Snakes are a natural and integral component of the ecosystem. As predators, they are invaluable for their role in maintaining the balance of nature by helping to keep populations of their prey in check. Their prey consists of everything from earthworms to rabbits, and this includes other snakes. Snakes are especially important in the control of rodents. Bull snakes can be a farmer's best friend.
What do I do if I see a snake?
First - DO NOT PANIC! Snakes serve a valuable function in the environment. Snakes do not prey on humans and they will not chase you, in fact, they usually retreat or escape if given the opportunity. The danger comes when they are either surprised or cornered. The majority of bites result from people taking unnecessary or foolish risks with venomous snakes. Freeze when snakes are known to be nearby until you know where they are. Allow the snake to retreat. If you must move, back slowly and carefully away from the snake.
Do not play around with a dead snake, they have been known to bite and inject venom because of muscle contractions. Snakes like tall grass. Be careful when stepping over fallen logs and rock outcroppings and take care along creek banks and underbrush. Animal burrows make excellent habitat for snakes-don't reach in without first checking.
What if I have a snake on my property?
If you find a snake in your yard and/or home call your local Animal Control at (281) 291.5644, we are capable of removing the snake and identifying the snake for you.
If you are bitten by a snake call 911 and be sure to describe the snake to the operator and medical personnel.
How can I identify whether a snake is dangerous or not?
Only a small number of snakes have venom. Unfortunately, there is no one simple hard and fast criterion a person can use to tell a venomous snake from a harmless one. None of the popular criteria such as a broad, triangular head, a heavy body, cat's eyes (vertical pupils), a flat body, or rough scales is safe since both harmless and dangerous snakes are known to share some or all of these traits. The only unfailing method is an examination of the snake hollow of grooved fangs and venom glands. There are several ways to identify snakes, one being keeping a copy of a Field Guide to Texas Snakes, which is a book that can be purchased on sites such as Amazon.
Rattlesnakes, Coral snakes, Copperheads are examples of venomous snakes common to Texas. Coral snakes do not have cat-eye's. They are the only venomous snake in Texas that is brightly colored red, yellow, and black bands completely encircling the body. A good memory-jogging device to learn is "Red next to black is O.K. for Jack; red next to yellow will kill a fellow." Copperheads are venomous and can be prevalent in wooded suburban neighborhoods.
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Texas Parks and Wildlife offer a varsity of information their website about snakes. We encourage you to check out this use Snake FAQ provided by TPWD. If you have any questions about snakes we encourage you to contact our local TPWD office by calling (281) 842-8100.