SUMMIT HILL, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The warm summer months impact many things, including snakes. The reptiles are more active this time of year in their natural habitats.
If you should come across a snake on a hike or in your backyard, naturalists say there’s little to no fear if basic precautions are applied before and during an encounter.
“I always tell people be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to where you are, think about habitat needs of an animal,” said naturalist Jeannie Carl.
Of the 21 snake species in Pennsylvania, most people encounter harmless snakes.
“We only have three that are a concern here in Pennsylvania. We have two rattle snakes and the Copperhead,” said Carl.
Naturalists like Jeannie Carl at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center teach the do’s and don’ts when it comes to snakes. The most basic of which is to just leave the snakes alone.
“Give it an out. Back up, leave it alone. Don’t throw rocks at it, don’t try to pick it up and take a selfie, and just leave it alone,” said Carl.
She says snakes are typically not aggressive and will typically escape an area if they hear someone approaching.
Another critter to watch out for this summer—ticks! And the best way to avoid them is…
“Stay out of the waist-high grasses and weeds,” said Carl.
Being knowledgeable about ticks is also important.
“Just know that they’re out there. They are trying to eke out a living like everything else, finding a host, finding food,” said Carl.
After being outdoors, change your clothes, throw them in the wash and do a thorough tick check.
“Because they like those places where our skin folds.”
Hikers in Carbon County Wednesday said they are aware they could come across snakes and ticks during their visit.
“In the woods, in my backyard, anywhere,” said Amy from Saylorsburg.
“I let my parents know if I see snakes or ticks and usually we deal with it right away,” said Maxx Wolshuck, a hiker. “We kind of investigate what kind of snake it is or what kind of tick it is so we know more about what it is.”
“It’s terrible. I don’t like them. I spray myself with tick medicine,” said Amy.
Naturalists say just be aware of your surroundings and if you are going to use bug spray for ticks, do it on your clothes rather than your skin.