What To Do About Snakes


Four types of venomous snakes exist in the United States: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins) & coral snakes. Each year, more than 7,000 Americans are bitten by one of these snakes. Many bites are a result of individuals attempting to lớn handle or kill the snake, therefore this is not recommended. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance immediately. It’s also important lớn understand methods for distinguishing potentially venomous from non-venomous snakes in order lớn assess your potential risk. If you encounter a snake, leave the area & consider calling a wildlife professional who can help you identify the type of snake you have encountered. In the meantime, here are some tips that may help you to lớn determine whether or not a snake is venomous or non-venomous.

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While general identification tips are discussed here, we recommend consulting a trained wildlife professional in order to lớn definitively distinguish venomous & non-venomous snakes.

Behavior và Habitat of Snakes

Behavior is one component that may help identify snakes. Each species of snake exhibits different behaviors. Thus, remembering these differences can pose a challenge to an untrained individual. Regardless, behavior observation is an important component that helps wildlife professionals determine the right solutions in situations when wildlife & humans interact. One of the most well-known behavior traits can be observed in the rattlesnake. When threatened, rattlesnakes may shake the rattles on their tails lớn create a loud clicking sound as a warning khổng lồ potential predators. Be aware that not all rattlesnakes have rattles and this is not a reliable warning.

Observing nesting behaviors & knowledge of habitats can also be helpful when identifying potentially venomous or non-venomous snakes. For example, cottonmouths live in or near water. Thus, if there is a pond and/or swamp nearby, cottonmouths could be observed in the area, depending on geographic location. Similarly, in some geographic areas, copperheads live in wetland areas near forests and rivers.

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While there are only four types of venomous snakes in the U.S., each type contains many subspecies with size and màu sắc variations that helps them blend in with their environments. Thus, coloring may not be an efficient method for distinguishing between a venomous and non-venomous snake. For example, venomous coral snakes & non-venomous scarlet king snakes both have a banded pattern of yellow, brown and black on their scales. The difference between the two types is that the red bands cảm biến the yellow bands on a coral snake whereas red bands cảm ứng the đen bands on scarlet king snakes.


Venomous snakes have distinct heads. While non-venomous snakes have a rounded head, venomous snakes have a more triangular-shaped head. The shape of a venomous snake"s head may deter predators. However, some non-venomous snakes can mimic the triangular shape of non-venomous snakes by flattening their heads. This can help them appear more dangerous to lớn potential predators.

Rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths & coral snakes are all considered pit vipers. These are venomous snakes distinguished by the pits (or holes) on their heads. Each snake has two pits that appear on their snouts. These pits allow snakes to lớn detect infrared radiation from prey. Since it may be difficult lớn determine whether or not a snake has pits from a safe distance, consider contacting a wildlife professional to lớn identify và potentially remove the snake for you. Even if the snake is dead or the head has been removed, avoid handling the head & use caution when inspecting, as you may still be at risk.


Examining a snake’s pupils is another method that can be utilized khổng lồ identify venomous versus non-venomous snakes. Lượt thích a cat’s eye, venomous snakes have thin, black, vertical pupils surrounded by a yellow-green eyeball while non-venomous snakes have rounded pupils. While this type of pupils can indicate that the snake is venomous, this is observed at close range, which can be a potentially dangerous identification method.

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