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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - It's summer and that means lots of pine straw in your yards and gardens. Many use it as an alternative to mulch, but snake experts warn that pine straw can be deceiving and you might not know what's lurking underneath.
One family told Channel 2 Action News about the moment they came face-to-face with a copperhead snake.
Chase Seymour told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen he has done his fair share of yard work over the years, but he never thought it could be dangerous.
"I guess it's always kind of there in the back of your mind. But when you see it, you just go with it and see what you can do about it," he said.
the it he's talking about was a copperhead, one of several "man versus snake" stories that are all over a Gwinnett County neighborhood's social media site.
Petersen showed several of the pictures to Jason Handley, who removes nuisance animals for a living.
Handley says copperheads can disappear into your landscape. If you look very closely, you can find one.
"You have to watch where you step and watch where you stick your hands in things. They're hard to see sometimes when they're sitting on the ground," Handley said.
He removes venomous snakes and other nuisance critters for a living. He said in this neck of the woods, copperheads come with the territory.
"Any kind of ground cover, you gotta think, a snake's main defense is camouflage. So, they're gonna stay still before they want to bite or anything else. So any sort of ground cover -- they're gonna stay in," he said.
Handley doesn't believe there are more copperheads this year than any other year. But it's one too many as far as Seymour is concerned.
"Well, for us it's a little different. My dad is from Mississippi, and is used to poisonous snakes being around. My mom is from Michigan, so she was pretty freaked out. I think we took it pretty well," Seymour said.