There are thousands of different species of snakes all over the world. In North America alone, there are over 300 different species. Of these species, there are commonly seen venomous snakes such as: Copperheads, Rattle Snakes, Cottonmouths, Sea Snakes, and Coral Snakes.
Venomous VS Non-Venomous Snakes:
There are three ways to distinguish between pit vipers (Venomous) and non-venomous snakes:
- Has a deep pit on each side of head (midway between eyes and nostrils)
- Pit Vipers (Venomous) – Yes
- Non-Venomous- No
- Row(s) of scales on underside of tail
- Pit Vipers (Venomous) – 1 Row of scales (except on the very tip of the tail, which may have two rows in some cases)
- Non-Venomous- 2 Rows of scales
*The shed skin of the snake show the same characteristic.*
- Shape of Pupil
- Pit Vipers (Venomous) – Vertically elliptical (oval) pupils and gets thinner with more light
- Non-Venomous- round pupils
The presence of snakes is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Snakes nest underground, in trees, and in the ocean. They usually like cool, damp, and dark areas in which they can hunt for food.
Potential homes for snakes:
old lumber piles, under firewood, areas with heavy mulch, un-kept basements, attics, clutters, gardens, barn lofts, pond banks, un-mowed lawns, abandoned lots, and fields.
Identifying Venomous Snakes:
Copperheads can be commonly mistaken for cottonmouths, but have brighter colors, and are faster. They are commonly found in wooded or hilly areas. Copperheads are also attracted to shady areas to hide and hunt for food. Copperheads can also be easily mistaken for non-venomous rat snakes and corn snakes.
Rattlesnakes can be easily identified by their distinct rattle on the back of their tail. These snakes can be found in barns, livestock areas and garbage heaps. Limiting shady areas where the snakes can hide and keeping the property neat will help reduce the number of them nesting close by.
Cottonmouths are considered one of the world’s most difficult venomous snakes to identify. They range in many variation of colors, and are easily mistaken to be identified as water snakes. An easy way to identify cottonmouths is by their aggressive and independent characteristic. If similar looking snakes within a couple feel from one another are neither mating nor attempting to devour one another, chances are they are not cotton mouths. After birth, cottonmouths instinctively scatter and avoid one another. Cottonmouths rarely reside near human dwellings unless a convenience food source is nearby such as a pond filled with fish.
Coral Snakes can be easily identified by their three distinctive colors of black, yellow, and red. Although coral snakes may seem highly dangerous because they are venomous creatures, they are actually very shy and do not attack unless handled roughly. Coral snakes can be easily mistaken for the scarlet kingsnake. These snakes have red bands touching black bands. Coral snakes have red bands touching yellow bands.
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HOW TO GET RID OF SNAKES