MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina is seeing a surge in snake bites.
The Palmetto Poison Center said the number of snake bites is outpacing those reported last year.
Russell Cavender, known as the Snake Chaser, said on Wednesday morning he responded to four snake calls.
“Once we get into this latter part of the year, the copperhead calls go up by 100%," said Cavender.
According to the state Department of Natural Resources, there are 38 snake species in South Carolina, six of which are venomous.
So far this year, the Palmetto Poison Center said it’s received 260 snake bite calls. That’s compared to the 245 snake bites reported in 2018, and 199 the year prior.
Cavender believes there are many factors behind the increase in snake bite calls including a growing population, which means more interaction with snakes, and the weather.
“Of course, the drought that we’re in. The less and less water there is for them, they have to seek out water and homes are a perfect place for it. The drip pans for your water, your A/C lines, your pools, your sprinkler systems," said Cavender.
Cavender said we’re in the middle of the baby season for snakes, which means sightings tend to go up. He recommends always wearing shoes when walking through your yard and watching where you step.