HERNDON, Va. (WUSA) -- Poisonous snakes in our area may be more common than you might think.
A Herndon man found out the hard way when a Copperhead snake bit him in the heel in his garage.
John Hanna was taking his dog out when he stepped on the snake which was located between his car and the wall of the garage. The snake sunk its teeth into John Hanna's heel.
The bite sent him to the hospital. He spent 3 days in intensive care.
John Hanna says the bite was causing excruciating pain as the venom shot up his leg.
His wife Loubna gave him a kitchen knife and Hanna chopped off its head.
"I wrapped it in a plastic bag and took it to the hospital."
His foot swelled. Doctors gave him anti-venom and kept a close eye on Hanna in ICU.
Hanna has kept the foot long snake in a container as a reminder.
"I was disappointed that it was that small. I thought it would be bigger than that."
Jeff Jacob, a wildlife certified technician, says he's been getting more calls for snakes because of the mild winter.
"Where mice can go snakes can go. They go hand in hand."
He says keep wood piles off the ground. Keep play areas clean, the lawn cut back and put pet food away.
Jacob points to under the deck and porches.
"This is the perfect habitat for snakes. It provides protection and you can't see them."
Wildlife experts say you can find three poisonous snakes in Northern Virginia: Cottonmouth, Copperhead and the Timber rattlesnake.
They are more active at night. Experts do not recommend handling them.
You can contact a local pest control company. Make sure they are wildlife certified to help you snake and rodent proof your home.