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Beware of snakes! Springtime in Central Texas brings out slithering serpents

Most snakes are harmless and help the environment, but four types should always be avoided.

AUSTIN, Texas — Just about everyone enjoys the warm weather of spring in Texas – including snakes. Warm weather brings them out into the sun.

And despite the fact that most of us live in an urban environment in Central Texas, the serpents are pretty much everywhere, especially now that the area's population growth has pushed more neighborhoods out into what was once the habitat of the wild.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), only four types of snakes in Texas are venomous: rattlesnakes, cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins), copperheads and coral snakes. A guide to Texas snakes is always a handy book to have on hand to help identify the good from the dangerous.

RELATED: Sneaky serpents: Texas Department of Agriculture reminds Texans to keep sharp eye out for snakes

If you encounter a snake, the best thing to do is leave it alone, stay calm and back away slowly. It will go on its way without incident. When confronted by humans, most snakes will retreat or escape, TPWD says.

Experts estimate that about 85% of snakes in Texas are nonvenomous. And in fact, they say that snakes are quite beneficial, as they control pests such as rodents and insects. 

Snakes are even helpful in the urban environments of Central Texas. Gardeners can appreciate them because they control slugs, snails, grasshoppers, beetles, mice and rats.

And despite the fact that we’ve all seen social media videos of snakes climbing the front doors of homes, entwining themselves in the air conditioning ducts of vehicles and even showing up in a toilet as one Houston area homeowner discovered recently, for the most part, TPWD says snakes would much rather avoid humans if possible. 

WATCH: Here's what you should do if you find a snake in your yard


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