Help! There is a Black Rat Snake in My Yard!

Black rat snakes are some of the most common snakes in Maryland, and the type our Maryland snake removal technicians get a lot of calls about every summer. Most people don’t like snakes and feel threatened by a single encounter, which is especially understandable when it comes to black rate snakes. These creatures can reach up to 6-7 feet long, which makes for a rather menacing appearance. And although they don’t technically have a rattle at the tip of their tails, they can still make a rattling sound when they want to defend themselves. If you live in the country, you will likely encounter a black rat snake at least once. Don’t panic and read on to see what you can do to protect yourself.

Rat Snakes are Non-Venomous

It’s good to remember that there are only two venomous snake species in Maryland: copperhead and timber rattlesnake, and none of them are black. Black rat snakes are not only non-venomous, but also non-aggressive unless you pose a direct threat. They prefer to avoid conflict and will escape given a chance. If you encounter a black rat snake outdoors, it may be best to simply let it be and go on with your business. These snakes are beneficial to have around, as they control the population of mice. Black rat snakes are black from head to tail, except for their chin/throat area. However, if you are looking at an angle, in bright sunlight or if you encountered a young hatchling, it’s possible to get an impression that the snake is brown or grayish. If you are not sure whether you are dealing with a black rat snake, it’s worth calling your local Maryland snake removal experts. Don’t attempt to approach, kill or handle the snake. Black rat snakes, although non-venomous, can produce a foul-smelling musk when disturbed.

Good Climbers

Black rat snakes are also good climbers and can easily climb trees and man-made vertical structures, such as homes and garages. Brick, stone and other textured siding materials are especially fit for climbing. Snakes climb to look for food and shelter, and often find both in attics and rafters. They will feed on birds that land on the roof, as well as mice if the home has a mouse problem. Since snakes only feed about once per week and can go several months without food, they often stay in the attic for a long period of time. A local customer has recently sent us this photo of a black rat snake that has climbed up the vinyl siding and hung around the door frame. In a dangerous situation, a black rat snake tends to freeze in a “beefed up” pose, which is what you see in the photo and what gave the homeowner time to snap this picture.

Imagine opening a door to discover this black beast with a corner of your eye! This is indeed a heart-attack inducing spectacle. The homeowner called Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control right away and our trained technicians rushed to pick up and relocate this snake. If you encounter a black rat snake or another snake on your property, contact us ASAP for snake removal in Maryland.