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How, when to deal with snakes around your home

KNOXVILLE. Tenn. (WATE) - Gary Bauer with Orkin says having a snake around your yard isn't necessarily bad. 

"That's really a personal choice matter," said Bauer. "Snakes are of a great purpose in that they tend to eat a lot of rodents, they take care of frogs, salamanders, lizards, mice, sometimes even small birds." 

There are several kinds of snakes in East Tennessee. The ones you're most likely to see are king snakes, rat snakes, garter snakes and brown snakes, all of which are not venomous. Snakes that are venomous are copperheads, water moccasins or cotton mouths and rattlesnakes. 

"The three predominant poisonous snakes can be identified by a wider than normal head, they have elliptical pupils and they have a pit between their nostril and their eye," said Bauer. "Outside of their head size, you have to be fairly close and personal to identify that."

Bauer says if you are not a fan of having snakes around you have to make sure you aren't providing them with a comfortable home.

Related storyHuge rattlesnake found in backyard of Middle Tennessee home

"Rock piles, piles of firewood and such, places snakes might decide to call home, you can remove those and keep your lawn mowed around your house that will help reduce the harborage," said Bauer. 

He says it also important to keep rodents away from the home. 

"Until they get those rodents under control removing the snake that's there just opens it up for a new one to move in," said Bauer. 

Bauer says if you come across a snake and you aren't sure what it is, don't mess with it.

"The best thing to do is back away and call a professional," said Bauer. 

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