What You Should Know About Poisonous Snakes in the South

July 20, 2015By

The southern United States is home to many wonderful places and sights, but it’s also home to several dangerous snakes. If you don’t keep your wits about you, you could quickly find yourself in a situation where a potentially deadly snake could, or worse yet, has already bitten you.

poisonous copperhead snake

You should know what to be on the lookout for when gallivanting outside in the South, especially in the summer months when snake populations are high.

Types of Snakes

There are about seven different types of poisonous snakes that live in the southeast United States. Any of them would warrant immediate medical care if you are ever bitten, and each of them has their own markings and special times that they like to be out and about. Let’s look at the different kinds now:

Canebrake Rattlesnake

This tan rattlesnake tends to favor wooded areas and other locations that are shady. They like to be most active in the spring, when it hasn’t gotten too hot. They love old logs, holes, and piles of leaves.

This species is considered aggressive and like most wildlife, will not welcome people barging into their homes.

Copperhead

Copperheads can appear light orange or tan, and are smaller than some other snakes. They are most active in the summer, and hunt small animals like frogs.

While some other snakes tend to warn people of their presence, copperheads rely on their patterning to camouflage themselves in tall grass and leaves in hopes of remaining undetected. For this reason, one must be extremely careful when walking through the woods or near ponds, and especially in tall grass.

Cottonmouth

Brown or black all over save for a white stripe on their mouths, the cottonmouth is an aggressive and territorial animal that likes to hunt fish, frogs, and other small creatures near water. They tend not to leave their watering holes, and will attack anything that comes hear them.

A common pastime in our area is to escape the summer heat by taking a dip in a natural swimming hole. If you are engaging in this time-honored Southern tradition, it would be wise to dedicate a lookout for this swimming menace.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Known for its diamond pattern on its body, this snake is not as prevalent in the South as some others, but it is there and it is definitely dangerous. These larger snakes like to hunt in open grassland and plains, and can go after faster prey, such as rabbits.

They are known to give off a rattle warning if you get too close, but some don’t. Even if they do, you may not notice until it’s too late.

Harlequin Coral Snake

These venomous snakes are red and black with yellow stripes. They are smaller than most of the snakes on our list, but just as dangerous. Luckily, they tend to keep to themselves.

While not known to strike at people, if you corner one and pick it up, it will likely bite you. If you find one of these snakes, the best thing you can do is get away quickly.

Pygmy Rattlesnake

Mostly white with some black markings, the pygmy rattlesnake has a smaller rattle than its cousins, so it may be more difficult to hear. Also, it likes to hunt in grasslands, and relies on tall grass to give it cover. Avoid dry, overgrown areas to avoid dealing with this snake.

Texas Coral Snake

This snake looks very similar to the Harlequin coral snake, but is far more common to find. It’s just as deadly, and prefers to hunt in dryer areas. Like its cousin, this snake isn’t known for striking, but it will bite if provoked.

Fischer’s Snake Removal Methods and Service

The reptile experts at Fischer provide prompt and effective snake removal services that guarantees they will not come back. Not only will they remove any snakes that are on your property, they will take steps to help eliminate areas that snakes might find attractive.

Snake encounters can be deadly, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you have the signs of an infestation, then don’t try to handle it alone. Instead of trying to remove them yourself, make the right decision and call the professionals at Fischer Environmental.

Filed in: Snakes