Welcome to tallahasseesnakes.com! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Tallahassee, FL. Many people don't know that Tallahassee is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Florida snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Leon County FL, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Tallahassee. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Tallahassee, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Tallahassee, as well as the venomous snakes of Tallahassee that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Tallahassee. Remember the following:
- Most snakes of Tallahassee are harmless and don't want to encounter you
- Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Tallahassee, Florida
- Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Florida ecosystem
- Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.
Common Snake Species in TallahasseeBlack Racer: Since black racers are diurnal or active during the day, they are one of the most frequently seen snakes in Tallahassee, Florida. One can identify this snake species because of its usually sleek and shiny jet black upper surface, and a starkly contrasting white underbelly and chin. They are quick and graceful, and their bodies are very slender, allowing for faster speed. Their main diet consists of insects, birds, other snakes, rodents, and lizards. They like to live in warmer areas and would burrow in dirt and hide when it gets too chilly for them. When feeling cornered, the black racer snake will bite, so still, exercise caution.
Corn Snake/ Red Rat Snake: One of the most common snakes in Florida, corn snakes can be practically found in every county. They can be identified through their coloration and pattern. Adult corn snakes are colored orange-brown, with black spots that are bordered red, orange, or brown. They will also have an arrow-shaped or spear-shaped pattern on their head to their neck. Their average length can be anywhere from 30 to 48 inches. Corn snakes mostly tend to keep to themselves and will avoid humans and pets as much as possible. However, if provoked or cornered, they will readily strike and defend themselves. These snakes like to feed on small mammals like mice, rodents, birds, lizards, and even bird eggs. They kill their prey through constriction since they are nonvenomous.
Eastern Kingsnake: Eastern kingsnakes have a coloration anywhere between solid black to milk chocolate brown, with white or yellow crossbands running down their backs. One can also usually spot a chain-like pattern on their sides. The average length of an eastern kingsnake can be anywhere from 36 to 48 inches in total. The eastern kingsnake has a very interesting diet, which consists of the normal snake foods like lizards, frogs, birds and bird eggs, turtle eggs, and other smaller snakes. However, they are also known to have cannibalistic tendencies, and they also eat venomous snakes like copperheads and rattlesnakes, although they do not have venom themselves.
Venomous Snake Species in TallahasseeCopperhead: Copperheads have bold markings and a body coloration of anywhere between light brown to gray. They have large, thick stripes of chocolate brown running along their backs, which can sometimes appear in an hourglass shape. Juvenile copperheads look relatively the same as adult ones, but their tails are a lighter yellowish in color. This distinct pattern actually allows this snake species to camouflage in woody and forested areas, which is their main habitat. This snake is a carnivore, and they feed mostly on insects, lizards, small birds, and their favorite, cicadas. Practice extreme caution with this snake species because their hunting style is ambushing their prey and injecting them with lethal venom.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake: This snake species is the largest venomous snake in Florida, and its length can exceed 6 feet in total. This snake is highly dangerous and should never be approached in any instance. One can identify an eastern diamondback rattlesnake by their bold marking of dark-colored diamond patterns with brown centers that are bordered by a light dirty white or cream-colored border. They usually have a dark facial color that is bordered by a light cream color the same as their body. This snake can usually be found in dry habitats such as golf courses, pinelands, and scrubs. Like the name suggests, their tail ends have a rattle that emits a loud buzzing and rattling sound when the snake feels threatened or cornered. Luckily, this can also be a warning that they are poised to strike. Unfortunately, not all rattlesnakes rattle before striking, so one should still avoid these snakes at all costs. Their diet consists of medium-sized prey like rabbits and squirrels.
If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at email@example.com and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Tallahassee snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.
Is It Against The Law To Kill A Snake?
Before you decide to kill a snake on your property, you should confirm whether or not it is legal to do so. Every state has its own regulations, so while it may be legal to kill any type of snake or certain species in one state or even county, the law may be different just one state over. Because of this, you need to either confirm you can legally kill a snake in your jurisdiction first or choose another method of getting rid of the serpent.
Ask An Expert
If you definitely want the snake on your property dead, you can figure out whether or not it is legal to do so with some online research or by consulting an expert. Wildlife removal experts will typically know the local regulations so they can let you know the legalities and even take care of the snake for you.
Killing A Snake May Lead To Injury
In cases where it is legal to kill a snake in your area, this does not automatically mean you should go ahead with this removal method. The vast majority of snake bites occur when someone is trying to kill a snake or otherwise injure it. Unless your reflexes are amazing and you have experience handling snakes, which is unlikely, you put yourself at risk of a snake bite if you try to kill one.
Snakes Are Usually Harmless
One of the most important things to remember is that you do not usually have a reason to kill a snake. Other than venomous ones, snakes are almost always harmless and actually good for the ecosystem. Having a snake or two in your yard will actually keep away rodents, something most homeowners appreciate. It is highly unlikely that you will have a venomous snake on your property and if you do, you should not try to kill it yourself as there is a serious risk of getting a bite and requiring a trip to the emergency room. If you do spot a snake that you think is venomous, leave it alone, bring your pets and children inside, and call an expert to get rid of it.
What To Do Instead
Instead of killing a snake, consider just leaving it alone if it is outside your home. As long as your house is well-sealed, it will not be able to get inside. If the snake is inside or too close for comfort, hire a wildlife removal expert to trap then remove it for you.
Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Tallahassee, it's venomous snakes of Tallahassee. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Tallahassee. The few venomous snakes of Leon County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Tallahassee in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of College Town, Woodland Drivers, Killearn Estates, Betton Hills, Leon Arms, Blairstone Forest, Apalachee Ridge Estates, Magnolia Heights, Maclay Hammock, Hartsfield Woods, Buckwood, Melody Hills, and the surrounding areas.
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