Thousands of snakes in an Illinois suburb have residents worried about which ones are venomous. As the reptiles come out of their hibernation season all at once, they're found slithering all over Naperville. While many are harmless garters and water snakes, there are four different kinds of venomous ones that live in the Midwest, so people are afraid to get too close to them.
Christian Post reports July 1 that the reptiles are out in large numbers found on porches, patios, decks, sidewalks, everywhere. All of them have come out to feed for the summer.
One resident, Nancy Guigley, says the snakes are bigger this year She tells CBS Local in Chicago:
"I'll have five and six of them on my bushes. They were twice as big as they were last year. They're not afraid of me anymore."
She adds that her delivery man will drop off a package and run right back to his truck. It's kind of like dodging a protective dog in someone's yard.
The presence of snakes in the suburb isn't unusual, but the fact there are so many is what's freaking everybody out. Experts say one reason there are so many of them out this year has to do with the heavy rain in the area. The extra water and floods are going to "drive these animals out of their [burrow]," David Drake, snake expert at Aquarium Adventure, says. He adds that the polar vortex may have contributed to the increased number of snakes in Naperville.
As for the venomous types of serpents in Naperville, the town's official website states the four in this category are the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the timber rattlesnake, and the eastern massasauga. There are 39 total venomous species of snakes in Illinois.
It's unclear how many venomous snakes in the suburb are dwelling among the thousands near residents. Unfortunately, there's not an easy way to determine this unless someone really understands snakes.