Common Snakes Found in Southwest Florida

March 4th, 2020

Snake with red, white, and black stripes

Southwest Florida’s many waterways and lush vegetation create a favorable habitat for wildlife, making it one of the most abundant areas for nuisance wildlife issues. Common unwanted animals you might find on your property are snakes.

Encountering a snake in your home can be a very scary experience – especially due to the fact that many are venomous and can be dangerous to humans.

If you run into a snake on your property, regardless of if they are venomous or not, it’s best to consult a professional wildlife expert to ensure the animal is removed safely. However, it’s good to be armed with the knowledge of common snakes in the area and which ones are more dangerous so you can be well informed. Here are the most common snakes in Southwest Florida that you might find.

Non-Venomous Snakes in Southwest Florida

Luckily, there are a few snakes commonly found in Southwest Florida that are non-venomous. While you still don’t want nuisance animals on your property and should have them safely removed by a professional, you are not in the immediate danger if you find one of these non-venomous snakes.

The Southern Black Racer is the most common snake in the Southwest Florida area. It averages between 2 and 4 feet and is known to move with extraordinary quickness. They are also known to have large eyes. These snakes are basically harmless, although they have been known to bite when cornered, their bites are non-venomous.

The Florida Banded Watersnake can be found in freshwater habitats, like shallow waters of lakes, ponds, marshes, streams and rivers. It varies between 2 to 4 feet, and they are not as often encountered because they live in the water and keep a distance away from humans. However, when seen they are often mistaken for the venomous Water Moccasin or Eastern Cottonmouth which can be found in the water as well.

Scarlet Snake & Scarlet Kingsnake are two of the snakes known for the popular rhyme, “Red on black, friend of Jack, red on yellow, kill a fellow”. The “red on black” pattern that you can find on the snake symbolizes that they are non-venomous, but their pattern closely resembles the red on yellow pattern in the venomous Eastern Coral Snake.

The Eastern Corn Snake is another commonly found non-venomous snake in Florida. The average adult size is between 18 to 44 inches, and they are orangish-brown with black-bordered orange, red or brownish blotches on their body. They are commonly found near pinelands, hardwood hammocks, swamps, agricultural fields, and residential areas. The snake is primarily active at night and is both a terrestrial burrower and an extremely good climber. Like other non-venomous snakes, while they may be a nuisance on your property, they are harmless.

Venomous Snakes in Southwest Florida

There are a number of venomous snakes that are known to Southwest Florida. If you encounter one of these on your property, be careful to stay as far away as possible and seek help from a professional wildlife company as soon as you can.

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake are large snakes that can reach up to 5 feet in length and are common in Florida and the rest of the Southeast. They are small ambush predators that commonly hide and wait for small mammals like rats, rabbits, and birds to pass by to catch, so they are often found hiding or camouflaged. As large snakes, they can deliver considerable amounts of venom, and there have been fatalities to humans from their bites.

Dusky pygmy rattlesnakes are smaller pit vipers that rarely exceed 2 feet in length. While fleeing is usually their first line of defense, they are considered nervous and irritable animals and have been known to strike quickly. Their venom is strong but because they inject smaller doses, they are considered less dangerous than their eastern diamondback relatives.

Eastern coral snake follows the red on yellow pattern that is known in the rhyme to “kill a fellow.” Their neurotoxic venom attacks the central nervous system which creates a difficulty to breathe, speak, and walk. That being said, although the snake is venomous, they are shy and non-aggressive, and there are not very many cases of humans being bit by coral snakes.

The Florida cottonmouth is a medium-sized aquatic pit viper, more commonly known as a water moccasin. This snake rarely exceeds 4 feet and is known to have a bolder temperament than most snakes and will strike profusely if they feel threatened. They eat a variety of animals like fish, frogs, snakes, mammals, and birds and are an important part of the ecosystem. Their venom is considered dangerous based on both it’s potency and volume.

Snake Removal in Southwest Florida

If you find an unwanted snake on your property, especially if it’s a venomous snake, you should seek the help of a professional wildlife company immediately to trap and safely remove them to keep your home and your family safe. If you are unsure of a snake’s identity, do not attempt to handle it and consult a professional immediately.

Alford Wildlife is a professional company that specializes in the removal and relocation of nuisance wildlife in Southwest Florida, providing service all the way from Collier County to Hillsborough County. Our licensed team of experts can trap, remove, and relocate snakes and any other nuisance animals you find at your home or business.

To learn more, call us at (239) 245-7482 or contact us online today!

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