Snakes get a bad rap. They really do. They are truly some of the more helpful creatures on the planet yet their oft times very undeserved reputation leads to their early demise at the hands of frightened human beings. In fact, the fear of snakes is a fear that over half of all American adults say they have.

Perhaps that fear is what led a Leesville couple into making a decision that has actually created a larger problem than any snake could ever cause. The couple is now facing felony charges of arson after it was revealed they allegedly set fires around their home to chase away snakes.

Laura Ashley of Leesville has been arrested and is booked on a charge of simple arson in connection with the incident. Robert Ramirez is currently on the run and officials with the State Fire Marshal's Office would certainly like to talk to him too. Okay, they'll probably arrest him while they're talking to him in connection with the same incident that resulted in charges against Ashley.

One of the more concerning aspects of the couple's decision to set fires around their home is the lack of foresight. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain commented on the case in a story published by the  Louisiana Radio Network. Commissioner Strain expressed concerns over the setting of fires in a part of the state that has a lot of vegetation on the ground.

If you weren't aware the Leesville area suffered storm damage in both of last year's hurricanes and there is still plenty of downed limbs and timber from the recent ice storm too. Those dried, dead, and decaying limbs could turn a controlled burn into a wildfire at a moment's notice with the right gust of wind.

Commissioner Strain suggested there were other ways the couple could have prevented their snake issue without committing a felony. The obvious choice would be to simply clean up around the property. Snakes won't go where they have no place to stay. Also, Dr. Strain suggested using mothballs as a deterrent too. Either situation would have worked out better than setting fires. That's for sure.

Technically we shouldn't think of snakes as pests. They do serve a purpose. Mosquitoes, on the other hand, kill them all! And since we can't do that, here are more than a couple of ways you can Fight the Bite while you're cleaning up your property so you won't have snakes.

10 Handy Home Remedies to Take the Itch Out of Mosquito Bites