Though they are usually harmless, snakes trigger a deep-rooted fear in most people unmatched by any other type of animal. Even other wild animals identify snakes as a special kind of threat; many species have developed warning calls reserved specifically for snake sightings. Because it is natural to experience fear when confronted by a snake, it can be difficult to suppress the fear response and act calmly but a level-headed response is the best thing you can bring to any human-snake interaction.
Despite their sinister reputation, the vast majority of snakes are harmless to anyone who isn’t a rodent or insect. Plus, they are crucial for the ecosystem, controlling pest populations such as cockroaches, rats and mice. As cities and roadways expand, snakes often show up in more populated areas as they search for vanishing habitat.
While we might appreciate the environmental role that snakes play, especially their appetite for pests, most of us still don’t want them in our homes or yards. Some species are venomous and pose a threat to people and domesticated animals.
The best way to experience snakes is from a distance by giving them a wide berth when you encounter them in the wild and taking simple precautions to discourage them from entering your home and garden.