Knowing this about Copperheads could keep you safe from the venomous snakes

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KATY, Texas - Have you seen the fangs lately? Houstonians know summer and snakes in south Texas go hand in hand. That's why a local snake expert is sharing valuable information about Copperheads that area home owners should be made aware of.

Kristofer Swanson with Katy Snakes says a lot is being learned about Copperhead behavior, like their preference to properties with a certain "buzz" to them.

According to Swanson, "They're there to feed on the cicadas, specifically. Especially this time of year. If you could hear the buzzing, you have to pay attention a little bit better."

Cicadas. Those little buggers that "bring da noize" every summer. Well, Copperheads just love 'em to death.

"Between June to September, at about 8:30 to 11 o'clock at night, we've seen a feeding aggregation happen when the cicadas are hatching," Swanson said.

And where are the Copperhead's favorite hunting grounds? Around oak trees, where cicadas love to lay their eggs and emerge from the ground.

"The snakes have definitely learned over the millennia, that they can sit at the base of those trees and basically puck the cicadas right off of them," Swanson explained.

And if you like your lawn looking all prim and proper, guess what? So do the snakes.

"We're noticing more that when those properties are landscaped and maintained to a certain degree, the snakes have a very easy time to travel across the grass and look for the cicadas. In the woods it's much more difficult," Swanson said.

Swanson stresses that "awareness" about Copperheads is the key to keeping everybody safe. Oh, and if you see a snake, don't go messing with it! Call an expert instead.

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