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yellow rat snake

Q:  I found a long, brown striped snake in my yard.  I am worried it might the snake might attack me or my pets.  How concerned should I be?

A:  The most important thing to do is to stay away from them as most bites and injuries occur when people poke at the snake or try to pick it up. Snakes are not going to chase you down and attack – you can definitely out run them. Even if the snake is not venomous it can bite, so just leave well enough alone.

The non-venomous snakes are also keeping our rodent (rat) populations in check and some even eat the venomous snake varieties.  It was especially fortuitous for me to have a yellow rat snake to end up in my back yard this weekend.  The juvenile is very different looking as it has black and white patterns which people often mistake as venomous.  Notice the pupil of the eye is round which is another indication of it not being venomous; at least this is true here in Southeast Florida.

University of Florida publication titled, “Dealing with Snakes in Florida’s Residential Areas – Identifying Commonly Encountered Snakes” will probably be very helpful when finding snakes in the yard. I would suggest making a copy and having it readily available should the need to identify a snake arise. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw258