PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida - A Bay area wildlife expert is reminding everyone that all the wet weather we've had, coupled with the heat, means more critters will be out and about.
It's one of the reasons a little boy had a close call with a snake over the weekend. An eastern diamondback rattle snake nicked the boy while he was playing in the front yard of a Clearwater Beach home. He and his family are visiting from out of the country.
The nearly two-foot snake, however did not penetrate deep into the boy's skin, and did not inject any venom into him.
Vernon Yates, with the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Shelter in Seminole, captured the snake. He says the little boy is extremely lucky. He also adds that now is the time people will be seeing more snakes and critters because of all the rain we've had recently. The creatures start looking for higher and drier land when the ground gets too saturated.
Some of the most common snakes seen are baby black snakes, which are not poisonous, and pygmy rattlers, which are poisonous.
Yates suggests if you want to try to keep the critters away, keep your lawns mowed and free of shrubs and debris. A household pet, he says, also helps keep snakes at bay.
Yates adds, if you do happen to come across a snake, it will most likely not be a poisonous one. But if you're unsure, call a professional or law enforcement.
As for the captured eastern diamondback, Yates says that he will release it back into the wild on private property.