NEW ORLEANS -- The hot weather has people on both sides of the lake seeing snakes on the move. They are slithering around some people's property, especially those who live near overgrown lots.
In some parts of the upper 9th Ward, overgrown lots outnumber occupied houses.
“I've seen two in a period of two weeks, one big fat one and one real tiny one,” said Helen Wilson, a resident on Laussat Street.
Wilson’s yard smells like moth balls. She’s tried to create a barrier around her property to keep snakes from the blighted house to the right of hers, and the overgrown lot to the left.
“I spent over $400 trying to snake-proof my house,” she said.
Her neighbor on Law Street cuts grass for a living.
“There wasn't that many before the storm. Now, since the storm there's just a bunch of them coming out because we've got a bunch of overgrown grass in the neighborhood,” said Mingko Aba.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries says it's breeding season for snakes. According to their website, the most common snakes in southeast Louisiana are speckled king snakes and rat snakes and this is when they start laying eggs.
It’s a fact that's less than comforting for Wilson.
“They lay 30 to 36 eggs. So, somewhere in here or behind me, they've got eggs and they're gonna be hatching in the next month ago,” Wilson said.
Residents on the Northshore are also seeing them. A gardening expert at Jefferson Feed says there are a number of snake repellants people can use in their yards, some are more natural, others use the same ingredient in moth balls.
“We have a lot of vacant lots. We have homes, abandoned homes and it just makes a home for animals,” Wilson said.
Wilson is hoping people will listen and maintain their lots.
“Yeah. It's a bunch. There's a lot. They got a bunch of lots over here that's overgrown,” Aba said.
New Orleans Code Enforcement Director Pura Bascos said in an emailed statement, "Overgrown lots are a serious problem the city faces in its ongoing fight against blight. The high grass attracts rodents and is often the site of illegal dumping. Code enforcement continues to aggressively pursue property owners who are not compliant with city standards.”
They started a collaborative lot maintenance program earlier this year. For more information click here.