If your property hosts a body of water, there is a chance you, a family member or a guest will come across a snake during an outing. Although a only small percentage of snakes in the U.S. are poisonous, and significantly few people die annually from snakebites, any encounter can be potentially dangerous. Since you may not be certain that the snake you spot is nonvenomous, you should take the following precautions if you come across a legless reptile while approaching a pond or lake.
Get Photo Evidence
When you spot a snake, it is important to identify the species. Without getting too close, pull out your phone and take as many pictures as you can before it glides away. As soon as you get home, write down identifying features such as colors, skin patterns and head shape. You can use the images and notes to look up information on trusted websites or when you talk to authorities.
Consult an Expert
Show your descriptions and pictures to an authoritative source who can give you a clear picture of what snakes live in your area. A pond management service can not only help with your identification but also outline a holistic approach for dealing with your water guest. The team can provide context for the snake’s presence and services for managing or removing it as necessary.
Secure the Area
Unless you are sure that the snake is harmless, your next step is to secure the area. If you are not certain, keep pets and children away. Post signs cautioning visitors. Note that if you came across one snake, you can certainly find more, including species other than the one you spotted.
Take Other Precautions
If you are reasonably sure the snake is venomous according to personal and expert identification, do not go in the area until you have had the snake removed and the area checked for other snakes. If you must go near the lake or pond, wear high boots and thick pants. In fact, take this precaution any time you are walking in a wild area with high grass.
Snakes are natural and necessary members of wild ecosystems; they are important for controlling pests. It is only when a venomous snake inhabits your living or recreation area, such as a golf-course lake or a backyard pond, that you need to be concerned. By taking precautions and enlisting the aid of experts, you can safely manage a poisonous snake and enjoy sharing the story with friends.