Nocatee residents on alert for active venomous snake season

Nocatee resident Nan Renaud likes to take her dog Missy on walks around the sprawling St. Johns County development, and this time of year, she is looking out for snakes.

“The snakes start coming out,” Renaud said. “Little ones, big ones … and you just have to be cautious, especially with children and pets.”

Action News Jax went out with Ryan Boyd, who does wildlife removal for Quick Catch. He says this time of year is when he gets more calls to remove snakes. Active snake months are from March to November in this area.

A St. Johns County mother, Meaghan Banach, nearly died in 2015 when she was bitten twice by a water moccasin. She needed more than 30 vials of anti-venom. Minor to moderate bites will take a maximum of 18 vials but the more severe the bite, the more anti-venom is given.

“It was very painful. I had natural labor with my daughter and it was worse than that,” Banach said. “We just have to be more careful with what we are doing and more aware. I wish I would've been more aware that [being bitten] was a possibility.”

Boyd says there are 50 different snake species in Florida, and six of them are venomous. Some of the venomous ones can be found right in Nocatee.

“Some of the species of snakes people need to worry about are the water moccasin, pigmy rattlesnakes  and diamondback rattlesnakes,” Boyd said.

Renaud says she saw a pigmy rattlesnake near her home.

“They can blend right in,” Renaud said. “You just have to be cautious.”

Boyd advise that if you’re not sure what type of snake is near your home, call a wildlife removal expert so they can be captured safely and released in a designated wooded area.

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