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Snake season in Georgia | What to and what not to do if you encounter one

Here's what you need to know about the slithering reptiles.

ATLANTA — As spring flourishes, all types of snakes have been emerging in Georgia. So, how can you tell if they are venomous? Here's what you need to know about the slithering reptiles.

Venomous or not?

Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Senior Wildlife Biologist Daniel Sollenberger said seldomly the snake you encounter is venomous. According to the Georgia DNR, only six of the 46 species native to Georgia are venomous, and only one – the copperhead --  flourishes in suburban areas.

Venomous snakes in Georgia

  • Copperhead
  • Pigmy Rattlesnake
  • Timber Rattlesnake
  • Cottonmouth
  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Eastern Coral Snake
Credit: John Jensen/Georgia DNR
Copperhead in Jasper County

"While at least one of the state’s six species of venomous snakes could be found in each county in the state, seldom are they the most common species encountered,” Sollenberger said.

What to do and don't do

If you encounter a snake, Georgia DNR said you can try to identify it from a safe distance by using its venomous snakes of Georgia list. Georgia DNR said do not attempt to handle the snake and give it plenty of space. 

Also, the DNR said to remember that snakes are predators that feed on small mammals, amphibians, insects or even other serpents.

According to Georgia DNR, "there is no need to fear non-venomous snakes." The DNR added that Georgia's native non-venomous species are protected by state law; another one, the eastern indigo is federally protected. 

If the snake is clearly identified as venomous, the DNR said it's a danger to people and pets. You can also consult Georgia DNR for a private wildlife removal specialist. 

Non-venomous snakes in Georgia 

  • Eastern Green Watersnake
  • Brown Watersnake
  • Plain-bellied Watersnake
  • Banded Watersnake
  • Northern Watersnake
  • Queen Snake
  • Striped Crayfish Snake
  • Glossy Crayfish Snake
  • Black Swamp Snake
  • Brown Snake
  • Florida Brown Snake
  • Red-bellied Snake
  • Eastern Ribbon Snake
  • Common Garter Snake
  • Smooth Earth Snake
  • Rough Earth Snake
  • Eastern Hognose Snake
  • Southern Hognose Snake
  • Ringneck Snake
  • Eastern Worm Snake
  • Pine Woods Snake
  • Mud Snake
  • Rainbow Snake
  • Black Racer
  • Coachwhip
  • Rough Green Snake
  • Corn Snake
  • Eastern Rat Snake
  • Gray Rat Snake
  • Pine Snake
  • Common Kingsnake
  • Black Kingsnake
  • Mole Kingsnake
  • Scarlet Kingsnake
  • Eastern Milk Snake
  • Scarlet Snake
  • Southeastern Crowned Snake
  • Florida Crowned Snake
  • Eastern Indigo Snake
  • Brahminy Blind Snake (non-native)
Credit: John Jensen- Georgia DNR
Brown watersnake

While there are far fewer venomous snakes in Georgia, the DNR said to use caution around an unidentified snake. To learn more about the different types of snakes in Georgia, click here. 

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