If there's one thing we have no shortage of in Georgia, that would be snakes. We have about 40 species that we know of. All except six species are non-venomous; and all of them -- including the venomous ones -- are beneficial animals. That's why there's no such thing as a "snake exterminator." We do everything we can to release all non-venomous snakes unharmed, and the venomous ones as well whenever it's possible to safely do so.
The main reason why snakes are beneficial is because all snakes are predators and meat-eaters. It's right there in the snake rule book. Better yet, their favorite foods are critters that are major pests such as mice and rats. If you have a vegetable garden, you should consider yourself right lucky if a few non-venomous snakes like black rat snakes decide to move in. They have no interest in your crops and will leave them alone; but their mere presence will help keep mice, rats, chipmunks, and other rodents who do eat and destroy crops away.
Organic gardeners in particular are happy to have snakes in their gardens, along with skunks, who are another less-than-popular animal to most folks. The snakes help keep the rodents at bay and the skunks eat destructive insects and grubs.
In short, most snakes are harmless and all are beneficial. If non-venomous snakes are living outside your home and not bothering anyone, please consider leaving them be. When you reflect on the good that they do, you may find yourself liking them -- or at least being willing to tolerate them.
Snakes in the garden eating rodents are one thing. Snakes inside your house are another. And venomous snakes anywhere near humans or domestic animals are still another.
It may seem strange, but snakes do get into homes. They're usually attracted either by warmth or food.
Like all reptiles, snakes are ectothermic animals, or what we used to call "cold-blooded." They lack the ability to internally regulate their own body temperatures. They have to do so by positioning themselves in places where they get the right amount of warmth. That's why you tend to see snakes basking in the sun on cool days., but hiding in the rocks or in the shade on scorching days. They have to keep their body temperatures within a certain range, and the only way they have to do this is to position themselves in a place where the temperature is right.
Because of this, snakes have a pretty keen temperature sense. When it gets too hot or cold for them outside, they may wander inside to find a temperature they like better. This is especially true for places like crawl spaces or under porches or steps. Snakes commonly slither into those kind of places to regulate their temperatures.
Snakes also go inside to find food. If you have snakes in your home, especially on the upper floors, it's very likely that you have a problem with mice, rats, squirrels, flying squirrels, or bats. The snakes are attracted by the food; and if the temperature is right, they may just stay there. An attic with a window that lets in sun to bask in, and a steady supply of rodents and bats to eat, might just be a dream come true for a snake.
More commonly, however, snakes travel into the home to eat, and then go back to their usual living places. They just slither their way back and forth through the wall and ceiling voids. Once in a while they make a wrong turn and get into a living area, which generally causes quite a fright for both the snake and the people living in the house.
So as much as we love snakes, we understand if you don't want them getting into your home. We don't, either. We don't like them that much.
Venomous snakes are another case when snakes need to be removed. Most of Georgia's snakes are harmless, but we have six species whose venom could possibly kill a person or a domestic animal:
These snakes can't be tolerated around homes, businesses, animal farms, schools, recreation areas, or campsites. They're not vicious animals: They won't bite unless you practically step on them. But people, pets, and livestock do in fact step on them, and doing so can have fatal results. So when venomous snakes move too close to where humans or our animals live, they have to be moved.
It is our preference to remove and release even venomous snakes unharmed, by the way. But every case is decided individually. If the technician doesn't feel that he or she can safely remove the snake without endangering their own or someone else's well-being, it may be necessary to kill it. But that's not our preference, and we generally try to avoid it. We prefer releasing all snakes unharmed in safe, appropriate surroundings.
Our snake-control services aren't very different than any of the other services we offer. We trap and remove the snake, and if necessary, we seal up the house or building to keep snakes out. Whether the sealing is needed depends on whether the snakes are getting into the building. If you have a rattlesnake sunning itself of your pool deck, but it isn't getting into a building, then all that's necessary is to catch and remove the snake. We won't try to sell you anything that you don't need.
If you have unwelcome snakes in your home or on your property, please contact us for more information about our snake-removal services. We look forward to hearing from you.
Snake Control Gallery
Here are some pictures of snake control work we've done in the Augusta area. You can also click here to watch a video of Jeff removing a snake from behind the shutter of a home, or here for a video of Dean preaching to a snake. Can I get an amen?
King snake attacking a rat snake
Baby copperhead snake in a rain down spout
King snake removal by one of our technicians
Snake skin in the attic of a house in Augusta
Augusta snake removal job
Rattlesnake removed from a house in Martinez
Jason with a mighty snake. Don't try this at home!
Close-up of a copperhead snake's head
Snake attracted by bats to a house in Hephzibah
Rubber snake that customer thought was real
Snake in the gutter of a house in Evans, GA
Rattlesnake removed from an Augusta home
Eastern coral snake, one of our venomous snakes
Rat snake removed from a house in Augusta