HOUSTON Experts warn that when venturing outdoors this spring to be on the lookout for poisonous reptiles that may be on the prowl. It is the beginning of snake season, or spring awakening, as the experts call it.

The weather makes it a perfect time to be outdoors, but it is also inviting for snakes and other cold-blooded critters looking to find a mate for the season.

The snakes, the turtles, the lizards - they all know it is time to be out looking for a girlfriend, Clint Pustejovsky, an expert on Texas snakes, said. That is what they are doing. They are on the move.

Pustejovsky has been busy with people contacting him dozens of times a day with pictures of snakes to identify or to come get.

He snagged a Cottonmouth, which a woman found as she was prepping her flowerbed, earlier this week in Katy.

That is a residential area. Houses on both sides. There was not a reservoir nearby. No patch of woods. No green belt, Pustejovsky said.

He also said to be on the lookout for Copperheads, which are small, but can send you to the hospital just as quick. The expert explained that it is easy for the snake to blend in with leaves on the ground.

Pustejovsky said that he was called to pick one up after a gardener discovered one at the bottom of a leaf pile in west Houston.

Underneath those leaves was this pretty Copperhead just sitting there. Not happy at all to be bothered, he said. He added that most snakes just want to get away.

Pustejovsky does make house calls, but his has been overwhelmed lately. He had 12 by 10:30 a.m. on Friday. He said the best thing residents can do is simply be aware.

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