Many people are terrified of snakes when they don’t need to be. There are so many misconceptions surrounding snakes that are as terrifying as they are untrue. Some will even kill snakes they mistakenly think are venomous. In reality, there are only two venomous snakes that are native to Maryland; it’s likely you will never run into one. In fact, snakes are hardly a danger to humans at all (though they might be for your pets, if the snake is large enough). Here’s how to tell if you’re dealing with a venomous snake in your backyard.
- Learn which species are venomous.
In the United States, there are only four venomous snake species: the cottonmouth, the copperhead, the rattlesnake and the coral snake. In Maryland, our native venomous snake species are the Northern Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are more commonly found in western counties, but occasionally wander into Baltimore County. Copperheads are much more common and can be found everywhere.
- Look at the colors.
If a snake is a solid color, or only has a bright-colored underbelly, it is not venomous. Let us only be concerned with our native venomous species; copperheads have brown, striped bodies, sometimes with a bright yellow tail. The stripes are thick, evenly spaced and irregular. The rattlesnake has distinctive triangle-shaped markings on its side, with a darkened black tail. And obviously, if you see a rattler, that is indicative enough.
- Learn the mimics.
Some snakes are not venomous but look very similar to those that are. The milk snake, for example, is commonly confused with the coral snake. However, coral snakes are not native to Maryland, whereas milk snakes are. Unfortunately, water snakes look very similar to copperheads, and are frequently killed by mistake. Your best course of action, if you aren’t 100% sure, is to leave the snake alone and call us immediately to remove it. If you are absolutely sure the snake is not venomous, however, you should let it be unless it is residing somewhere in your home.
Need a snake removed from your home? Call Shumaker’s Animal Control!
Shumaker’s Animal Control has over 25 years of experience in the animal and pest control field. Whatever your problem, we can help remedy the situation and restore your home (or yard) back to normal. Give us a call at (443) 854-8072 or contact us online today to see how we can help you! For more information on household and neighborhood pests and how to protect your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.