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Snakes suburb: Plague of snakes in Naperville suburb? Summer heat sparks feeding

Snakes in the suburb of Naperville have become something of a slithering plague for residents. A large Illinois community west of Chicago, the suburbs have reportedly seen a sudden rise of snakes along with the summer heat, sparked to emerge from hiding during this prime hunting season. Apparently, shares the Christian Post this Wednesday, July 2, the recent rains have driven an unsurpassed number of reptiles to begin feeding in the area, infiltrating people’s yards, patios, and even homes.

Snakes in the suburb of Illinois: A plague of serpents?
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

While a few serpents here and there are a common sight in the community during the summer months, a veritable snakes suburb invasion is being claimed by some people living in Naperville, Illinois. Dozens of calls have been phoned in to local police stations from residents claiming that the snakes are everywhere — not unlike a serpentine plague. Experts are saying that the unexpected surge of these animals this 2014 is caused by them coming out of hibernation at similar times, making it seem like a real infestation.

Fortunately, our friends in the southwestern Chicago suburbs have little to fear from these snakes. A vast majority of them popping up in the bushes, patios, and — hopefully not literally — underneath our feet are only going to be water or garter snakes, confirm Naperville officials. City authorities can confirm that these particular reptiles pose no serious threat to humans. Nonetheless, residents in the Illinois area remain nervous. Not only are snakes few people’s favorite animals, but there are a total of four venomous snakes that live right here in the state. It’s unlikely, but it is possible that one of these serpents coming out of hibernation to feed could be poisonous, so it is important to be alert and cognizant of where we are walking.

According to one woman in the Naperville area, notes the Daily Mail, snakes are a true plague in her own backyard. She claims that she sees several of the slithering crawlies each and every day, and that they linger underneath her shrubs and flowers. Apparently, their size has increased from back in the summer of 2013, and they don’t seem to fear her human presence. It's sparked some genuine concern from even her neighbors and deliveryman.

"I'll have five and six of them on my bushes," local resident Nancy Quigley said in a statement. "They were twice as big as they were last year. They're not afraid of me anymore … Even my deliveryman "[drops] his package and [runs] back to his truck."

Again, the water snakes and garter snakes participating in the big feeding time this July do not have their eyes set on humans as prey — they are much more focused on smaller mammals, like mice. It is believed that reptile populations have seen such a massive growth recently due to the summer heat, while the warmer weather — in addition to the heavy rains hitting Illinois in past weeks — has also forced almost all snakes to slither from their burrows to hunt. Yet Naperville residents aren’t noticing the snake numbers for nothing; they are indeed said to be particularly “prevalent” this year.

"It's unusual for them to be out and that prevalent," David Drake, a snake expert at Aquarium Adventure, explained in a comment to CBS News, adding that even the polar vortex might have something to do with this seeming plague. "Now they're out feeding in larger numbers. Also the recent rains and the floods are going to drive these animals out of their [hiding hole].”

For any local Naperville residents out there, have you been hit by the snakes suburb “threat?” Do you think the sudden spark of these slithering serpents is troubling, or are you not afraid of the reptiles making a comeback this July? A majority of snakes will leave one alone as long as we humans steer clear of them, so perhaps maintaining a little distance is the best decision of all.

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