Expert: Of 42 snake species in Georgia, only six are venomous


FORSYTH, Ga. -- As the weather gets warmer and people head out to enjoy the outdoors more, snakes can be a concern to some.

Wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Thomas Floyd said that although there are 42 known species of snakes in Georgia, only six of those are venomous.

Additionally, he said that the type of venomous snake you may encounter depends on where in the state you are located. He said some types prefer the coastal areas while some frequent north Georgia's mountainous regions.

But because Middle Georgia is located on a fall line, Floyd said the area is more likely to see a mix of types of snakes because the region features both geographies of Georgia.

Floyd said one of the most important things you can do when you encounter a snake is to leave it alone. He said the majority of snake bites occur when someone tries to remove or kill a snake. He said the best thing to do is let it move away on its own.

Also, he said oftentimes people can confuse venomous with non-venomous snakes. He said that in Georgia it is illegal to kill a non-venomous snake, so it is important to know a venomous snake when you see one.

When it comes to educating children about the dangers of snakes, Floyd said that it is easier to memorize the six varieties of venomous snakes rather than to remember all 42 of the species that can be found in the state.

The venomous snake species in Georgia are Copperheads, Cottonmouths, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Timber Rattlesnakes, Pigmy Rattlesnakes and Eastern Coral Snakes.

See below or click here for a brochure from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources outlining the descriptions of each venomous snake in Georgia.

Floyd said the best way to not be surprised by a snake is to be aware of your surroundings. If you are out walking on a trail or working in your garden, he said it is important to watch where you are walking and putting your hands.

He said that this time of year as the weather gets warmer, it is more likely that humans will encounter snakes so it is important to educate yourself and your family.

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