If you encounter a black snake in Virginia, it’s most likely one of three snakes: The Northern black racer, the Eastern ratsnake, and the black Eastern hognose. All three are non-venomous, harmless and native to Virginia.
Timber rattlesnakes are common only in the southwestern mountainous regions of western Virginia and a small area of extreme southeastern Virginia where they are known as canebrake rattlesnakes; they are a state endangered species.
Rattlesnakes are venomous. If you’re bitten by one it can be dangerous, but it’s very rarely fatal if treated within the first 6 hours, ideally the first hour with antivenom treatment from your local hospital. The venom from the majority of rattlesnake bites will damage tissue and affect your circulatory system by destroying skin tissues and blood cells and by causing you to hemorrhage internally. If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, seek medical attention at once.
- Clear animals and young children from the area. Regardless of whether or not the snake is a present risk, you’ll want to make sure to reduce any and all potential dangers.
- Resist the urge to attack the snake with a broom or stick. A snake won’t attack you unless it feels threatened by you. All snakes, venomous or otherwise, will not pursue a human being unless provoked
- Keep a safe distance from the snake, but keep an eye on where it’s located.
- Try to determine whether or not it is venomous. Qualities of venomous snakes are fat bodies, large fangs, and slit-like eyes. You’ll also want to keep your eyes out for the iconic rattling tail.
- Call your local wildlife removal or snake removal specialist for help!
- Prevent further risks of snakes entering your home by have snake exclusions performed on your home
The amount of venom in a snake’s venom gland (measured as the amount extracted by milking) increases exponentially with the size of the snake and can range from 1 – 850mg (or more). In a study comparing snake venoms, researchers milked the largest amount of venom from an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)–more than from any other species they studied.
Fewer than one in 37,500 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. each year (7-8,000 bites per year), and only one in 50 million people will die from snakebite (5-6 fatalities per year).
Snakes often occur in the vicinity of suburban and urban residential areas. They can even show up occasionally in your backyard. If the presence of snakes is deemed undesirable, removing their shelter is one of the most effective ways of discouraging them. Eliminating rock piles, brush piles, and areas of tall grass will cause snakes to seek a more suitable habitat. Store lumber, wood piles, and other debris around the home at least 18 inches off the ground. Controlling insect and rodent populations in the area will also help to discourage snakes by eliminating their food supply.
Snakes are most often found in basements or crawl space areas but they have been known to make their way into living areas as well. You can search the following areas for snakes:
- Under and behind appliances
- In rafters
- On wall ledges
- Near door or window frames
- In or around stored boxes
- In or around clothing piles
- Near water pipes
- Near heat sources
- In confined, dark spaces
- Call an ambulance immediately. You should treat any snakebite as an emergency, regardless of whether you think the snake was venomous or not.
- Don’t panic and don’t move.
- Leave the snake alone.
- Apply a pressure immobilization bandage and splint.
- Don’t wash, suck, cut, or tourniquet the bite.
Removing a snake from a house usually averages $300 to $400, with the average homeowner paying around $350 to remove a non-venomous snake that takes two to three hours to catch.
Snake Removal Costs, Snake Pest Control:
The national average cost $350
Average range $300-$400
Minimum cost $150
Maximum cost $600
If you have an encounter with a snake, give it the right-of-way. Do not attempt to trap, kill, or remove the snake, just move out of the snake’s way.