Smooth Snake


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Snake Control

The good news about snakes is that running into them is fairly rare. Despite their fearsome reputation, most species of snakes are shy and do not want to confront humans. Most will not seek out humans, and if they do attack, it is done for defensive reasons because they have been stepped on or their habitat has been disturbed.

However, snakes do sometimes end up around houses and buildings and do need some control and therefore, removal. If you find snakes on your property the best bet to deal with them and help with snake prevention is call a local Department of Natural Resources or reach out to the National Wildlife Species Information Center.

How to Know if You Have Snakes

Snakes like to hide, so you may not know they are around until you actually see them. Snakes shed their skins several times a year, so one of the first signs might be the shed skins they leave behind. If you live in an area that is dusty or have a yard that is mostly dirt, you might also see twisty trails as they slither along.

Common Types of Snakes

In North America there are several types of snakes that are common depending on where you live and they include:

  • Rattlesnakes - A catch-all term for a number of species of snake in the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus. They are various colors and famous for the rattle on the end of their tails used to frighten predators. They are mostly found in warmer climates in southern states like Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

  • Cottonmouth Snakes - (Agkistrodon piscivorus) - one of the largest poisonous snakes in North American and famous for their white or light-colored mouth that they show when threatened. They are also known as Water Moccasins, Black Snakes, and Black Water Vipers and found in southeastern states such as Florida.

  • Coral Snakes - Coral snakes are a general term for a number of snakes in the genera Calliophis, Hemibungarus, Sinomicrurus, Leptomicrurus, Micruroides, and Micrurus. One of the most venomous snakes in North America, they are common in warm coastal areas like North Carolina, Louisiana and Florida.

  • Garter Snakes - A name given to a number of smaller, generally harmless snakes in the genus Thamnophis. They are smaller snakes that are non-venomous and found in gardens all over the country. They are common in the Midwest in states like Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.

Watch for Snake Habitats

Snakes like to hide in heavy vegetation and under porches, decks, piles of rocks and in holes. Be on the lookout around your property, and if you live in an area where snakes are common, approach them with caution.

Some of the best ways to prevent snakes is to:

  • Remove heavy vegetation like tall grass
  • Put fences around ponds and bodies of water to keep out swimming snakes
  • Fill in holes where they might like to hide
  • Remove rock piles and other hiding spaces

What to Do if You Get Bitten

Snake bites are generally rare, but they do happen. If you or anyone in your family gets bitten, call an emergency service right away and get the victim to a hospital fast. If possible, find out what type of snake it was as this will help with treatment.