Illinois Residents: Prepare for a Slithery Surprise
Illinois residents have been warned to be on the lookout for an unexpected visitor: water snakes. Reports of sightings of these aquatic reptiles have been on the rise in recent years, and experts are warning that they could become a nuisance if not properly managed.
What Are Water Snakes?
Water snakes are a type of non-venomous snake that live in or near bodies of water. They can be found in lakes, rivers, ponds, and other aquatic habitats. They are typically dark brown or black in color with distinctive markings on their backs and sides. Water snakes can grow up to four feet long and can weigh up to five pounds.
Why Are Water Snakes Becoming More Common?
The increase in water snake sightings is likely due to a combination of factors. One is the increasing availability of food sources such as fish, frogs, and other small animals that live near bodies of water. Another factor is the increasing number of people living near bodies of water who may be providing food sources for the snakes. Finally, climate change has caused temperatures to rise in Illinois, making it more hospitable for these reptiles to thrive.
Are Water Snakes Dangerous?
Water snakes are generally not considered dangerous animals; however, they can bite if provoked or threatened. It is important to remember that they are wild animals and should be treated with respect and caution when encountered in the wild. Additionally, it is important to note that some species of water snake may carry diseases such as salmonella or rabies which can be transmitted to humans if bitten or scratched by one of these reptiles.
What Should I Do If I See a Water Snake?
If you encounter a water snake in the wild, it is best to leave it alone and give it plenty of space. Do not attempt to touch or handle the snake as this could provoke an attack from the animal. If you must remove the snake from your property, contact your local wildlife management agency for assistance with relocation efforts.
How Can I Prevent Water Snakes From Becoming A Nuisance?
The best way to prevent water snakes from becoming a nuisance is by taking steps to make your property less attractive to them. This includes removing any potential food sources such as bird feeders or pet food dishes that may attract them as well as keeping your yard free from debris where they could hide or take shelter from predators. Additionally, installing fencing around your property can help keep them out while also providing protection for pets and children who may come into contact with them while playing outdoors.
In conclusion, Illinois residents should be aware that sightings of water snakes have been on the rise recently due to an increase in available food sources and warmer temperatures caused by climate change. While these reptiles are generally not considered dangerous animals, it is important to remember that they should be treated with respect when encountered in the wild and steps should be taken to make your property less attractive so as not to attract them onto your land unnecessarily