ROANOKE CO., Va. -

Copperhead snakes are nocturnal during the summer. But that hasn't been the case in our area lately.

"He was right down there on the third step, curled up against the retaining wall, looking at me when I walked by him," says Pat Janis.

By "him" she means a venomous snake.

"An inch-and-a-half in diameter, and he had a big triangular head, brown, with diamond shapes markings on him," says Janis.

All signs of a copperhead. She called an expert to come pick him up.

"For them to be out in the middle of the day seems odd to me, we haven't seen a lot of that in the past, I'm finding them in the wide open," says Jason Reger, Blue Ridge Wildlife Management snake expert. 

In the past couple of days, Reger has picked up several copperheads during broad daylight.

Question is, why, if these snakes are nocturnal?

"Pretty much what that's telling me is the females are looking for a nesting area," says Reger.

Most people mistake corn snakes for copperheads.

Here's how to tell the difference: Non-venomous snakes, like corn snakes, have round pupils. Venomous snakes, like copperheads, have a slit down the middle.

"The copperhead is going to have more of an orange color to it, it's not going to be brown," says Reger. "Obviously the head's going to be a little bit larger than the body is itself."

Copperhead bites occur when people accidentally step on or touch the snake, which tends to be well camouflaged.