Copperhead calls on the rise in Chesterfield neighborhoods, expert says

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Neighbors in Chesterfield County are warning each other about recent encounters with snakes, including venomous copperheads.

Several residents of the Salisbury neighborhood have spotted copperheads recently, including one resident who says she came outside to find her cat playing with the snake in her front yard.

“My neighbor, who lives right across the way, saw one the very next day on her front porch,” said the resident.

Richard Perry, owner of Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, said his company has already responded to several snake related calls, even more than last year.

“Salisbury, Brandermill and Woodlake are pretty much our worst areas for snake calls, in this area,” said Perry.

Perry said most of the time, people get bit by copperheads when they crowd its space.

"The best thing to do is to always just leave it alone, let it be, because believe it or not snakes are not out here looking to attack people," he said.

Perry recommended residents watch out for leaves, rocks piles, ivy and brush.

“If you see it somewhere and you just calmly walk away from it, and go about your business, you should be fine. Believe it or not… copperheads are actually the least toxic of the three venomous snakes in the state of Virginia,” he said.

Perry said it is important to realize that it's illegal in the state of Virginia to kill a snake, unless you feel threatened by it.

“We are trying to spread the word, one you don’t need to kill them, and two it’s against the law," he added.

The company has set up a snake hotline, where people can send pictures inquiring whether a snake is venomous. You can contact the Virginia Wildlife hotline at 804-617-7086.