They don’t want to hurt you
Photo: Eastern fox snake via Shutterstock
Although no snakes in Will County are harmful to humans, it’s true that some snakes are venomous or otherwise harmful to people. Even so, for the vast majority of snakes, the old adage that “it’s more afraid of you than you are of it” is true.
“Snakes are not out to get you,” Lyttle said. “If anything, they are afraid of humans. We are huge giants compared to them, looking over them and making all sorts of loud noises.”
Most snakes aren’t aggressive, but some have clever tricks to keep humans and potential predators at bay. Take the fox snake, which is among the snakes that live in Will County. A fox snake is not a rattlesnake and isn’t venomous, but it will rattle its tail as a decoy when people and other animals get too close, Lyttle said.
So what should you do if you see a snake?
“Don’t panic,” Lyttle said, adding this is a great opportunity to appreciate snakes for the role they play in the ecosystem. “Snakes want to be left alone, so after you are done saying hi, give it room and let it be.”
If you see a snake on a busy bike trail or path, Lyttle suggested treating it as you would a turtle. If you can find a stick nearby, very gently tap its tail to help move it along, sending it off in the direction it was headed.