Snake sightings rattle a Northern Virginia community

Snake season is here, and wildlife gurus are warning everyone to be careful.

Residents in one Northern Virginia community say they’re spotting rattlesnakes and more in their own backyards.

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FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis spoke with an herpetologist at Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries who says the best advice is to leave the snakes alone.

We’re told 99% of the time, that the snakes are harmless.

Rattlesnakes are reportedly rare in the Commonwealth.  The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says the snake most commonly seen in Virginia is the Copperhead snake but the one place where rattlesnakes are reportedly more common, although rare, is in Prince William County.

RELATED: Man bitten by copperhead snake at Lake Needwood

Betsy Eves took a home video amid a close encounter with a rat snake just days ago.

She believes the snake is the same one she spotted this time last year.

"It's been interesting seeing the neighbors react to the animals that once lived here where are new homes are," Eves said.  

"For the most part, people are weary and a little bit scared because people just don't know how snakes are. We share photos in our Facebook group and let each other know where the snakes are. For the most part, people are aware but scared." 

Eves says this is the time of year they’re out and about, likely for their mating season.


Brian Haffenbarger, a senior technician with Virginia Wildlife Removal says don’t approach a snake, call the professionals and they can help.

If residents have questions about what they’re seeing, they can take a picture and send it to the state’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and they can determine if the snake is venomous.