Creepy, crawly, slithery; these are just a few of the words that pop up when snakes are a part of the conversation. These misunderstood creatures can bring a chill to anyone who encounters them, but they really are an important part of the ecosystem.

Most of the time, snakes just want to be left alone, but sometimes they end up where they don’t belong simply because they think they’ve found a good home. Unfortunately, sometimes that “good home” is your home. If you happen to find a snake, don’t panic! We’ve got some tips that will help you identify troublesome snakes and help remove them from your home.

troublesome snake basically covers any snake that may appear in your home

So, What Exactly is a Troublesome Snake?

The term “troublesome snake” basically covers any snake that may appear in your home. Of course, there are some snakes that can be more dangerous than others. Pennsylvania has over 22 different species of snake, and while most of them avoid encounters with humans, it does happen.

Of the 22 snake varieties, only three are venomous. The rest are mostly harmless. Still, harmless doesn’t mean they won’t cause trouble, and a snake bite can start, with or without venom. So, which snakes should you avoid at all costs?

Venomous Snakes Vs. Non-Venomous Snakes

The three most venomous snakes in PA are the Eastern Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, and the Eastern Massasauga. These snakes are considered venomous, not poisonous, because when they bite, they can inject you with a potent venom intended to stun or kill victims or enemies. Non-venomous snakes are more common and include the following:

  • Rat Snakes
  • Garter Snakes
  • Water Snakes
  • Eastern Hognose
  • Ringneck Snakes

Of course, if you encounter a snake in your basement, garage, or out on a hike, you may not know exactly what you are looking at.

Clearly, the biggest difference between the venomous snake and the non-venomous snake is the fact that one can kill you with a bite and the other cannot. Pennsylvania venomous snakes have distinct characteristics that can make identifying them easier.

They have an indentation or pit on each side of their head, between the eye and nostril. Their eye pupil looks very much like a cat’s eye, with a vertical slit. They have a single row of scales on the underside of their tail.

Keep in mind, if you can see any of these details, you may be way too close. The best course of action should you find a snake unexpectedly is to keep your distance.

Why Can Snakes Be a Nuisance?

Unlike other pests, snakes don’t cause too many problems. In fact, they avoid people when they can. They don’t cause property damage and they stay out of sight whenever possible. Basically, they want to be left alone, but they seek out places that they find comfortable.

Snakes prefer areas that are dark, quiet, and have a food source close by. You can often find them in garages, rock walls, barns, woodpiles, and sometimes even basements. Sometimes, snakes will find their way inside through a crack and become trapped. Often, if you do find a snake somewhere in your home, chances are, they don’t want to be there either!

Aside from getting stuck where they don’t want to be, people find snakes to be a nuisance simply because most people are afraid of them. Even if people find a snakeskin, that may be cause for panic. If you do encounter a snake, just keep in mind that it most likely wants to be left alone. You can do both parties a favor by just letting it be.

What Should You Do If You Encounter a Snake?

The first precaution you should take is to always be aware of your surroundings. Snakes can often go unnoticed, which is part of the issue. You may not know you are near one until it’s too late. This can be especially dangerous if you happen to run into a venomous snake.

If you encounter a snake, you should keep in mind that all snakes are protected species. They eat rats, mice, insects, and other pests and are considered crucial to the ecosystem. Plus, a few species are endangered and should be treated with extra care. Of course, if you don’t know if the snake you’ve come across is venomous or not, it’s best to stay away altogether. This may not be an option if you discover one slithering around your basement.

If you’ve found a snake on your property, or evidence of a snake, take steps to make your yard less habitable for them. Make sure they don’t have a steady food source or a comfortable place to hideaway. If you do come across a snake, it’s best to call and have it removed from your property. Exclusion is best; snakes can be relocated somewhere safe, and your home or yard will be snake-free.

Snakes prefer areas that are dark, quiet, and have a food source close by

Concluding Thoughts

A snake encounter doesn’t have to be a frightening experience. These often-misunderstood creatures are an intricate part of the ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean they belong in your backyard. If you should find a snake in your home or yard, don’t panic. Contact an expert and keep both parties happy, alive, and well.



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