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News Filed Under Snakes

A coiled copperhead snake looks at the camera.
April 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Snakes

If you like to enjoy the great outdoors during spring and summer, you are not alone.

Whether you’re out hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, or working in your backyard, you’ll likely come across many types of wildlife, including snakes. Just the thought of a snake can cause many people to shudder with fear. But learning about the kinds of snakes you may encounter in your area and how they behave can help you avoid a dangerous encounter.

Copperheads, such as this one, are among the most common venomous snakes in Mississippi. (Photo courtesy of Robert Lewis)
June 24, 2016 - Filed Under: Snakes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi residents are not alone in their appreciation of hiking trails and water activities during the hot days of summer. Wildlife, including snakes, are right there with them.

As outdoor recreation picks up, so does water recreation. Where there is water, there will be snakes. There are all different kinds of snakes people encounter in Mississippi. Some are potentially dangerous and others are completely harmless.

Contrary to popular belief, handling toads does not cause warts. (Photo courtesy of Evan O'Donnell)
August 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Snakes, Urban and Backyard Wildlife
By Dr. Leslie M. Burger
Assistant Extension Professor
FWRC-Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Myths abound in every culture. Stories of fairies, snow monsters and mermaids are great entertainment, but it is important to be able to separate fact from fiction.

In Mississippi, most venomous snakes, such as this copperhead, have a triangular-shaped head with vertical, cat-like pupils in their eyes. The only exception is the coral snake. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Hannah)
April 24, 2015 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Warmer weather means wild creatures of all shapes and sizes are on the move, which makes it a whole lot more likely you will encounter a snake during the spring or summer.

Adult venomous snakes, like this copperhead, will use camouflage or run away to avoid conflict, rather than strike first. (Photo from iStock.)
October 3, 2014 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

“The only good snake is a dead snake” is an attitude probably triggered by common myths about snakes.

Snake myths are found in cultures around the globe, giving evidence of the troubled relationship between people and these reptiles. People are often afraid when they do not need to be. There are more snake myths than one article can cover, but let’s expose a few of the more common ones to the truth.

Myth: Rattlesnakes always give a warning rattle before they strike.

Most snakes in Mississippi, such as this ringneck snake, are nonvenomous and help control rodent and other nuisance wildlife populations. (Photo by iStockphoto)
May 30, 2014 - Filed Under: Environment, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Urban and Backyard Wildlife, Snakes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite most people’s fears, snakes are an important part of our natural world and are also helpful to us in many ways.

All snakes are predators, meaning they feed on other animals. Snakes kill and eat rats, mice, moles, insects and other pests that can damage crops and property or spread disease. Because snakes can get into places that other predators cannot or will not go, they can capture rodents that threaten livestock feed or farming equipment and supplies.

Mississippi is home to 35 species of non-venomous snakes, such as this black racer, which benefit the home landscape by keeping rodent populations in check. (Photo courtesy of Robert Lewis)
April 17, 2013 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi is home to a wide variety of creatures, and warmer spring temperatures bring many of them -- including snakes -- out into the sun.

“We have 35 species of nonvenomous snakes and just 6 species of venomous snakes,” said Adam Tullos, who specializes in wildlife management with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We also have snakes that are protected and endangered. Snakes benefit people by keeping insect, reptile and small mammal populations under control.”

June 17, 2010 - Filed Under: Pets, Snakes

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many pet dogs encounter venomous snakes during the hot summer months, but tragic consequences can be avoided when owners know what to do when their dogs get bitten.

“More dogs and snakes are out in warmer summer months, creating a situation where they will encounter each other,” said Dr. Kari Lunsford, assistant professor with Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “Dogs, curious by nature, agitate snakes and can end up getting bitten.”

September 1, 2005 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High waters from Hurricane Katrina will drive snakes, rodents and fire ants into areas they may not venture normally, such as homes and storage buildings.

Bill Maily, area wildlife agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said any time a building has been flooded, people should enter it with extra caution.

September 17, 2004 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- High waters from hurricanes and floods will drive snakes and rodents into areas they may not venture normally, such as homes and storage buildings.

Bill Maily, area wildlife agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said anytime a building has been flooded, people should enter it with extra caution.

July 17, 2000 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Snakes

By Crystel Bailey

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippians enjoy telling about close encounters with most wildlife species, but snakes are usually a different story.

Summertime activities place people outdoors during a time when snakes are more active. Awareness of potential snake habitats and cleaning up those areas may be the best bets for avoiding an unwanted encounter.

"Snakes are seen more frequently when mating, in spring, early summer months and then fall," said Dean Stewart, wildlife specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.