Snakes! A lot of people cringe when hearing the word snake and freak out if ever seeing a snake. More than 20 percent of people around the country suffer some degree of fear with snakes, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Regardless of the reasons, the extreme fear is unnecessary. Encounters with snakes are relatively infrequent. Snakes are not hiding under every rock, bush, stump hole in the ground or any other area that provides cover and hard for us to see in and under. Education is key and the more people learn about snakes, the less they will fear them. Georgia is unique when it comes to snake species and is very fortunate to have one of the highest biodiversity of snakes in the country with over 40 species. Snakes can be found in all regions of the state, from the mountains to the coast and everywhere in between. This rich diversity of snake species makes Georgia the ideal state for observing and learning about snakes. Snakes are very beneficial to our environment and play an important role in our ecosystem as both predator and prey. Snakes eat mice, rats, and other animals that are deemed to be pests that can cause a lot of problems for us. Snakes have also been used in research studies to help assess water quality in aquatic ecosystems and pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems.
Snakes are reptiles with elongated bodies and a lack of limbs. Snakes do not have external ears or eyelids. The skin of snakes is dry and scaly. To figure out their surroundings snakes use their forked tongue to sample microscopic particles from the air then transferring the particles to an organ called the Jacobson's Organ which allows them to taste air. Snakes are cold-blooded animals relying on their surroundings for body heat. They cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. So, when it is extremely cold or hot outside, snakes will be relatively inactive.
Snakes can be found just about everywhere in Georgia. It is very common for snakes to live in close quarters with people, but most are very secretive and spend a lot of time underground. There are smaller species that are common in gardens and around yards that feed on a variety of insects and there are larger species that can be found in yards or in any wooded areas that feed on rodents, birds, bird eggs and other smaller animals. Snakes searching for food or a place to shed their skin can allow them to enter our attics, crawl spaces and sometimes inside our homes. The best way to keep snakes from entering your home is to prevent their food like rodents from entering your home. Making sure you do not have problem entries around your rooflines and foundations is the best way to prevent snakes finding their way in your home. Controlling the rodent populations around the property is another way to help keep snakes away.
There are a lot of water snakes, brown snakes, garter snakes, rat snakes and others that are completely harmless to us and only 6 species of venomous snakes in Georgia. Copperheads are the most common venomous snake that can be found in and around Atlanta.
|Eastern Green Watersnake||Black Swamp Snake||Eastern Hognose Snake||Coachwhip||Mole Kingsnake|
|Plain-bellied Watersnake||Brown Snake||Southern Hognose Snake||Rough Green Snake||Scarlet Kingsnake|
|Brown Watersnake||Florida Brown Snake||Ringneck Snake||Corn Snake||Eastern Milk Snake|
|Banded Watersnake||Red-bellied Snake||Eastern Worm Snake||Eastern Rat Snake||Scarlet Snake|
|Northern Watersnake||Eastern Ribbon Snake||Pine Woods Snake||Gray Rat Snake||Southeastern Crowned Snake|
|Queen Snake||Common Garter Snake||Mud Snake||Pine Snake||Florida Crowned Snake|
|Striped Crayfish Snake||Smooth Earth Snake||Rainbow Snake||Common Kingsnake||Eastern Indigo Snake|
|Glossy Crayfish Snake||Rough Earth Snake||Black Racer||Black Kingsnake|
|Eastern Coral Snake||Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake|