Is the Hudson Valley on the Verge of a Copperhead Snake Invasion?
I was happily scrolling through my Facebook news feed yesterday when I saw a picture of a bunch of copperhead snakes camouflaged on a tree trunk. Yikes, how scary is that, I thought to myself. And then I read the warning about how copperheads love to eat cicadas, and the upcoming cicada invasion will likely bring out more copperheads than usual. What? Now we have to worry about snakes invading the Hudson Valley?
I decided to look a little further into the matter. So, I did what any person with a scientific question does. I Googled it. And sure enough, I came upon an article in The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute website that copperheads do eat insects, particularly cicadas. Oh no! This is a really reputable source. Does this mean the copperheads are coming? I dug a little further.
To my relief, I found an article in the Washington Post listing myths about cicadas. And on that list was the fact, or non-fact as the case may be, that cicadas will bring snake invasions. That’s comforting news. It turns out that even though cicadas are part of the copperhead’s diet, there is actually no evidence of an increased danger to humans. Whew.
So, in answer to the question is the Hudson Valley about to see an invasion of copperhead snakes? It doesn’t look likely. But there are copperheads in our area, so it never hurts to be extra careful, especially while you’re hiking through the woods and even on trails.