A reptile group is releasing non-venomous snakes in the Druid Hills area in an effort to crowd out the copperheads and other poisonous snakes that are troubling residents and their pets.
Gary McKenney, who lives on Barton Woods Road, told WSB TV that he recently killed a large copperhead after his dog was bitten.
“I mean it is even scary walking up to the mailbox because the snakes like to come out on the driveway,” he told the TV station.
The community is adjacent to Fernbank Forest, giving the reptiles plenty of cover.
Neighbors arranged for Southeastern Reptile Rescue to release non-venomous snakes into their yards in hopes they will deplete the copperhead’s food source.
Jason Clark with the rescue group says many people kill the non-venomous snakes in their yard, which will boost the odds that a venomous snake moves in.
Snakes have also become more prevalent in Dunwoody, according to the city’s website, with reports of reptile sightings in yards and city parks.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division says snakes can be beneficial to areas because they eat rats, mice and other pests. Outdoor enthusiasts and gardeners may sometimes run across small ringneck, worm, red-bellied, brown, earth, and crowned snakes.
While none of these species are very large and do not bite, the city says there are several larger snake species (corn and rat snakes, as well as racers) which can be found in residential areas.
Residents should be on the lookout for snakes around piles of brush or firewood and near crawl spaces underneath homes.
If a venomous snake is in an area where it pose a danger to children or pets, consider contacting a wildlife removal specialist such as Matthew B Field at All Wildlife Control, 404-427-2515 or http://www.allwildlifecontrol.com/index.php), the city suggests.
Or contact the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division for a list of private wildlife removal specialists.