That’s an interesting question. Frankly, the answer is that it depends.

There are 46 species of native snakes in Florida, and 45 of them can be found in our area. Of that number, there are several venomous species in our state – cottonmouth/water moccasins, coral snake, copperhead, pygmy rattlesnake and timber or canebrake rattlesnake. And, unfortunately, they can all be found in Gainesville.

On the other hand, many of the other species play a role in our natural ecosystem. As predators, they help control rodent population, and, as we know, rodents can spread disease to us. Snakes also serve as prey to other animals, such as birds, mammals, alligators and other snakes.

Most snakes are only dangerous if provoked. But they can cause problems especially if you have young children or pets. And while finding a non-venomous snake in your yard may not be the worst thing in terms of health and safety, it is a little unnerving.

Snakes are usually found in your lawn, garden or around your pool if you have one. They can also find places to nest or ambush prey in your attic or crawl space. And if you do have a rodent problem, snakes will find them.

In Florida, they are most commonly seen during warmer months – generally from April to October.

Unlike other nuisance wildlife, it is unlikely they will cause structural damage in your home.

So, while there may be some good reasons for them to be present around your home, do you really want them?

In all likelihood, the answer to that question is no. this is especially true if you are not familiar with different species of snakes. You may not know if you are looking at a venomous or non-venomous variety.

There are guides available from organizations like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the Florida Museum, but, in most cases, the best thing for you to do is stay away and call in an expert. Superior Wildlife Services can come out and solve your snake problem. Just give us a call.

So, the best answer to snakes; friend or foe is, they all serve a purpose. It’s just whether you want them around or not.