The 5 Most Common Snakes Where We Live — 8 Comments

  1. Your love of herpetology really shines through on this article. Very fascinating and informative read. You have my 5K sats. Thank you very much for providing such a valuable article.

  2. Very interesting. A few years back I inquired about getting more black snakes on my property because my renter was losing bulls to rattlesnake bites. I know that black snakes predate upon rattlesnakes and figured that I had an imbalance that needed addressing. The local game agent told me that it was illegal in Missouri to breed and sell the non-venomous black snakes.

    I did not know that Copperheads are in the same family as the Water Moccasin.

    @Jack, what has your experience been on your own property of your free ranging fowl reducing and/or controlling snake populations within their ranging area? Would this be a good reason to free range even if you know you will be feeding aerial and 4 legged predators during the daytime?

    • First this agent lied, sort of and you have the wrong species too.

      Black snakes are just rat snakes (unless you mean racers) that are black. They are not big snake eaters. What you are looking for are king snakes. This agent is full of fuckin shit there is no law that says you can’t breed snakes. What he is invoking is in many states it is illegal to collet them, might be in MO, may not that you need to check. What is illegal in almost every state is breeding then releasing even if the thing you are releasing is native. But who the hell would know?

      In general free ranging my birds has done nothing to the snake population the rat snakes literally set up shop under the coop. Ducks at times may harass them and the chickens may even kill really small snakes but anything over even say 18 inches just freaks the birds out or they are ignored.

      My understanding by the way is there is a rattlesnake vaccine for cattle, not sure but I think so. I know they have one for dogs. I am not huge on any vaxx but if I had a LOT of rattler action I would use it for my dogs. I know two people who have lost dogs to rattler bites.

      • A close friend in SD gets his pheasant dog (English Springer Spaniel) vaccinated for rattle snake bites. I will research the one for cattle and forward the info. to my renter, thank you.

        Yes, the King Snake is commonly called a black snake here.

        • Oh and if it was me and I wanted a ton of king snakes, I’d find a breeder working with a local to me species, I would contact them and offer to buy all of their culls. Most work with morphs and unless the odds are very high that the animal is a known het for a desirable pattern they are sold and even many hets are sold as commons super cheap.

          A lot of breeders even freeze culls to kill them and sell them to zoos for snakes that eat other snakes specifically corals and king cobras.

          Find a breeder like that and offer to buy any and all snaklings for cull of the varities/s that are local for you. You can likely get them for 5 bucks or less each and they will be happy to serve you. You’ll end up with a metric ton of those little guys.

          The herper in me wants to say keep them in captivity until they have about 8 meals (10 weeks) the growth will be impressive and they will be less likely to get eaten. But you can’t keep kings together, they can and will eat one another.

  3. Thank you for the post. We are outside the Beaumont area in the rice fields of Fannett. We have a lot of cotton mouths on our property. I have seen 3 or 4 for any other kind of snake in the past. With a daughter, wife and dog that love to walk our paths and hang out around the pond, I have educated them on how to see and avoid them. I also keep a 38 with rat shot on my hip when around the pond or cutting grass this time of year and through the summer just to keep their numbers down. Keeping the grass short around the house also helps a lot. I did see my first diamond back water snake yesterday and a garter snake last week. But the first 3 I saw this year were all water moccasin’s, even one on a fairly cold day. I have only seen one copper head in 7 years and have never seen any other venomous snake. I would love to start finding king snakes.

  4. You’re right about the musking from rat snakes. We have them up here in OK as well, and when I lived out in the sticks we’d occasionally stumble on one while doing yard work. A few minutes later it would smell somewhere between a skunk and a dead animal. Awful stuff. Once your nose picks up that aroma, you will never forget it.