Recent flooding pushes Copperhead snakes into new areas, experts warn

PARKVILLE, Mo. -- It’s not unusual to see snakes on the move during the spring and summer months.

But experts say the recent flooding is sending some snakes, even venomous ones, into places where people don’t usually see them.

“We’ve seen increases in both snake and rodent activity,” said Chase Beran with the Wildlife Command Center. “Many of our customers report seeing snakes for the first time since living in their home.”

One of those encounters happened in Parkville last week when a homeowner spotted a venomous Copperhead snake in their yard.

“They had two children and they had a dog, so obviously that’s a concern,” said Stephen Painter, the owner of Catch-It Wildlife & Pest Control.

Painter said it’s the first Copperhead he’s dealt with in Parkville in 31 years.

Painter removed the Copperhead using a set of tongs without incident and relocated it miles away.

“They’re to be respected,” Painter said. “They’re a poisonous venomous viper. They’re a poisonous snake.”

In 2014, a St. Louis-area man died after a Copperhead bite in a state park. The man attempted to pick up the snake before the lethal bite.

Experts say snakes are generally afraid of people and will move away when you give them space. But if you suspect a potentially venomous snake is on your property, don’t risk it; call in the professionals.

“It’s just not a good practice to go around picking up snakes,” Painter said. “It’s not a healthy decision.”

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