IT’S A SNAKE! NOW LET’S ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ARE BLACK SNAKES POISONOUS IN VIRGINIA?

Pine 400It’s, er, a dark snake!” … These snakes would be the Northern black racer, the Eastern ratsnake, and the sometimes-but-not-always-black Eastern hognose. Though all three are non-venomous, harmless and native to Virginia, it is the first two, according to Steele, that is likely most often confused—and little wonder.

WHAT SNAKES ARE NATIVE TO VIRGINIA?

All three venomous snakes of Virginia are pit vipers – the Northern Copperhead, Timber (or CanebrakeRattlesnake, and the Eastern Cottonmouth.

DO BLACK SNAKES BITE?

Black Snake Bites. The black snake is not venomous and most species aren’t known to be aggressive, but if they feel threatened, they will bite. Rat snakes are excellent swimmers, so their first choice is to flee.

ARE THERE ANY BLACK POISONOUS SNAKES?

Myth #1: Black snakes keep poisonous snakes away…Black racers do occasionally kill and eat other snakesBlack rat snakes, however, aren’t known for snake killing. In fact, they sometimes will even hibernate with other species of snakes, including copperheads and rattlesnakes.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF A SNAKE IS POISONOUS OR NOT?

snake with heat-sensing pits is venomous. Triangular heads are another commonality in most venomous snakes. The rattlesnake, copperhead, and water moccasin all have arrowhead faces. If you can get close enough to see, pit vipers also have pupils that are oblong, like a slit.

IS A BLACK RACER SNAKE POISONOUS?

The man remains the biggest enemy of black racers. Many are killed on highways and others are intentionally killed out of fear. The white chin causes some people to kill this snake, believing that it is a cottonmouth – a venomous snake more commonly called a water moccasin.

ARE BLACK AND YELLOW SNAKE POISONOUS?

If you are looking at North American snakes, the snake rhyme has nothing to do with white markings. The rhyme goes, ‘red touching black, safe for Jack. Red touching yellow, kill a fellow.’ This is the only rhyme that will identify a coral snake, one of the deadly serpents in North America.

DO WATER MOCCASINS LIVE IN VIRGINIA?

Habitat. According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, water moccasins live in the southeastern United States, from southern Virginia to Florida to eastern Texas. Water moccasins may be found swimming in swamps, marshes, drainage ditches, and at the edges of ponds, lakes, and streams.

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF SNAKES AROUND YOUR HOUSE?

  1. ELIMINATE DEBRIS SUCH AS WOOD OR ROCK PILES ON THE PROPERTY.

  2. CUT DOWN HEAVY BRUSH OR TRIM BACK HEDGES.

  3. SEAL SMALL GAPS UNDER DOORS OR DECKS, ETC.

  4. USE FUNNEL TYPE TRAPS OR GLUE BOARD TYPE TRAPS ALONG EDGES.

  5. SEAL SHUT ANY ENTRY POINTS INTO THE HOUSE.

MORE OPTIONS REGARDING SNAKE REMOVAL:

OPTION 1 – WALK AWAY AND LEAVE THE SNAKE ALONE

Maybe the snake is just passing through your yard. Maybe it’s a harmless snake, and even good to have around. Not every snake sighting is cause for alarm or active snake removal. You can read this guide: Is it Venomous?, or look at my many Snake Photos, or pictures of dangerous snakes such as the Copperhead Snake, the Cottonmouth Snake, or common harmless ones like the Garter Snake.

If you must remove a snake, you basically have four options for getting rid of your snake(s). First, you can call a professional wildlife expert from my below directory. This person can catch and remove the snake(s) and take other actions necessary to solve the snake problem. Second, you can purchase a snake trap if you wish to catch the snake yourself. Third, you can modify your land and seal up your house to help keep snakes away and out of the house. Fourth, you can try a snake repellent.

OPTION 2 – BUY A SNAKE TRAP

If a snake is indoors, a trap will work. I do not recommend using a glue-based trap outdoors, because it can inhumanely catch other small critters. I have reviewed and field tested several snake trap designs, and the one featured below is the most durable and effective. It is the highest quality snake trap available on the market. Read more about Snake Trap.

OPTION 3 – HABITAT MODIFICATION & EXCLUSION

There’s a reason you have snakes on your property or in your house. Your property is in an area of the country that has snakes (that includes most areas), and your property has features that are attractive to snakes. Most commonly, this means that your property is full of debris that attracts snakes. Snakes like a safe place to live and hunt and hide, and places to crawl in. So vegetation is a big snake attractor. So you can, if you wish, eliminate or trim back heavy vegetation. But more than that, if you have any rocks, sidewalk, plywood, a shed, or anything else that snakes can crawl under and den in, then you’ve REALLY got some attractive snake habitat. Eliminate all of these areas. Fill in gaps under rocks with dirt. Install an exclusion barrier, like a steel screen, around your shed or deck. Get rid of plywood or bricks or other debris. You can also install a fine-mesh fence sloping outward at a 30-degree angle, or tall solid fence around the perimeter of your property. If you’ve got snakes in your house, find out how they are getting in via a full inspection of the house. Use a polyurethane foam such as Great Stuff to seal any openings, and install weather stripping where you find gaps under doors. You can read more about How to Keep Snakes Away here, but in summary:

  • Eliminate debris such as wood or rock piles on the property.
  • Cut down heavy brush or trim back hedges.
  • Seal small gaps under doors or decks, etc.
  • Use funnel type traps or glue board type traps along edges.
  • Seal shut any entry points into the house.
  • An extreme remedy would be a perimeter wire fence.

The following remedies do not work:

  • Use of sisal rope around the property, as if the rope is tough on a snake’s belly.
  • Use of snake repellants such as sulfur, mothballs, or Snake-A-Way.
  • Use of ultrasonic sound emitters (snakes can’t hear, at least in high frequencies).
  • Use of fake owls or hawk decoys.

OPTION 4 – USE A SNAKE REPELLENT

I included this section to inform and educate. Unfortunately, most snake repellents don’t work. Only rare specialty items such as predator scents like mongoose urine or kingsnake musk have shown any (limited) effectiveness, and these aren’t available to the public. Many of my listed wildlife trappers have access to such materials, but they’re not sold anywhere online or elsewhere. There are in fact many snake repellents marketed and sold, and if you want, go ahead and do a Google search for “snake repellent,” and you’ll find all sorts of products. But they’re bogus! Most are made of naphthalene (mothball flakes) which DO NOT WORK and which just poison the environment! Don’t use them! Or the products contain sulphur or coyote urine. These are the same gimmick ingredients used in all generic animal repellents, like “rat-away” or “squirrel-repel.” They are a scam, and they do not work! I have tested all of these products extensively over many years in the field, and they are all, except for mongoose urine or kingsnake musk, totally bogus. And even the mongoose or kingsnake scents aren’t a guarantee, and they wash away relatively quickly. Hiring a pro or setting a trap is a much more effective option. The pro is more expensive, but the trap is about the same cost as a phony repellent. Oh, and forget anything that claims “ultrasonic sound” or vibrations or anything, those have been certified as grade-a scams by the 

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