CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Wildlife professionals say there has been an increase in calls to remove copperheads from people’s homes in Central Virginia.

Rich Perry, who owns a company called Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, removes snakes and other pests from people’s homes and properties.

He has a 24/7 snake identification hotline where people can send in pictures or videos of a snake for Perry to come and remove them. But in the warmer months, he’s been getting more calls to remove copperhead snakes.

“We get between 150-250 text messages each day for snake identification,” he said. “At least a half a dozen to a dozen copperhead removals every week. That’s just copperheads.”

Perry said calls for snake removal slow down in the fall and winter, but with the recent milder winters, snake hibernation is usually shortened.

“We were actually getting calls for snakes in January and February which is absolutely unheard of,” he said. “We haven’t had that happen in years, so when we start getting calls for snakes in January and February, we know we’re in trouble. We know we’re going to be getting a lot of calls.”

Perry warned that copperheads roam more during the evening hours during the warmer seasons and said to stay on the lookout, especially in leaves and rocks where copperheads blend in well. It’s best to turn back and leave the snake alone if you’re not sure what kind of snake you encountered. If it’s in your yard or your home and you want it gone, Perry advises you to call a professional to remove it.