Snake Season Is Here In South Florida!: If you live in South Florida, you should be aware of the multiple types of snakes. After all, this information could be useful, especially in case a snake bites you or someone you know. Some bites can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in some people, so it’s always good to know about first aid treatment for severe allergic and venom reactions.
Florida is known for its Cuban coffee, subtropical weather, and its variety of birds, but it’s also home to about 50 different species of snakes. Of those, only six are venomous according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision. These include the Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake, Timber rattlesnake, Dusky Pygmy rattlesnake, Eastern Coral snake, Florida Cottonmouth (or water moccasin), and Southern Copperhead snake.
- Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Average adult size: 26 to 72 inches – This snake is known to be the largest, most dangerous and most feared venomous Florida snake. They’re not endangered, but dwindling habitat is a threat for them. If you come across a 6-foot rattlesnake, keep in mind that it can strike from a distance of about four feet. This rattlesnake has a serious of brown diamonds with yellowish-borders down its back. Because of its size and vivid colors, it’s the easiest venomous snake to identify.
- Dusky pigmy rattlesnake. Average adult size: 12 to 24 inches – You know what they say… the smaller the snake, the bigger the pain. The pigmy rattlesnake is a grayish snake with a series of dark blotches on its back. It is one of the most commonly seen venomous snake and most likely to defend itself when threatened.
- Timber rattlesnake. Average adult size: 36-60 inches – They are the most common in Florida. They are mostly situated in Northeast Florida. The brown balding pattern on its back has a reddish tint.
- Cottonmouth water moccasin. Average adult size: 20 to 48 inches – Water moccasins live all over Florida. When it senses danger, a cottonmouth will open its mouth revealing a cotton-white inside. When they are young they have a reddish brown, but as they get older they get darker, sometimes black. Moccasins often are confused with similarly colored but non-venomous water snakes, especially when the water snake is seen hanging in a tree over water.
- Coral snake. Average adult size: 20 to 30 inches – One beautiful snake, its colors are red, yellow, and black and its found throughout Florida. It is often confused with similarly marked harmless king snake. One way to tell them apart is that coral snakes have a black snout while kingsnakes have a red snout.
- Copperhead. Average adult size: 24 to 37 inches – In Florida, Copperheads are only found in the Panhandle. They have a painful, although usually non-life-threatening bites. They’re reddish brown with hourglass shapes on their backs.
What To Do
If you see a snake, you should stand back and observe it or walk around it, leaving at least 8 feet of space between the snake and yourself. Snakes don’t purposely position themselves to bite people. They much rather be left alone and avoid encounters.
If you encounter rattlesnake or other venomous snake, the most dangerous thing you can do is try to move, catch or kill it. That’s how most snake bites happen in South Florida. Officials advise anyone bitten by a venomous snake to get medical attention immediately, regardless of the type of snake. Instead, contact a professional snake removal service near you, so they can remove it safely for you.
When walking in large areas such as fields and high grass, be aware of your surroundings and watch where you are stepping. Always, wear closed shoes and pants because these are the areas snakes are most popular.
If you have a snake problem, contact Wildlife Troopers at 561-229-8501. We are fully licensed and insured, and we offer 24/7 service for residential and commercial customers.