RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Warmer weather not only draws out more people but more snakes, too. That means there could be an increase in interactions between humans and snakes over the coming months.

If you see a snake crossing a trail or road, experts want you to give the reptiles plenty of room to move away from you.

However, there are two snakes wildlife diversity biologists at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission want you to report if you spot them: a rattlesnake or the threatened pine snake.

Biologists want to know more about where northern pine snakes are calling home. According to the commission, pine snakes are:

Pine Snake (Credit: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)
  • Non-venomous
  • Range between 4 and 5 feet long, but can get as large as 7½ feet
  • Have a white or tan background color with dark brown or black markings
  • Markings begin as solid coloring or messy blotches near the head before becoming distinct saddle-like blotches toward the tail

Pine snakes are mostly found in the sandhills and the southern coastal plain. They have also been confirmed in Cherokee and Swain counties. The Wildlife Commission said they are often found in open areas within pine-oak forests with well-drained, sandy soil.

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“It’s difficult to conserve a species when we don’t even know all the places it occurs. Assistance from citizens in recording and documenting the pine snake will be a huge help. Websites like HerpsofNC.org are great for helping people to identify snake species,” said Gabrielle Graeter, conservation biologist with the Wildlife Commission.

North Carolina ranks high in the number of snake bites each year, Nexstar’s WGHP reports. But there are 38 types of non-venomous snake. An app made in North Carolina — Snake Snap — can help you tell them apart from the venomous ones. This information is also available at the Snake Snap website.

What to do if you see a pine snake

If you spot a pine snake, send an email to pinesnake@ncwildlife.org and include the following:

  • A photo
  • Date and time
  • Location (GPS coordinates preferred)

You can also download the HerpMapper mobile app to document your observations electronically.

What to do if you see a rattlesnake

Of the state’s six venomous snake species, three are rattlesnakes — the timber, the pigmy and the Eastern diamondback. They are protected by the North Carolina Endangered Species Act because of their declining numbers. NCWRC said their persecution by humans and habitat destruction are the main culprits.

rattlesnake_142063
(Credit: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)

If you see a rattlesnake, send an email to rattlesnake@ncwildlife.org and include the following:

  • A photo
  • Date and time
  • Location (GPS coordinates preferred)

If you see any snake in your yard and want it removed, you can gently spray it with a garden hose to lead it elsewhere.

Looking to give snakes fewer places to hide around the home? Experts advise cleaning up clutter, like stick and rock piles. You can also keep your lawn mowed, close gaps and holes in your siding and foundation, and seal openings under doors, windows and around water pipes.