This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Piedmont pest control experts said snakes are being seen earlier this year thanks to a warm, mild winter and early spring.

McNeely Pest Control in Winston-Salem said over the past week, they’ve answered more than a dozen calls in which a snake was found inside someone’s home.

“We’ve seen an early rise in the number of calls for snakes,” said Scott McNeely. “They tend to go around the edges of places looking to get in for cover, oftentimes ending up into the living areas of homes.”

While some people have found copperheads, the most common snakes being found are young black rat snakes that often look like copperheads, McNeely said.

“The rat snakes are the best climbers,” McNeely said.

While they resemble a copperhead, their skin pattern is slightly different, and they are greyish in color–not copper or brown.

The best way to keep snakes out is to fill all holes around the outside of your home that are larger than one-quarter of an inch.

“They are extremely good climbers, and for them to come in around a door casing that has a gap or maybe where a tree limb touches a house is easy,” McNeely said.

And since the warm weather has them out earlier this year, McNeely has some advice.

“If people don”t want to have snakes around their home they need to think about rodent proofing things to do to make it less attractive for mice and rats will also make it less attractive for snakes.”