Snakes are beneficial creatures to have around. The predatory behaviors of snakes are extremely helpful to humans. Many snake species prey heavily on insects and rodents. When snake populations decline the populations of these prey items increases, often causing serious problems to people.
Insects and other arthropods can destroy gardens or enter people's homes where they will be undesired. When rodent populations serge, the animals can destroy crops at an alarming rate, affecting supplies of food and industries. They can also spread many harmful diseases. It is well documented that rodents can house fires, caused by the chewing of wires in walls and attics.
Snakes are extremely valuable because they are efficient at keeping the number of rodents and insects in check, without relying on damaging chemical pesticides which can degrade the environment and harm other animal species. Snakes are very effective at hunting such prey because they can crawl into small burrows and other areas that rodents use as shelters. These places are too small for other predators to get into (such birds of prey).
Additionally, snakes help stop the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. According to a study conducted through the University of Maryland, a single Timber Rattlesnake eats up to 4,500 ticks a year! Small rodents often carry the bacteria (genus Borrelia) that produces Lyme Disease. When ticks bite these rodents, they can later drop off and then spread the disease to humans and pets. Luckily, snakes prey heavily on rodents, and then in turn, the ticks attached to them! Therefore, snakes should matter to people as they help stop the spread of this harmful disease.
Snakes are also helping to save the lives of millions of people every year, as the venom from snakes are being used to treat many serious health ailments like cancers, heart & stroke disease, Parkinson's, and many more.
Alongside the benefits that they provide to people, snakes also matter due to their inherent intrinsic value.