VIRGINIA - Be on the lookout! Snake sightings in Virginia are way up this year.
Rich Perry, who runs a company called Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, says he's been slammed with calls about snakes since February.
Perry says numbers are up across the state; a mild winter shortened snake hibernation.
There are three venomous snakes found in Hampton Roads: copperheads, cottonmouths (water moccasins) and rattlesnakes.
Perry established a 24/7 hotline for anyone who wants a snake identified. He can tell them if it's venomous or not.
Perry says he established the hotline because many snakes are getting killed, and in most cases it is illegal to kill a snake in Virginia.
"There are certain gray areas that permit you to dispatch and euthanize, but for the most part you can't kill any kind of snake," said Perry.
The penalties, although rarely enforced, include fines and possible jail time.
Perry says the best thing to do to avoid a dangerous encounter with a snake is to keep an eye out because snakes can get into a number of places.
The number for the hotline is 804-617-7086.