LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - What has scales and comes in a variety of colors? Hint: you can find them in the water or grassy areas across Southwest Louisiana.
If you guessed snakes, you're right. And this time of year, they're out in full force.
Wildlife biologist Kori Legleu has worked with snakes for nearly a decade.
"They're just so different from mammals and birds that I guess I just find them fascinating," said Legleu.
While not everyone may feel the same way about these reptiles, Legleu says there are 45 species of snakes that reside in Louisiana.
And while snakes are around us all year long, biologists say we tend to see more of them in the warmer months.
"They're cold blooded animals so they really do need warm temperatures and they are also looking for mates this time of year," added Legleu.
But not all snakes are harmless, like the corn snake. In fact, Legleu says there are five venomous species right here in Southwest Louisiana.
"Probably the most common venomous species that we see around here are copperheads and cottonmouths, or water moccasins; it's the same thing as a cottonmouth," said Legleu.
And a familiar sound from another local resident is the rattlesnake. There's also the coral snake.
As for the non-venomous rat snake, Legleu says, "This is the most common species people see and they are actually quite aggressive."
Although Wildlife and Fisheries reports snakebites are rare, they do happen, even to the experts, so it's important to know what to do if it happens.
"If they think they may have been bitten by a venomous snake, they should seek medical attention immediately. It's a good idea if you can to collect the snake or if you can get a picture of it for identification," explained Legleu.
But of course prevention is always best.
"Look where you step, look where you put your hand, and that's the best thing you can do to avoid a bite," added Legleu.
To hear tips on how to keep snakes away from your house and yard, check out the Web Extra.