A non-venomous yellow bellied water snake is probably the last thing you want to find in your closet. The Joseph family found one last weekend in their Sugar Land home.
Nuja Joseph said, "My husband went and looked at it and he ran back. He said, 'Oh my God! It's a big snake, it's long.'"
The Josephs aren't alone. Snake removal specialists like Clint Pustejovsky of Texas Snakes are getting dozens of calls from panicked homeowners from all over the Houston area. Not only is it snake mating season, he says, there's a drought.
Pustejovsky explained, "What is happening the snakes are just being drawn to any place there is water."
We met Pustejovsky at Barker Reservoir, where he releases some of the snakes he removes from homes. Only six species in southeast Texas are poisonous, he says, and 47 species are not. What snakes homeowners stumble across are most likely non-venomous, like the eastern hognose.
But some non-venomous snakes are aggressive, like a diamondback water snake, so Pustejovsky recommends calling expert snake removal anyway.
He said, "The number one way people are bit by snakes is by handling them, messing with them, catching them or killing them. This is not something the average person should be doing."
That's advice the Joseph family was more than happy to take last weekend.
Pustejovsky recommends sprinkling cedar granules in your garden and around the outside of your house to keep the snakes preferred food away, which in turn will keep the snakes away.