Identifying Venomous Snakes Common to North Carolina
North Carolina is home to over 30 varieties of snake, many of them beautiful in appearance, and most of them posing relatively little threat to people. However, several species can be dangerous. It is important to be able to recognize venomous snakes in the event that you cross paths with one—or worse yet, if a bite occurs.
First is the eastern coral snake, a slender, colorful species. Its body pattern consists of black, red, and yellow rings. The red portions include patches of black, and the tip of the tail is marked with wide black rings alternating with narrow yellow ones. This typically 18-36 inch snake is often found in sandy woods of scrub oaks and pine, although sightings are rare.
A larger species, the copperhead is marked with brown and chestnut-colored hourglass shaped markings on the body, with a light brown, pink, or yellow belly. This type of snake is typically 24-46 inches in length when full grown, and has a more stout profile. Copperheads are not aggressive, but do account for nearly 90 percent of recorded venomous snakebites in North Carolina. That said, only one death has ever been reported in the state.
Larger still is the cottonmouth, a heavier-bodied snake which will grow anywhere from 27 to 60 inches in length. This semi-aquatic species can be identified by brown, olive, or blackish coloring alternating in cross-bands and large symmetrical plates covering the top of the head.
The pigmy rattlesnake is a smaller variety, moderately slender and usually 15-25 inches long when full grown. Coloration is typically reddish, brownish, or grayish with blotches of darker brown. A dark brown or red stripe on the side of the head is also distinctive to this species.
A much larger rattlesnake is the eastern diamondback, whose body is much thicker and total length ranges from 36-72 inches and beyond. As the name suggests, dark diamond-shaped marks adorn the back of this brown or grayish snake, whose distinctive rattle is found at the tail. This species is the largest and one of the more dangerous snakes in the US.
One last large variety is the timber rattlesnake, which grows to approximately 36-68 inches in body length and is heavy-bodied similar to the eastern diamondback. This species is pinkish to blackish in color with light-centered cross bands and blotches.
Do your best to avoid contact with any of these types of snakes, and never reach or walk where you cannot see to reduce risk of being bitten. Remain calm and call 911 or contact poison control immediately if a venomous snake bite should occur. To learn more about snakes removal in Raleigh, please visit this website.
David has over 10 years of experience dealing with Pest Control situations. You can find his thoughts at wordpress blog.
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