This southeastern species is most likely to prey on fish and frogs in its habitat near aquatic sites, as it frequents habitats near ponds, swamps, and marshes. Following mating the female retains the fertilized eggs for 5 months and then gives birth to 5-9 young, but potentially up to 16 babies. The venom of this snake is considered very dangerous to humans. It is a hemolytic venom that destroys red blood cells and skin cells, causing internal bleeding, necrosis at the site of the bite, and reportedly extreme pain. It can be life threatening.
There are no toxins labeled for killing snakes. There are snake repellents available that rely on creating an objectionable odor to keep snakes away, often sulfur and naphthalene, and these may be used outdoors only and would need to be reapplied if they are effective. Many university websites express skepticism regarding snake repellents. Snake management for long term relief combines elimination of snake food resources, such as rodents, with removal of harborage and exclusion from structures. Rubbish, wood piles, and other unnecessary materials on the ground should be removed or stacked neatly off of the soil. Snake traps also exist for the capture of individual snakes that are a nuisance around a property. The removal of snakes by live capture or trapping also is highly effective if disposal of the snake is considered. Relocating snakes off site will generally be illegal according to state wildlife regulations, and killing captured snakes may not be acceptable to customers. It also would be important to attempt to educate homeowners regarding tolerance and appreciation of most snakes on their property, all of which feed on unwanted animals such as rodents, insects, or slugs.