Well, I never thought I would get back to writing my column. Snake season has literally blown up. I have not been this busy since I don't know when. But, I have some exciting news. After ten years, I finally have opened up my snake trapping company. Literally a lot of sweat and sacrifice went into it, and a big thank you to the snakes helping make this happen.
This snake season, I have taken on a lot more Blacksnake and Copperhead calls. I thought I would alert you to why you may be seeing more activity this year. I have been receiving so many calls about this snake from people who have never had a snake on their property for years.
We have had a very unusual spring with temperatures being up and down along with quite a bit of rain. Blacksnakes are very active from their time of emerging from hibernation. They are very active in the day up until the end of June and than mainly only surfacing at night from June until September due to the heat of summer.
Right now, it is mating season. They always mate from April to June but their natural behavior has been limited due to the cool temperatures. Now that it is warmer, you will usually have one large female and perhaps two to four males competing to mate with her in a frenzy. It does not mean you have a nest of snakes. It just means when you see this many in one location it is due to their mating pattern.
As for the copperheads, the cicadas have emerged and this is a true delicacy food item for them. Also, their mating pattern has been interupted due to the uncontrolled climate. You may see one large female and one male together. The copperhead mates from spring to fall and its young are born anywhere from August to early October.
Black rat snakes lay eggs. Babies usually hatch from August to October. You need to be very observant when working in your yard if you are prone to having snake issues, especially since there seems to be more activity than usual this year.
If snakes just will not leave your property, do some online research yourself or call a professional to assist you. Black rat snakes can bite so make sure you are up to date on your tenus shot.
As for copperheads, if you are bitten, it is very rare that the bite is fatal. It is a myth that young venomous snakes have no control over their venom. Copperheads are among the weaker of the venomous snakes. They may put out 70 milligrams of venom compared to 100 milligrams from other venomous species. Copperheads are more dangerous in a nest situation than if they are alone.
Make sure to go to the hospital if you are bitten by a copperhead or a timber rattlesnake. Everyone is different in their reaction so always be alert and keep safe.
I hope all of you have a very safe summer and that you can get out an enjoy nature and all it's beauty. Please never hesitate to email me with any questions you may have.
*I would like to dedicate this column to The Montgomery County Animal Control Police and Frederick County Animal Control. I would not be where I am today without your help. Thank you.
*Tammy McCormack writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.