There are 27 different species of snakes in Maryland, 25 of which are non-venomous and 2 that are venomous. Some of the snake species listed below only inhabit one or two counties in Maryland and others can be found throughout the state. To learn more about snake removal services or to get snake information, contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control at [Direct].
The Snake Species Found Throughout the State of Maryland
- Non-venomous: Black Rat Snake, Eastern Garter Snake, Northern Water Snake, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, Northern Black Racer Snake, Common Ribbon Snake, Red-bellied Water Snake, Queen Snake, Eastern Smooth Earth Snake, Northern Brown Snake, Northern Red-bellied Snake, Northern Ring-necked Snake, Southern Ring-necked Snake, Eastern Worm Snake, Smooth Green Snake, Northern Rough Green Snake, Southern Pine Snake, Red Corn Snake, Mole King Snake, Eastern King Snake, Eastern Milk Snake, Coastal Plain Milk Snake, Northern Scarlet Snake
- Non-venomous endangered: Mountain Earth Snake (unique to the Western Garrett County) and Rainbow Snake (found in Charles County and along the Potomac River)
- Venomous: Northern Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake
Reproduction and Mating Habits
Some of the snake species that inhabit Maryland lay eggs and others give live birth. The female Eastern Rat Snake lays 6 to 24 eggs in mid to late July. The Eastern Garter Snake gives live birth to between 10 and 30 young from July through August. Both types of snakes usually lay eggs or give birth in secluded areas like burrows that are abandoned by other animals or in wood piles, the base of hollow trees, and leaf litter.
Most of the snake species in Maryland have the same mating habits and use the same mating techniques. Males will emit pheromones around their territory to attract females for mating and will mate with several different females during the same breeding period. Once the mating is over, the fertilization and incubation begin. Most females have a gestation period of two to three months before they lay eggs or before giving birth.
The type of foods that a snake eats depends on the environment that snake species inhabits. The Red Bellied Water Snake and the Northern Water Snake feed on frogs, fish, and other aquatic species. The Eastern Rat Snake and the Northern Black Racer feed on mice, small rats, bird eggs, birds, and other small mammals. Some of the smaller snake species such as the Eastern Garter Snake feed on earthworms, salamanders, slugs, insects, lizards, small fish, and some insects.
Copperhead is the most common venomous snake that inhabits Maryland. They are found in fields, forests, swamps, rocky outcrops, and agricultural fields that border forest. Homeowners encounter these snakes in piles of firewood, fallen leaves, under decks, in flowerbeds, under swimming pool platforms, and under or around landscaping rocks.
Here is how to tell if you are dealing with a Copperhead:
The Copperhead is well-camouflaged, which allows it to blend in with a natural background. These snakes come out during the daytime to absorb the heat from the sun in early to mid-spring and early fall. During the hot summer months they typically lead nocturnal lifestyle to avoid the extreme heat of the daytime.
Copperheads and Humans
The number of reported interactions between humans and Copperheads has increased over the past 3 years. Before 2009, we had received an average of 2 calls per year from homeowners about Copperhead problems. In June of 2012, we removed 2 Copperheads from a backyard in Germantown, Maryland, 1 from a crawl space under a home in Edgewater, Maryland, 1 from under a deck in Westminster, Maryland, and 3 from two different back yards in Crownsville, Maryland.
To the right is a photo of the owner of Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control removing a Copperhead from the back yard of a home located on the Severn River in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. This Copperhead was denning under a large stone step.
At right is a photo of a Copperhead denning under a large stone step at a residential home on the Severn River in Crownsville, Maryland. This species is not very aggressive, but they will bite if they feel threatened. If a human would have frightened this Copperhead by stepping off the top step onto the bottom stone, they would most likely have been bitten on the foot or lower leg. Our technician safely removed this Copperhead and relocated it to a more appropriate area away from humans.
Copperhead venom is not usually deadly to a healthy adult human, however, it is painful and you must seek medical attention immediately. Young children, the elderly, and people with heart conditions are at a higher risk of death.
The Timber Rattlesnake inhabits the western counties of Maryland including Fredrick County, Washington County, Allegany County, and Garret County. On a very rare occasion, Timber Rattlesnakes have been seen in Carroll County, Baltimore County, and Harford County. This species prefers a rocky terrain in heavily forested areas.
Like all snakes, the Timber Rattlesnake is cold-blooded and is nocturnal during the hot mid-summer to avoid the high temperatures of the day. They hibernate in the same den year after year and typically stay in close range to their den site. Young Timber Rattlesnakes are sometimes found in flower beds and tall grass.
The Timber Rattlesnake is the only snake species in Maryland that has a rattle on its tail. They will bite when provoked or if they feel threatened. This species has very potent venom that can cause death if not treated immediately with the proper anti-venom.
List of Snakes
There are 27 different species of snakes that call Maryland their home. Check out their names and photos below:
Several issues contribute to the increased interaction between humans and Copperheads, including population increase of both humans and Copperheads, as well as housing that is being developed near forested areas. The weather also plays a huge part: warmer-than-normal winters mean fewer Copperheads freeze to death.
A healthy source of food also contributes to the increased population of Copperheads. Many homeowners living near or in a forested area are likely to have field mice on their property—one of the main food sources for Copperheads. Typically, they eat about once per week and spend the remainder of their time resting in a safe area away from predators.
Black Rat Snake
Northern Ring-necked Snake
Coastal Plain Milksnake
Common Ribbon Snake
Eastern Hognosed Snake
Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
Northern Black Racer Snake
Northern Copperhead Juvenile
Northern Pine Snake
Northern Redbellied Snake
Northern Ring Necked Snake
Northern Rough Greensnake
Northern Scarlet Snake
Northern Water Snake
Red Bellied Water Snake
Red Corn Snake
Southern Ring Necked Snake
Don’t Handle Snakes!
If you have a nuisance snake on your property, don’t attempt to remove it yourself. It could be a harmless snake or a poisonous one, but either way, you don’t want to be bitten. In addition to our snake removal services, we offer:
Contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control professionals at [Direct] to safely remove snakes.