ALBANY, Texas (AP) — A Texas homeowner who reported seeing "a few" snakes under his home actually had dozens of rattlesnakes living beneath his house.
Big Country Snake Removal, which was called in to help, said the homeowner crawled underneath his home after strong winds disrupted his cable television service. He saw a few snakes, quickly crawled out and contacted the snake removal company.
Workers later pulled 45 rattlesnakes from underneath the home near Albany, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of Dallas, according to the company's Facebook page. Video shows numerous large snakes coiled up as workers use long poles to pull the animals out.
Snakes will begin slithering out from underneath Texas homes as the weather warms up, increasing the risk of snakebites, said Nathan Hawkins, the owner of Big Country Snake Removal.
"They'll start emerging, and then what they're going to do is they're going to start trying to find food. And then they're going to start breeding," Hawkins said. "A lot of people are getting snakes in their yard, and it's because basically the habitat has been destroyed around the housing developments."
Hawkins told Abilene TV station KTXS that his company removes about 2,000 snakes per year.
"Most people get bit when people are trying to harm or harass the snake," Hawkins said.
State wildlife officials say that about 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the United States but very few bites are fatal. Officials say that on average, one to two people die in Texas each year from a venomous snake bite.