Local wildlife trapper captures three venomous snakes in one week
By Chris Fish
BREVARD - A local wildlife trapper said the rising heat is leading to more venomous snake sightings in Brevard County.
"This week, I have encountered three venomous snakes: two Eastern Diamondbacks and a Cottonmouth," said James Dean, owner of Melbourne-based AAA Wildlife Removal. "With all of the heat, the lakes are drying up, and it is displacing the snakes, just like it would alligators."
According to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Venom Response Bureau, three venomous snakes inhabit Brevard County: Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes, coral snakes and Cottonmouth/Water Moccasins.
Steven Walker, owner of Brevard's Discount Wildlife Removal, said his company handles primarily Water Moccasins, and the coral snake is something residents should specifically avoid.
"Mostly, we deal with Water Moccasins. We find them around watery areas," he said. "There is no anti-venom for coral snakes."
Mr. Dean said residents, who have snakes in their homes, should remain calm and call for help immediately.
"Anytime I get a call on a snake, I automatically assume it's a poisonous snake because you never know," he said. "When I get a call to a home, I go throughout the house until I locate the snake, and, if I can't, I put glue boards down at the last spot they were seen. Once the snakes are on the glue, the owner will call me back."
Mr. Dean warned to never get close to a snake to avoid the danger of being bitten.
"Snakes have very poor eyesight. They are basically heat sensitive and (they notice) ground vibrations. That's how they know where to strike," he said. "If you do see a snake, go in the opposite direction. If it's in your house, go ahead and call a trapper."
While he has dealt with poisonous snakes in the past, Mr. Walker said he primarily receives calls for non-poisonous snakes from residents.
"When we receive calls, people like to jump to the conclusion that they are venomous. This is usually not the case, but I would rather someone assume they are venomous than they're not," he said. "Most of the time, people don't know what they are (dealing with), but it's better to worry."
Mr. Dean said he also handles mostly non-venomous snake situations, and that there are ways of preventing snakes from entering your home.
"A lot of times, some of the snakes that get into houses are non-venomous. Usually, it's black snakes that get into your house," he said. "What people can do to deter snakes from coming into their homes is to fix where the garage door seals up at the bottom. A lot of times, that seal goes bad, and the snakes crawl underneath it. At that point, they are able to get into the main entrance of the house by going underneath."
After catching the snakes, Mr. Dean said what he does with them depends on whether or not the snakes are native to the area.
"Once I capture the snakes, I take them out and release them back into the wild," he said. "If they are not native, I have to destroy them by law."
For more information about venomous snakes in your area, contact the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Venom Response Bureau at (786) 331-5000.