Common Snakes of Pennsylvania

Scally, slithery and at times deathly, snakes are found in most regions of Pennsylvania. While you should be wary of all snakes, there are few venomous snakes that you must be on the lookout for whenever you’re delighting in the outdoors.

Venomous snakes

There are particularly three types which everyone should be cautious about. They will even grace your yards and lawns in the evenings or cold days. They include:

  • Copperheads
  • Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
  • Timber rattlesnakes
The largest of Pennsylvania’s venomous snakes is the timber rattlesnakes. They stay in woodlands and prey on small mammals. The eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is almost extinct since they are not conserved and are most inhabiting wet prairies, lakes and marshes.

Rat Snakes
The black and grey rat snakes are the commonest in the region. They feed on rats, mice, lizards, copperhead snakes and other small reptiles.These snakes are evidently very good in reducing the numbers of dangerous snakes and other destructive rodents. Rat snakes are non-venomous and can easily be confused with copperheads which are vicious. They reside in outbuildings, sheds, garages and residential properties. This snakes are killed out of sheer fear but they are not venomous to humans.

Garter Snakes
It is the most commonly sighted snake in the whole of PA, and is greatly known as gardener snake or garden snake. There is the common and the striped version and come in many colours anddesigns, but they all have a stripe down the stretch of the back. They mostly eat water-swelling creatures, frogs, and toads meaning they can also stay in moist vegetation. They easily lash out when in danger while discharging a musky foul smell but all in all, they are not venomous.

Northern Water Snake
They highly resemble the cottonmouths but are less lethal (non-venomous). It is less irritable and would take quite much to work this snake up however, if you bother it for long enough, it coils up and snap. These friendly snakes are always confused with other lethal counterparts like the copperheads. You can easily find them in ponds, trails and streams unlike the venomous snakes which are very rare.

Ring neck Snakes
They are two very popular snakes across the entire USA and very common in Pennsylvania too. It is one snake that gets trapped in houses more often. Since the feed on insects and other small matter, they are easily drawn to residential areas. They also feed on small rodents, so there are high chances of spotting them at homes.

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