'The Snake Chaser' seeing high volume of calls in Grand Strand

It's that time of year again. Snakes are being spotted around South Carolina and some run-ins with these reptiles have ended with people hurt.

The Palmetto Poison Center says they've had 36 reports of snake bites so far this year with three just in the last couple of days.

Russell Cavender, known in the Grand Strand as "The Snake Chaser", says he's been busy responding to around 25 calls per day about snakes. On Tuesday alone, he responded to thirteen calls and caught six snakes around people's homes.

Cavander says snakes are most active when the weather gets warm and they begin mating—April and May typically being peak season.

The most common venomous snakes being seen in the Grand Strand are copperheads and cottonmouth snakes. He says as far as telling which snakes are venomous or non-venomous---the best thing you can do is not try to identify it and leave it alone.

"There's no such thing as an aggressive snake. A snake is defensive. A snake will not intentionally bite anything unless it has the intention to eat it. But a snake will bite you if you try to kill it, if you step on it. Even if you get really close, it's not likely to get bitten but the closer you get the more it feels like it needs to defend itself. And it will," said Cavander.

When it comes to protecting your home, there are things you can do to help keep snakes away.

"The best thing you can do is have a clean yard. Try to keep your bushes trimmed, keep any trash and debris out of your yard. No wood piles if you can avoid it," he said.

The Palmetto Poison Center says it's also anticipating a high call volume this year, right on track with the last two years where the center saw roughly 200 snake bite-related calls.

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