What Do I Do? Don't worry too much. Most snakes are harmless and beneficial to humans. Nonvenomous or harmless snake species outnumber venomous (poisonous) snakes by more than 10 to 1 in Florida, and the ratio is even larger elsewhere in the United States. Even venomous snakes do not have any desire to hurt you, and you can safely walk away from them. Click here for information about snake safety training for professionals.

To learn more about what to do if you see a snake, read this article.

Keep in mind that most of the snakes you will see are not harmful and can simply be left alone unless you are very afraid of snakes and want them removed. However, if you remove that king snake or black racer or indigo snake from your backyard, you actually increase your chances of a venomous snake moving in. Those snakes (and some others) eat venomous snakes, and you are lucky indeed to have one of these scaly guardians living on your property.

Some Snakes Are Dangerous It is a very bad idea to approach or attack a venomous snake. From 60% to 80% of all venomous snakebites happen because someone tried to kill or catch a venomous snake. Zero percent of bites happen when the person moves away from the snake and leaves it alone. The smartest thing to do is to move away from a venomous snake, or from any snake you cannot identify. It is illegal to kill some types of snakes, as well as dangerous. You should simply move away and phone a qualified snake handler to remove the animal.

But I Need To Move This Snake NOW! If you feel you absolutely must remove or contain the snake right now, click here to learn some safer snake removal techniques. Remember, we do not recommend that you approach or handle venomous or unknown snakes by yourself without the help of an expert.

Leave your comments or questions in the Snake Getters guest book.


Return to the Snake Getters Home Page