Dry conditions forcing more snakes into Jacksonville-area neighborhoods

by: Danielle Avitable, Action News Jax Updated:

The lack of rain is not only causing more wildfires, it’s also bringing out more snakes.

A Jacksonville wildlife consultant told Action News Jax that they usually get about three to four calls a day, but in the past month they have been getting around 25 calls a day for snakes alone.


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"It makes me really nervous," St. Johns County resident Lauren Wolfe said.

In the past week, Wolfe said she has spotted three water moccasins near her home.

"I thought it was a branch, but I realized there were no branches in the yard and it made me think," Wolfe said.


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Brian Payne, with First Coast Wildlife Services said they find a majority of pygmy rattlesnakes and water moccasins in Nocatee, since it was built on marshland, but he said the snakes can be anywhere.

"We find them in homes. We find them under cars. We find them in any place you don't want them to be," Payne said.

And he said it’s all the new construction and wildfires that are forcing snakes to find new homes.


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"When you have wildfire instances like that and water drying up and everything dependent on water (the snake) is going to move to find it,” Payne said.

Payne said if you’re walking outside, carry a stick and make loud noises so the snakes know you’re around.

He said the death rate is low, but water moccasins can cause severe injuries and you’re only going to see more snakes in the upcoming months until it gets cold again.

If you see a snake in your area, Payne said, call an expert to remove it. The number for First Coast Wildlife Services is 904-345-1542.

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