Garter snakes often called Garden snakes are one of the most common snakes in Pennsylvania. Although normally a calm snake a garden snake can give a nasty bite. Back in the day long before the video games and social media. My brother and the other adventurers in the neighborhood would travel to Fairmount Park, turning stones and logs searching for these critters to scare mom with. Our average snake was maybe 8-11 inches. Most common garter snakes have a pattern of yellow stripes on a brown or green background, and their average total length (including tail) is about 55 cm (22 in), with a maximum total length of about 137 cm (54 in). The average body mass is 150 g (5.3 oz).

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Pest Library Description

Most poisonous snakes have a pupil that resembles a cat’s eye.
An oblong shape with peaked ends, like a slit in the center of the eye.
Nonvenomous, snakes usually have round pupils. There is always the exception to the rule.snakes
The coral snake, a very venomous reptile in the United States, has round pupils.
The venomous species in the U.S. tend to have varying colors.
Most that are one solid color are completely harmless. again exceptions to the rule apply.
Water Moccasins a.k.a. Cottonmouths are also venomous so this is not a foolproof way to tell them apart.

Use caution approaching or handling.

Always treat any snake as venomous! If you are uncertain whether it is venomous or nonvenomous.
Though you should remain cautious,  do not kill any animal it could be illegal to do so,
and killing non-venomous  allows venomous snakes and vermin populations to grow.

There are four different types of venomous snakes in the United States.

cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, copperheads and coral. This doesn’t include wayward pets set free or escaped.

We strongly suggest seeking medical attention whenever a snake bite occurs
nonvenomous species have bacteria and enzymes in their saliva that can be harmful to humans causing severe allergic reactions.

Snake LAW in Pennsylvania

All snakes in Pennsylvania are protected by Fish and Boat Commission regulations.
Endangered or threatened species such as Kirtland’s, eastern massasauga, and the rough green snake cannot be caught, killed, possessed, imported to, or exported from Pennsylvania.
The timber rattlesnake is protected under additional regulations and permits regarding seasons and possession limits.
Specific questions about current regulations can be directed to any of the Fish and Boat Commission regional law enforcement offices or the herpetology and endangered species coordinator.


The Coral snake so beautiful that other snakes, nonvenomous ones such as the Milk snake look just like them.
They have distinctive coloring, though, with a black, yellow and red bands, a yellow head, and a black band over their nose.
One rhyme to help distinguish coral snakes from king snakes is ‘Red to yellow, kill a fellow. Red to black, a friend of Jack.’
However, most of the time coral snakes will not bite they are very shy. All wildlife should be allowed to go unbothered. even the most docile creature can mistake your curiosity and attack.
There are no known deaths from the Arizona coral snake and only a few from the Eastern Coral.
The average person often misinterprets head shape in snakes that one has seen.
Therefore, it is wise to focus on the other characteristics when identifying snakes.
The three venomous species of snake in Pennsylvania are the northern copperhead, eastern massasauga rattlesnake, and timber rattlesnake.

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