Black Snakes: What You Should Know

Black rat snake, slithering on the ground
Black rat snakes are often found in abandoned buildings. (©Seth LaGrange, Shutterstock)

If you’ve got black snakes around your house, chances are they’re one of two types: North American rat snakes or black racers.

Both are nonvenomous, with white or grayish bellies, and eat mostly rodents and other small animals. Neither is out to hurt you — they’re only around because there’s food nearby, and that food isn’t you.

In a nutshell, here’s what you should know about each type:

Black racer snake
Black racer snakes are nonvenomous, but suddenly sighting them could cause quite a scare. (DepositPhotos)

Facts About Black Snakes

  • Diet: Mostly eat rodents, lizards, birds and bird eggs. The Eastern rat snake, like the Eastern racer, is a constrictor. They can climb trees and, if you don’t protect your birdhouses with baffles, they will invade nests.
  • Smell: Rat snakes emit a musky smell when threatened.
  • Habitat: Live in grasses, forests, marshes and buildings. Wherever there are food and dark shelter, you may find them.
  • Benefits: Eat large quantities of rodents. If you can get over your fears, they’re good to have around your garage or barn to keep mice away.

Common Myths

Myth #1: They keep poisonous snakes away

Having a black snake won’t guarantee that there are no other snakes around.

The black racer snake in North America does occasionally kill and eat other snakes. Black rat snakes, however, aren’t known for snake killing.

In fact, they sometimes will hibernate with other species of snakes, including copperheads and rattlesnakes.

Myth #2: They mate with copperheads

Some people think these reptiles breed with copperheads to create a venomous black snake. That’s not true.

Their babies have colored markings that are easily mistaken for copperhead markings; but as they grow, those markings fade to black.

Myth #3: They’re harmless

Just because these snakes are good to have around doesn’t mean you’d want to be bitten by one — any more than you’d want to be bitten by a raccoon, a rat or a stray dog.

Any snake bite — even a nonvenomous one — is likely to be painful and full of bacteria, which can lead to infection.

So, treat all snakes respectfully, keep your distance, and avoid being bitten.

Further Information


  1. We came a black snake stretched across our gravel drive basking in the sun. As we approached it took off, climbing into the brake portion of our tractor wheel. Poked at it a bit to remove him. It eventually came out but kept trying to go back under the tractor. It was eventually convinced to ‘move on and out’.It then climbed a nearby tree and INTO the bluebird nesting box! Yikes, hope the bluebirds were done nesting for the season. Now, off to build a baffle of some sort to deter further hibernation/sleep overs in there!
    Sept. 7 2011 Rogers,AR

  2. Black racer snakes are the most scariest snakes from the family of Florida’s snakes. Yes, they’re non venomous. But their speed and their ability to swallow their preys alive make them rank the top of my “Don’t-Want-to-See-in-Person” list. Source:

  3. Threes ago i kill a snake which had silver in coloring, my brother say it was a rat snake. Today i saw a black snake which i let live, however how can i tell what kind he is? He was black all over.

  4. Just came up stairs from the ground level of my house (garage, den, laundry room) turned a corner to find a black snake in my hallway. I screamed a lot and let my husband dispatch the snake. How/is, there a way to make sure this does’nt happen again? I don’t think my heart can take it.
    I assume it came in through the basement door and climbed the carpeted stairs and into the hallway because my husband sometimes leaves the door open. He will not take the blame. I’m trying not to have bad thoughts. Any way to keep them away from the house is appreciated. We live in the suburbs of W-S.

    • I came home went to the kitchen looked down and their was a black snake my brother seen it and said it was a rat snake. Its in my kitchen where I don’t know. Will the snake come close to me? I got all the lights on and got my t.v up loud. Will the snake come in the living room with the light on and the t.v up loud? I’m so scared will the snake go back outside? Thank you so much please help me please. Please answer my questions please. So scared very Scarry. Thanks

  5. Today there was a racer snake making its way diagonally through my chain link fence. When my cat caught notice of it, the snake darted horizontally through the fence to get away! The craziest thing I’ve ever seen!!

  6. I live in the forest and have a garden i just seen a very large black snake i have 3 girl, if i catch him and walk him into the forest will he come back?

  7. Looking out my kitchen window today waiting for my two girls to get off the bus. watched them run down the driveway to the front porch door, where they stopped sundently & started sreaming & crying ” A snakes” ! so i opened the garage door for them to come in ,then we took a look on the front door , There were 2 Big long black snakes!!Hangging down the glass doors of the house !! Talking about CREEPY !!! Only in Hanover VA.

  8. Yesterday two blacksnakes found in tractor garage. We caught them and took them over two miles away. Today we again have two blacksnakes out near the building and caught one other got away. So we took the one we caught 5 miles

  9. Last weekend I found a black colored snake with faded brown diamonds in its skin. The belly was silver with yellow spots near the head underneath. He was slow moving and froze when I was checking it out. It was like he was checking me out. I thought it was a Rat snake. Two days later my cat found a smaller one on my back porch so my husband kille it. Today I found that bigger snake again in the barn in a food bucket so I killed it. My horses have been kicking the stalls at night so I figured it was scaring them. I hated to have to do that.

  10. We live in the country in a mobile home their are strip pits around it. This morning i was spraying for insects around the trailor and is saw a snake skin going under the tralor. Does this mean the snake is under the tralor? I am terrified of snakes and it doesn”t matter what kind they are. What can i do to get rid of it.

  11. Today my wife spotted 3 foot black snake curled around her favorite front flower pot. This is a large pot with lots of flowers. He was very comfortable and didn’t want to leave and for some reason he/she was excavating one of the flowers. I turned the hose on and got him to move, but not very far. Now my wife is not happy with the situation. We are in a wooded are and the front has a series of shrubs that cover the foundation. My wife was all set to trim them, but now that job is falling to me. Is there any polite way to find a new neighborhood?

  12. When I came home there was a black snake in front of my garage. When I opened my garage to try and run over it I noticed there was another one already in my garage. I called for help and my neighbors can. All and all there was 3 of them. By the time Animal Control came two had gotten away and they caught one. I understand about the bit however I still do not want them at my house.

  13. This week we found a 5-6′ Black Rat Snake in our front yard removed it, 2 days later it was back on our rock patio. My husband took it about 100 yds away and it was back same area within a few hours… TODAY… my husband found the snake in our hallway of our home!!! We gave it 3 chances and sorry but not sorry it was killed today.. I am freaked out to say the least… We have 3 kids and small dog and I can’t for the life of me figure out why it kept coming back till it was inside my home.. We live in North Georgia Can anyone shed some light on this and should I expect to see more??? like babies???

  14. We live in the metro Atlanta area (Stone Mountain side), and my husband returned from library today to see find shedded skin in the drive way. Something made him look further and he found a black rat snake (assume this is what it was), which was approx. 3′ long, in our garage. It took awhile, but he managed to kill it with a shovel. What are the chances there are more? I do know if it had been in my garage long or just happened to go in today as I accidentally left it open (approx. 1 hour). Told husband that I wanted the garage cleaned out immediately so that I can see the floor. Thanks.

  15. Seems like we have more mice …and more snakes this year. I discovered a snake skin in our basement and found a live black rat snake in our garage yesterday. Is there any reason to remove him? He’s about 3 ft long and hides under our stairs. Frankly, I’d rather have a snake than mice but am mildly freaked out at the thought of it! Any suggestions?

  16. I have a black snake that keeps popping up around my house. I have railroad ties and there are lizards and frogs there, so I’m sure that’s what’s keeping it (them) around. It has stayed away for a while, because I worked out in the yard a couple of days and kept running it off. So far, it’s been pretty respectful, to take off and stay away if we’re out. But yesterday I saw it in my backyard, slivering very quickly along side my house and down the bank. A little too close for comfort. I have two little dogs that go out the doggie door, and wouldn’t want them to walk up on it.

  17. Like June, We also have railroad ties – most of them are rotting and we’ve begun to remove and replace them with 6X6 pressure-treated lumber…a slow process. Living on a mountain side, the original owners of the home piled rocks on top of the ties which only adds to the issue. Lizards, spiders, toads, etc., love to live there. I’m trying to be mindful and considerate of nature. In the meantime, I’m making sure there’s no “easy access” into our home. My husband found a rather generous hole in our foundation where the AC pipes go in – I’m sure mice and snakes have used it in the past – it’s now filled!

  18. Our black snake continues to be spotted in the yard, but not the chipmunks. We had quite a colony last year, but I’ve only spotted one this year. So I figure the snake is earning his keep for now.

  19. I have an old farm house with the stacked rock foundation wich alows an entrance to my home! I’ve filled every opening unless near elictical wires or pluming n still 5 in the basement this year what else’s can I do to keep them out they donot at all bother me outside but I do not want them inside! Any helpful advise?

  20. OK on July 4th I had a black snake about 5-6ft long on my front porch.. Today august 31st I was in my basement tanning and when I went to go up the steps there was a little black snake about 5-6 inches long.. I’m scared to death of snakes and always have been. I use to have nightmares about snakes when I was little. My husband killed the baby snake and I am just wondering if there is more in the basement? Does snakes lay the eggs and just leave? And if there is one baby snake in basement is there usually more.. Some one please help me.. I am ready to Move out..

  21. Candi – get a grip. Black snakes are just as afraid of you as you are of them. Find out how they’re getting in and fix the problem. In the meantime, you can look forward to fewer mice.

  22. This evening, while walking my dog, I saw a black snake stretched out, hanging upside down on a tree. It looked to be about 5.5 feet long. I ran into the house to get my camera and when I returned, it was gone. I didn’t know snakes could climb. I’ll be looking up, from now on.

  23. If you want to try to keep snakes away from your HOME there are granules which you can purchase at your local Feed store or for that matter, WalMart, etc. Also, most snakes abhor sulfur so you can use that around the perimeter of your home. Of course, both methods are NOT rainproof, so, you will have to bear that in mind.

    p.s. The title says “Dealing With Black Snakes…etc” yet the author does not mention ANY methods at all TO deal with them. The title leads one to believe that there will be information provided to keep them at bay, so, how about putting some information in the article which will do just that. After all, the title is misleading otherwise.


  24. Thanks for pointing that out Gary. I, too, was hoping to get some advice rather than stories about “sightings.” Having recently spotted a copperhead slithering past our patio door, I’m more concerned about their presence. We have a new puppy so I’d rather keep them away from the house and will be sure to read the label to see about pet safety. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  25. I recently went to my 3rd story attic for holiday decorations and found black snake skin shedded in various areas; also, rat droppings! Is this snake likely to live there during the winter to eat the rodents, or is the snake hibernating outside?


  27. Oh my goodness. I found baby snakes obviously just born in a drawer in my house in a room I hardly go in. My uncle took them out and got rid of them. There was a hole by my water heater. I moved out the babies where brown and black. A few days before I found the babies, I heard what I thought was amice running along the top of my wall and drop the floor in my hall. I was too afraid to look but I think it was the momma snake. There is both woods and a pond in behind my home and my uncle complained of water moccasins while fishing, I never went back. I just think they made my house a home.

  28. My daughter was in the bathroom today and much to our surprise there was a black snake…BIG BLACK SNAKE….crawling up the outside wall….he was on the window at the bathroom….about the size of a half dollar and at least 5 foot long….We where so scared….Hope he will not hurt any of us but wanted to leave him alone…I had no idea a snake could climb a wall….

  29. we have taken in a stray cat that is unfortunately declawed (both front and back). The cat likes to hid under our shed which is where some black snakes like to hang out. very large black snakes! Do I need to be worried with the snake hurting our cat since it is declawed?

  30. My experience is that black snakes are very shy and retiring. They only bite when harassed or placed in a defensive situation. If you cat has any sense at all, she will know to retreat if she runs into the snake. We’ve de-clawed cats but never front and back. Leaving the back claws in place allows them to climb and scratch to defend themselves. You might want to reconsider allowing her to go outside. I know there might be extenuating circumstances but if there’s any way to make it work, she should come in.

    RE: Snakes in the house – we had a small hole in our foundation where the wires come in from the AC compressors. The mice were coming in through the hole. The snakes were coming in after the mice! Shortly after removing their food source and plugging the hole and trapping the snake, the problem disappeared. So check for holes!

  31. I keep hearing a dragging sound at night in the ceiling over my bed in my bed room so it’s hard for me to sleep knowing that something is up there, lately it moves when I am asleep and the house is quiet so I get up and retreat to another room, I called a few pests control companys but they say that it’s not a snake because snakes do not make noise this thing is moving on the top of insulation, what can I do becaus I am not sleeping at all.

  32. I was cutting my grass when I saw a 4ft black snake in my yard. I tried to kill it, but it was too fast and ran into the woods behind my house. Will it come back to my yard?

  33. James- don’t be afraid of black snakes! They are so beneficial – they eat mice & insects!! Be brave! He was SO afraid of YOU that he quickly ran away! Keep an eye out for them so you don’t startle them. It will be ok!

  34. Do black snakes kill each other..we saw 2 mating one day and a few days later found one dead and the other one about a foot away…didn’t know of one was a female or was it 2 males and one killed the other…saw no blood or cuts on dead snake

  35. HELP!
    My husband has killed two very lengthy black snakes in our back yard, one got away a couple of times but came back over and over and finally he was able to kill him, and then he killed another just a few days afterward, and now today we saw another one in the back yard in which crawled back into the wood before my husband could get to him, what is making these snakes come into our yard this year, we have been here for about 9 years and have never seen anything like this ?

    • Why are you killing these snakes. they are harmless and kill rodents which breed and multiply like crazy. Black snakes are valuable for this reason. Stop killing them you are motivated by fear instead of common sense

  36. Someone once told me that, like most wildlife, snakes follow the food. If you’ve seen an increase in mice, they may be after them. If you have moles or voles, same thing. Last year we had a ton of tunnels from moles in our yard and saw an unusually large number of snakes. This year, with the new addition of two large-breed puppies (who unfortunately like to dig), the moles seem to have vacated and to date, we haven’t seen a snake. Of course, I’m sure we will.
    It saddens me to read about many readers who are trying to and succeeding in killing black snakes. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances, but in general, they are the good guys – eating insects and all sorts of other vermin. They’re actually quite shy and don’t really want to have any thing to do with you. I hope you’ll all do some reading about them and think twice before attempting to kill one.

  37. My daughter found a baby black rat snake today. We caught it, put it in an aquarium and are taking pictures of it before we release it back where we found it. Such a good learning experience and we have been extremely gentle with the snake and handling it with gloves.

  38. Thank you Lesa! Your email gives me hope!! And, thank you for introducing your daughter to snakes in a safe and positive way!

  39. I live in a condo in SW Florida and this morning I watched in shock as one of my cats chased a small black snake that slithered under my bed! It moved so fast. I have no idea where it is now, but don’t feel very comfortable about the prospect of sleeping with it in the house. I doubt that I can afford a professional to come out, find and remove it. How long can it live without food? Any recommendations?

  40. Was cleaning my basement today went outside to get the hose saw a small black snake with broken white lines scared the hell out of me my son told me he saw it while he was mowing lawn but didn’t know where it went

  41. Today I got up @ 7am & walked barefoot on my screen porch to have my tea & there was black snake !!! Ten minutes later a HUGE black snake was hanging from our next door neighbors tree 20 feet in the air. Sorry folks but can’t deal with spiders or snakes this close. We have two small yorkies. Went to lowes & got snake away. Hate snakes.
    Live in southern delaware

  42. The ignorance in these comments is unbelievable to me. They are big beautiful harmless snakes, and you people freak out and kill them? It’s the 21st century, educate yourself to the world around you.

    • Thank you!!! As I read this I have been yelling the same thing (to the writers, not my dog and cat) about not killing rat snakes. They are more scared of us than we are of them. They keep rodents and vermin away from our homes so they are good guys! My dad used to tell me the most dangerous thing about beneficial snakes was that they may make us hurt ourselves by being frightened by them – most of them are harmless to us. I just don’t want them actually IN my house!!

  43. 3 days ago, I saw a black snake crawling behind the dry wall in my garage. We have left both doors open to the garage for the last 3 nights, but he seems to either not leave, or keep returning. Do they find a home they like and stay there? I don’t mind him in the yard, but rather he leave the garage.

  44. My guess is that you may have mice or some other snake “food” living in your garage. That was our situation – we got rid of the mice and the snake went elsewhere. A word of caution – “snappy” traps seem to work the best. I would avoid poison, especially if you have a dog or cat.

  45. Yesterday I was working in the basement making a path for a new dryer to be delivered through the bilco door. I had the bilco door open for about 2 hours and when closing it for the night I found a black rat snake on the 2nd step. I closed the bilco door for the night and trapped the snake in the stairway area between the regular door and the bilco door. This morning I found the snake coiled up and resting quietly on to top edge. I gently picked it up about half way back and dropped it in a laundry mesh bag. The snake was released in the shed about 50 yards away. He/she was docile and not aggressive at all. If I see it back near the house I will release across the river, about 2 miles away.

  46. Have an approx. 6 ‘ black snake skin in my pantry by the door which is in my kitchen. Is it outside or inside and how do I catch him?

  47. The neighbor kids found a baby black rat and stepped on him. He has broken ribs, noticeably bad. One of the kids brought him, still alive, to us since we have pythons as pets. We live in a very urban area, with some abandoned property around. I have seen evidence of both black rats and garters this year, all babies. So there must be rodents around. So anyways I’m keeping the little guy for now, monitoring his health. He’s been doing well for a couple of months. These guys are usually nice, but this little dude is feisty with a fiery temper. Eventually he will probably be released, but in a very rural area as our area isn’t safe – too many people. Ignorant comments like the majority of the ones on here solidify that — people are too stupid to understand that both spiders and snakes are their friends. I also don’t kill any spiders in my home. I remove widows to the outdoors if I find them, or keep them during the winter and release them when it’s finally warm (wouldn’t want them to freeze), and leave the more harmless types to wander as guests in my home. They do wonders as far as being pest control. And guess what — they never bother me!

  48. black snakes are your have 100 of them if i could …will they kill or drive away copperhead or rattlers i do not know but i have had none of them on my n/e tn mtn top….one that i have ranges all over a 30 acre range and i am ok with it…it can not kill or hurt me or my dogs so i am ok with it…i have picked up mine a few times safely and moved it.i do not know of a cave in my area so i think that is the reason no deadly snakes so far.

  49. I was working trimming and weeding in a small bed in our front yard. There is a 12 foot palm tree and a sago palm in the bed. I was trimming the evergreen ground cover and was in the bed at least an hour, when my husband came out to help and looked up on the palm tree and a branch at almost eye level had a curled up black snake on it. I had finished working in the back yard curling up a hose when a black snake went streaking my me at the foundation of the house. We went out to look and see if it was the one I had seen earlier, in the tree, but it was still there. Later in the day we went out to check on the snake there were two black snakes, one laying on top of the other. We wonder what attraction that black snake had to bring another one.

  50. Had a black snake come out from my closet and scared me to death. Have been told they do not emit an odor but my dog seemed to smell it. We safely removed it but was curious about the odor. I smelled nothing

  51. Hey you guys listen up! For those of you in GA it is illegal to kill any non-poisonous snake. Please follow the law. It is important that all people realize and teach their children emotional intelligence “Fear is the absence of knowledge therefore educate yourself about reptiles. You will find that rat snakes are beneficial; period dot. Just because you can do something does not mean you should; use your intellect. Teach your children compassion, empathy, and respect for all creatures. The bible says that God appointed man to be a steward of his creation. Ask yourself what/how a faithful steward behaves? We are only here for a short time and these animals are under threat due to man; deforestation, roads, and human ignorance. These animals are a natural heritage we must preserve for future generations to purposefully cause their demise is failing our children, ourselves, and our creator.

  52. I know there are many types of “black snakes” but, I panicked and didn’t get to see the whole snake. I live in Florida in a wooded area and in a trailer. I was outside for a while and went inside for about five minutes. I then was going back outside and as I opened the door and stepped one foot outside I happened to look down and saw the tail and a bit higher up of a snake slithering underneath my stepps. The part I saw was black and somewhat thin. I do not have reception in my house, so in order to make a call I have to sit or stand outside. Plus I smoke so again I go outside. Unfortunately due to my financial issues I have to live here with the spiders, palmetto bugs/roaches, lizards, skinks, and now snakes. We have a bunch of squirrels but. I haven’t heard or seen any mice/rats. I’ve been here a little over a year and have only seen a snake skin and now this snake. I am terrified of this snake coming inside my trailer. There are holes and easy access points where they could come in but, I am renting this trailer and do not have the financial means to be blocking these animals out. I’m not used to this type of environment or living style and I’m 21 years old so I am still slightly irrationally neurotic. Please help me to understand how to keep these critters out of my house and how to know if it’s a rat snake, king snake, or garter snake without having to inspect it close up. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!

  53. my hisband found a black snake on our porch deck and killed it out of fear. he hates them! i heard if u kill a black snake bad luck will come to you. probibly just an “old wives tale” but, a week after killing it we totaled our car, lost certain expensive non replaceable items from our home by theft. all within a 3 week period. so i’m a believer

  54. I live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and this has gotta be the black snake capital of the world! I see dozens and dozens of them all spring/summer/fall. I find the babies in the late spring which are gray with mottled markings…kinda similar to a copperhead but not the right coloring….they quickly turn all black as they mature.

    They can be fierce if cornered or threatened…don’t think because they are non-poisonous that they wont put up a heck of a fight if bothered…but usually they will wander off to be alone…I’m sure they’re more afraid of me than I am of them.

    I’ve had them in the house a few times and here’s a great way to catch’em. Have a large heavy quilt and throw over them..quickly pick it up through the quilt and keep it covered as much as possible as you take it outside. Take it FAR FAR FAR away from your home if possible before releasing it or it will come right back to its feeding grounds.

    Happy Trails,

  55. I will add this to my post. If you want to get rid of snakes (and I’ve had my share of both black snakes and copperheads)…get yourself some cats! Don’t get those old sissy cats that sit on your lap, you need a couple of ‘barnies’ (barn cats)…they will quickly reduce your rodent population…when the food is gone, so are the snakes! I got three barn cats from the local animal rescue for free, they were already fixed and had their shots. I acclimated them in my shed and they’ve had run of the property since last July…and NO SNAKES! I use to see literally hundreds of snakes throughout the spring/summer on my 30 acres but since I got the barnies I have seen none around the house at all.

    I think the moth ball and powdered lime tricks is an old wives tale…I’ve tried that around the house and I didn’t see any difference…but by golly those barn cats made a huge difference….and there is plenty of places for the snakes to go and live their lives happily.

  56. Hey Sue,
    Your comment about them being beautiful harmless snake is about the craziest thing is ever heard. Snakes no matter what kind how big or small are disgusting. I have three small children and have spotted black snakes for the first time and am not comfortable with them because now my kids can’t go outside to play…..

  57. I had a baby blacksnake in my guest room this morning. Where did it come into the house on the second floor. I got rid of it, BUT hopefully there are no more. Any suggestions on what to do ?

  58. Been in my home for about 7yrs and about 4yrs ago there was a black snake and we chased it away. Now just today I walked out and was passing my palm bush to only find 4-5 of them, all balled up and acting very aggressive which I assumed they were mating. I ran and got a shovel and when I got back they started unraveling I was able to hit 2 but the others moved so fast and in the name of their namesake they raced like hell out of here. I know they will be back so I am looking to find a pest removal service because I can’t deal with that many. 1-2 maybe but 4-5 is way too many!!!

  59. Ashley,
    Your kids can play outside. These snakes are harmless. Please instill in your children a respect for wildlife so that they will neither fear nor harass any animal. Most people who are bitten by any kind of snake are bitten because they are trying to kill it (you have to get close to it to kill it) or are picking it up. Over 80% are males between 18-35 years old. Give them a healthy understanding – nor senseless fear and hate for God’s creatures. They do control rodents which are much more likely to harm or make your kids sick.

  60. I stay in Zeekoevlei, Cape Town, near the Vlei in Fishermans Walk. I have a drive-thru garage. The front door of the garage was locked, so I opened the rear garage door and found a small black/dark brown 25cm snake in front of the door. I took the yard hard broom and sweep it away with the intention to kill it. It landed curled on its back. It was silver on the tummy. Please somebody is this a venomous snake, and how did it come laying on my paved backyard as if it belong there. If that is the baby, where is the parents of it. Is this thing dangerous and somebody just help!!! I’m sorry I cant take snakes I somma decided to sell my house. Give advice please!!!!

  61. I have several black snakes that have been around for years as well as a rather large King snake. I do not mind having them around however, in the spring they get up into the bushes and eat the baby birds/eggs. How can I keep them away from the birds nests? The other day I shoo’d one away with a broom to the other side of my house but this morning sadly I see he came back and my cardinals eggs were all gone and so is Momma.

  62. How long is mating season for these snakes. I’m going crazy. Three came on my carport today and I almost had a heart attack. I was told its mating season.

  63. Just saw a black racer on my driveway at night! That was strange to me. I know they are good snakes that kill rodents and such so I wouldn’t dream of killing one. Rats are disgusting and eat my chicken eggs when they can. I know these snakes bite and I know therefore to respect their space. My dogs have tangled with them in the past and one time killed one. I think they think they are something to play with. The last time I caught them doing that both dogs had it pinned against the sliding glass door so I went out, called them, and that one got away. My son and husband are freaked out by them. I just have an issue with it being around at night. It’s harder to see them. I lnow it is probably hunting the group of Bofu frogs that hang out catching insects under my spotlight. I say enjpy the buffet. Those frogs can poison my dogs!

  64. Last week my daughter-in-law and myself came to my apartment. As she screams out and runs in. I’m asking what’s wrong, she replys snake baby snake. As I go to the door I see it slithers Away fast. A baby black snake, OK I’m scared now. In the court yard around my trees and door. I started calling around, only been in Florida 10 months. They telling me to get sulfur, mothballs and all. I did just that and then took out time to Goole as I seen it again today just crossing over. I’m not as scared anymore. It a blk snake or blk racer. There are a lot of baby lizards imma let them stay away and do their thing. Thanks so much for the information. It was needed.

  65. Saw a four foot black snake at the foot of my neighbor’s driveway today. I’d heard black snakes are good to have around, so as long as it doesn’t startle me (I saw it first this time!), no problems. A little unnerved to learn they can climb and have been appearing IN people’s homes, but as long as this fella doesn’t come inside, he’s welcome to all the rodents he can pick up in the yard.

  66. Saw a black snake draped over the cement floor of my porch, head portion going down over the side, tail portion coming up from a post, so all I could see was part of the body, and it was really thick – probably would barely have been able to touch my fingers together had I encircled it with my hand, though I didn’t. Hit it with a hammer – all I had at the time – and it slithered away. Was worried it might attack one of our cats that likes to escape and run away until he’s ready to come in when he comes back. Otherwise he’s very sweet – not sure if he’d survive taking on the snake if he encountered it, though he’s taken on mice and won, and downed a bird once. But after reading some of these comments, maybe it’s good the snake got away — as long as it stays away. We have plenty of lizards, seen a couple of dead mice (from the cat), but first time seeing a snake. Does this type of snake take on cats? Should I be worried?

  67. I stepped into my garage at about 8 pm where I have a small mosaic studio and there was a snake just under the chair where I sit to work. He was brown/grey, thin and several feet long with diamond type markings. I chased him and threw an upended trash can over him to move him out and there was immediately an awful odor. I went back inside and left him there and he slipped out under the rubber trashcan. The following day when I righted the trash can he was gone but the odor was overpowering. I don’t know what kind of snake it was but it was obvious that it was producing this odor in response to stress and maybe to ward of attackers.

  68. We moved to 12.5 acres this year we have seen a ton of critters. Coming from Florida I was not surprised to see a VERY large black snake. Maybe 6 ft or more. We saw it twice and left it alone. But today found the skin in my chicken coop. Now I know why egg production is down. I can’t have it eating the eggs hurting my chickens or startling them. It has to go. I didn’t want to kill it but if I can’t catch and release that’s what will have to happen. Any ideas on how to find it around the property?

  69. Just came across to black – very long and large snakes in my tree- gave me a heart attack. I let live because i dont like to kill wildlife but OMG!!!! They were wrapped together in the tree and when they came down one went one way and the ohter back under the outdoor fireplace But now I m concerned I will have little baby snakes. I walk barefoot; have a pool and lots of flowers- just creepy and agree dont want to be bitten by one. They didnt even flinch when I tried to shoo away! Also have dogs, and dont want them near my house! How to keep them away but let them live???

  70. Help! I’ve had small garter snakes before BUT…last week was doing yard work and had a BIG black snake (5-6 ft. long and bigger around than a golf ball). Had a heart attack! Had a few black snakes quite a few years ago, but this is the first big one in a while. I knew they were attracted to mice, but someone said moles also. THIS year we have a LOT of mole holes, and right up close to my house. Do you think the moles could be why? Would getting rid of the moles help? And HOW do you get rid of moles? I live in southeastern Indiana. Thanks

  71. Thank you for this information it was very helpful. I just had an appraisal done for a house that I have contract on and they found a black snack in the back yard by the trashcan. I am terrified and I no longer want the house. I know it sounds extreme but I’ll be living alone. Who is going to go out there to take out the trash? Not me! Who can I call to get rid of it? What if it gets in the house? What if it gets in my washing machine or toilet? Can you provide any comfort? I like the house but I might go back to a condo.

  72. I get that they are usually harmless, but I still think I’d rather have our “cute” little lizards and toads in the back yard than the 2 enormous black snakes I saw today. I’d rather have to catch a mouse once a year than be unexpectedly freaked out by these over-3-foot things that may or may not bite my kids!

  73. I just heard thrashing under my bouganvilla (mulch/leaf litter at bottom)…grabbed binoculars and saw a HUGE (around 5 feet), thick black snake then a skinny snake tail and realized it was constricted around another, smaller snake. Didn’t know they kill each other! Feel bad 🙁 Man, that thing was huge. I wanted to get a picture so you could help identify but too scared to get close – especially in the midst of his hunting. Thunderstorm rolling in now…going back to peek before the rain…Know what it is?

  74. We found a small rat snake today outside our basement door. It was about 8 to 10 inches long. Should I worry about finding siblings now?

  75. Well I went out to get my mower out of the shed and a large black snake poped out of a box as if to say hello then backed away and disappeared didn’t think anything thing of it and started mowing after getting back to the shed almost done for the day just cutting around the shed I accidentally run over the very snake I felt so bad watching it suffer but what could I do? I didn’t see it guess I’ll have some kind of bad luck now.

  76. Was wondering if you could tell me what kind of snakes will hibernate in a hose for the winter? Also would like to know why Snake Away says: do not use if snakes have already been seen in an area? Thanks

  77. My daughter saw a 4 foot black snake in our yard and I simply scooped it up with a snow shovel and moved it to my fire wood stack far away from our house. I’ve seen a few field mice around there, so I thought that might keep him occupied. I think it was feeding on chipmunks that had a nest nearby..

  78. I saw a black snake in my house. Do not know where it’s hiding, and I saw a mouse bitten and dead. could it be the snake? Can a black snake stay in your house for a longer time without been seen?

  79. Cleaned out the shed in my back yard and while returning some of the contents I lifted an item and laying right under it, on top of another item, was a beautiful,shiny black snake all coiled up. He gracefully crawled back into my shed and I’m okay with that. I feed birds and the squirrels try to get their food so maybe my new friend will help control the squirrels! Trying to think of a name for it – any ideas?

  80. Ever since we have lived here (15 yrs) in Lee’s Hill, Sposylvania Co., VA, I have smelled a foul odor in the warm months when I work or even walk by the flower bed in front of our deck and even walking on the deck. I have seen quite large black snakes and others nearby and once watched on drop from a tree limb onto a blue bird house, go in, help itself to baby birds and leave. I guess my question is, is the foul smell coming from the snake(s)? At first I thought it might be the tortoise. Sometimes it is really bad, other times I don’t smell it at all.

  81. Where we live there a giant snake in our backyard. it is huge, massive, and it looks very deadly. Can you guys tell me what to do if there’s giant snakes in your backyard please

  82. This is six years living here. At first we never saw any snakes. This year they keep coming. One was poisonous and very large. Snakes are my biggest fear. I can’t even look at pictures of them without my heart racing. Why are we getting so many this year? If one gets nto my house I will really freak out. Lillington NC

  83. I HATE SNAKES!!!!! Came home today from vacation and my husband found a very large black snake on our screen enclosed pool deck. I screamed while my husband and our neighbor coaxed it out the door with the pool net and the garden hoe. Made my skin crawl. I hope it doesn’t come back.

  84. omg 2 days ago we had a black racer in between the screen and window of our Florida home. So my hunny popped the screen and away he went.. I was freaked. So yesterday sitting on the sofa looking out the back window there was a Big Black racer on the window ledge dancing like a cobra does trying to get in (at least that’s what it looked like). Omg I screamed and again Hunny walked out and it took off. Is it possible its living in my Deck Box? ( I don’t want to look ) and why do they keep coming to the windows trying to get in? Help help help. I’m so creeped I don’t want to walk my pups or go out to the pool. I’m more ready to pack and move back to NY.
    Thanks in advance,
    Fear in Florida

  85. Something made it’s home in a bedroom fireplace (not used) decided it was a black snake as my dogs and cats made a circle around the area and watched intently, and that something raided the bird houses on my porch. It is confusing because in cleaning out the closet and boxes in that room….they were full of hoarded dog food. Do black snakes hoard dry dog food? It stayed all winter but never really smelled or made much noise??? suggestion?

    Do snakes leave poop sort of like a rat but 2 colored? Also a pair of pants had fallen in the floor in the closet and there was yellow stuff all over them?? sure would appreciate some help.
    thank you, LeAnn

  86. While viewing a potential retirement home in Florida, there was a 5ft long black snake in a cobra like position about ten feet away among the shrubs at the side of the house. I know most of these creatures are harmless and can be beneficial to have around your home but I really would prefer that they remain outside. I really do like the house but I need reliable advice on how to prevent snakes from coming into the house.

  87. sitting down after cleaning with door to carport open. I was allowing the fumes from the cleaning products to clear the house when I notice fire ants. I closed the door to prevent the fire ants from entering got powder to kill fire ants stepped out on the carport and wow! I saw this long black snake. I immediately ran back inside close the door and peaked outside the kitchen window I could not see him anymore. I am so afraid to step outside to my car for work. I live in a wooded area with plenty of trees. You can tell by the trees in the area that at one time this was a area full of trees. I also had rat poison place down and witness a dead rat on my patio several months ago. You know what they say if you see one there is more. So rat poison stay down since I don’t have any pets at this time. I appreciate your article because I was freaking out this article calmed me a little knowing something about the lack snake. If he or she stays away from me I will do the same with no problem what so ever. I pray he is not anywhere on my car to crawl on the inside. Now I will be looking constantly around in my car which is dangerous.

  88. LeeAnn- snakes don’t hoarde dog food, but mice and rats will. I would put out some mouse/rat traps around that area (press and set are the best traps we’ve used)

  89. We have had our house about four years and have had several snake encounters. Two in the house and today while digging around an old tree I uncovered a two baby snakes about twelve inches long. My husband continued to dig from inside the tree and rolled out eight snake eggs. These eggs were just hatching. With these little snakes that make a grand total of sixteen. I’m ready to move.

  90. I have a lake cabin in middle Tennessee. My gardner found a black snake backing out of a hole in my stone fireplace that he accidentally nipped with the weed wacker. It got aggressive and he ended up killing it but they aren’t strange to the cabin. I was there in the Spring and saw snake skins in my unfinished basement. I back out and went upstairs but after I got to thinking about it, I was glad because these snakes have kept my rodent problem at bay. Obviously there are where they are for a reason so I respect that I provide them a food source and they provide me rodent control.

  91. Hi, I live in Philadelphia, Pa. Today I was down in the basement cleaning and about to exercise on my treadmill and there was a black snake about 15 inches long under the treadmill. I called animal control about 7-8 hours ago and they still are not here. I have children and a cat in the house. Does anyone know what kind of snake this is I have lived here for 13 years and never ever saw a snake. We had a lot of slugs and I mean a lot, and oddly this summer there were hardly any or those gross black water bugs you see outside. Please someone help me, what should I do? Can they come upstairs through duct work.

  92. I live in the woods and just saw a black slender shinny snake go under my trailer, I think it was a racer. I’m afraid it will get inside, what should I do? It’s the first time in 15 years I’ve seen a snake close to my house.

  93. As a snake owner and a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, black snake/rat snake bites don’t hurt. If you’ve been scratched by a cat, it actually feels 10x worse. There is a chance you might bleed a little bit, but like any minor injury, just washing it with antibacterial soap will clear it right up.

    I am 100% not recommend anyone to handle them unless you must or at least know how to properly handle a snake. Black snakes are completely harmless and are way more scared of you, than you are them. In most cases, they will slither away if you go near them.

  94. Stop killing black snakes! Get a cat and you won’t have any snake problem. I live on 20 acres and I have 2 outside cats. I haven’t seen any kind of snakes on my land in 5 years. When I’m elsewhere and there’s a unwanted black snake I take it and release on my land from which the go away from lack of food. I wouldn’t mind snakes on my property but I love my kitty’s and they love eating mice. Reading all these comments about killing black snakes makes me sick. I am by no means against killing, I hunt and always kill copper heads if I see them which is not often. Black snakes don’t want to hurt you. If they do bite you guess what, you’ll live. Kill all venomous snakes you want but there’s a special place in hell for those who kill black snakes.

  95. Although a couple of years old, it broke my heart to read the comments of people klling them. They are remarkable that they can adapt to all the changes we make to their home, claim it as our territory and kill them. They are so benficial at keeping rodent populations down! I love having two black racers living in my yard in the city. The couple of times they’ve gotten into the house I’ve opened the patio door and used a broom to guide the to the door. I don’t worry about the dog outside because the snakes take off fast the minute they see a dog heading their way. I think of the snakes as good neighbors.

  96. Moved to Kansas last Fall. In the Spring we saw 2 very large Black Rat Snakes breeding . I panicked not knowing what they were and our neighbor came and took them away. I researched them and then next day saw a third one trying to smell out where his buddies went than left via the tree branches. Discovered 3 snake skins under the laundry crawl space this Fall when I started to winterize the home. The two largest were together and the third a bit off to the side. Never looked last Fall when we moved in but the skins looked old. We have had no mice or rats and never saw the snakes at all this summer .I think the skins were left when they came out of hibernation last Spring. Plugged up all holes I could find but then discovered a 5 foot Rat Snake in my basement . Set humane traps with eggs but next day saw a small dried up mouse in front of one trap but no snake in trap. Dead mouse had not been there when I placed the traps. Questions are : Could the snake have placed the mouse there as a message ? Will a Rat Snake come back to hibernate in the same place every year ? It should have water because the pipe near the washer leaks a little but should I put any other food in the crawl space and then how do I get it out come Spring or will it just leave on it’s own when I open the holes up ? I really need to know and can’t find any info on it. Thanks

  97. We have lived in our Indiana home for 12 years and have always seen a few Black Rat snakes in the yard and coming in and out of a vent opening in the crawlspace. I have two small dogs but we don’t bother the snakes and they have never in 12 years bothered us. We also have NEVER had a problem with mice or rats. Stop being so afraid of them!

  98. Today when i went to sit on the toilet i felt a cold touch and saw a black snake “with yellow belly” trying make his way out through my legs. That scared the hell out of me i screamed so hard that my dad heard me from the basement and rushed up. We couldn’t figure out a way to transport it out safely without getting bitten so we had to kill it. This is the 3 third time we’re seeing a snake inside the house but this one was different as it was really big and long we suspect it to be the mother of the other 2 snakes we found in our garage. How can we prevent this things from getting in. I mean i almost got bitten and we have kids in the house it would have been a different a case If it was my kid brother who’s only 8 years old. really i need suggestions.

  99. I used to have laying hens, I’ve found several black snakes and some pine/oak snakes hanging around the hen house… have also seen the black snakes (racers, I believe) up close to the house or on the porch… short of startling me, I leave them alone, they help to control the mouse population and are definitely more afraid of me than I am of them! Make sure to seal up any and all access to your home/basement/garage… if you see them in the open then they may be hunting a meal or trying to get some sun… if you leave them alone they will not bother you!

  100. i dont want to kill a black snake but need to know alittle about them. i had a snake at my entry door from garage today and i paniced and killed it. It was about 2′ long but wasnt black just dark brown. a copperhead i will kill but want to know the difference. I actual felt sorry while i was killing thinking it may be a black but color hasnt come out yet. what is the story on young black snakes color?

  101. Our Siberian husky found a black snake today. It was curled up like it was fixing to strike our dog. What was strange it look as if it was secreting venom. The whole time I watch it while I was trying to put our dog inside the house there were drops of clear liquid or venom dripping out of the snakes mouth. It’s tail shook like a rattle snake and when it moved it moved like a sidewinder snake. I seen black snakes before but none acted like this. This snake was a lighter black than some I seen. We live in Huntersville North Carolina. Any ideas?

  102. We had a snake at the front door. I called the animal control and when i came back it was gone. My wife is afraid, but i am not. What should i do?

  103. I saw a black snake this afternoon. I decided to take pictures and make a movie of his movements. It was a good day in the afternoon for this active also I got his skins from last year which left for the winter hiding period of the season. I call him LONG LENNY of the yard.

  104. Found black snake in bluebird box. Birds eaten. Will birds occupy box again after snake? What can box be cleaned with?


  106. I am not an expert, but have lived in the woods a long time. Snakes are creepy, but I believe much more healthy to have around than mice and other rodents, which can definitely cause illness. I don’t allow the snakes in my house, garage or under my porch, but barn and yard are ok. Once they like a place, death is the only answer I have found. I wish I could have one instead of a cat for mouse control, but have not got there yet. We need a ‘black snake pet club’ training class!

  107. Today we found a black rat snake on our porch. It found its way out and into lilies by our patio through a small crack at one end of the porch. About 15 minutes later another black rat snake, slightly smaller entered the porch at the other end from where the first snake exited. It seemed to be tracking something. It went directly from one end of the porch to the other and exited into the lilies exactly as the first snake had done. I assume that the first was a female and the second a male–in heated pursuit! I hope that they hooked up!

  108. @rita- rita snakes do not bite their pray and leave them there they swallow them whole so I do not think there is a snake in ur house but if u start to see poop that are the size of those huge vitamin pills then I would call a professional and have it removed properly

  109. We have had a cabin outside of Boone, NC for 9 years. We have seen black snakes in trees, but this spring we have found 2 indoors. Both were in the closet where the water heater is. The first was on top and the second 2 weeks later on the metal pan beneath the water heater. My husband was able to grab both with barbecue tongs and release them into woods. Is it possible they could come through the drain hose in the pan( for overflow)? It is about an inch in diameter and the end was open. We have since put a screen over opening. We see no other holes.

  110. I live in Southeast Nebraska and for the first time was going out to my vehicle that is parked underneath the canopy where my vehicle is parked and I live in a very rural Countryside Village little town and as I’m getting into my vehicle I look on the side of my shead and on the woeod is a 3 1/2- 4 foot black rat snake in a curved position sitting still so I took a pic and that was it i left the Creator alone did not want to startle it but as I read more upon it I think I’m just going to let him be especially if he can keep the barn swallows and rodent mice away! then my (casa) is his (casa)!

  111. I live near Lynchburg va. and was helping a neighbor cut his grass when I saw a black snake and then a small baby snake. I live at a house that has a pond about 300-400 feet away. I have small grand kids and I want to keep the snakes away completely. what can I do to keep them away?
    Thank you

  112. Last Sunday morning, I walked outside, looked down into flowerbed and there was a snake laying there not moving. It had a triangular shaped head which was smaller than its body.The body was hugh, about the size of the bottom length of a baseball bat. It was about 5 to 51/2 feet long. It had yellow stripes under its neck, but rest of underbelly was white. Thinking it was a moccasin, I tried to kill it, but it was fast. I am now thinking it was a racer. The thing is, it was not afraid of me at all! It was a beautiful color. I walked all around it and it never moved until I tried to pull it from under the flowers with the shovel. We are helping to raise a 5 yr old and I don’t want her bit. Will snake away help?

  113. Hi
    In my garden i have seen two black snakes which we seen frequently.
    I have a small garden with roses and mums.I water them mostly but now after seeing the snakes i am afraid to go to the back yard. How to avoid them entering into our backyard.Unfortunately there is a common place where there is a bush area which was not taken care by our HOA. Now If i put a fence at the back will it come to garden back or shall i use repellent.Is there anything to help me. Thanks .

  114. We have an old, brick farmhouse in the middle of 85 acres in Kentucky. We have found black rat snake skins in the basement and in the attic. I’ve come in to find a two-foot long snake climbing the inside front door frame. My wife held the door while I guided the little guy out.
    I found one about the same size on a glue trap in the basement. I no longer use glue traps. A little olive oil and some patience released the tired snake into the front yard.
    One five footer in the attic came over to see what I was doing. I believe I was the first human he’d ever seen and he wasn’t afraid.
    What’s to fear? My wife says she’d rather have the snakes than the field mice they come in to get. Getting one in the living areas is rare and easily corrected. And we haven’t seen sign of active mice in over six years.
    Snakes are beautiful creatures if neither of you is afraid of the other.
    Let them live and help keep the real pests, mice, out.

  115. Thanks for the comments and questions! I don’t know of any feasible way to completely snake-proof a yard, but there are some things you can do to encourage them to slither elsewhere:

    – Make your yard less comfy for snakes by keeping it neatly mowed, and eliminate hiding places such as woodpiles, large rocks, debris, overgrown weeds, etc. At the very least, locate compost and wood piles as far from your house as you can.

    – Close down the food supply by reducing the rodent population. Clean up spilled bird seed and fallen fruit, and again keep your garden groomed to reduce hiding and nesting places. Cats and dogs can help with this job as well.

    – Seal or cover openings and cracks in your house, crawl space, garage, shed, chicken coop, etc. with 1/4″ metal hardware cloth. That includes cracks around plumbing! Snakes really can get in VERY tiny openings – we once spotted a small black snake entering through the small grate over a crawl space vent. We opened the crawl space to check it out, and found it FULL of GIANT black snakes! As big as my arm and 8 feet long. Obviously, they weren’t that big when they came in! We removed the snakes and covered the vents with mesh, and didn’t have a problem again.

    – If you’re determined, the next step would be a snake fence. Again, made out of 1/4″ hardware cloth, 36 inches tall with 6 inches of it buried in the ground. Angle the fence outward 30 degrees to deter climbing. Put the support posts on the INSIDE of the fence (again, climbing!) and make sure there’s no vegetation on the inside or outside.

    Even with all these steps, you can’t say with 100% certainty that there will never be a snake in your yard or garden. But you can, over time, learn to identify their likely favorite spots, and perhaps learn to coexist?

  116. [Connie (6/23/16): Is it possible they could come through the drain hose in the pan( for overflow)? It is about an inch in diameter and the end was open. We have since put a screen over opening.]

    Small snakes can enter openings as small as 1/4 inch, so they absolutely could come in around a drain hose! Have you seen any more since covering the opening?

  117. [Doug Metzger says: Found black snake in bluebird box. Birds eaten. Will birds occupy box again after snake? What can box be cleaned with?]

    I’m so sorry a snake got your bluebirds! I don’t know if birds will use the box again. But I do know that it’s a good idea to clean out nesting boxes after each brood leaves the nest, and then disinfect it with a 10% bleach solution. I’d start there, and add a sturdy predator baffle, and see if you have better luck with the next brood.

  118. Calvin: I am officially horrified. Did you figure out how that snake got inside? They can come through very tiny openings, so you should inspect cabinets, plumbing holes, and anywhere else a snake might get in from your attic or crawlspace.

    Charlotte: If you can learn to coexist with a snake under your stairs, you will have accomplished something! Over the years, I have taught myself not to be afraid of black snakes. I don’t like to be surprised by them, so our first meeting is sometimes a little dicey. But if I know where they are (for instance, the one in my mulch pile), I just give them space, say hello, and we just go about our business.

    Carmen: I have never heard of a snake hibernating in a hose! But as for your question about Snake-Away, it’s a snake repellent product. You put it around the perimeter of your yard, and supposedly snakes will not want to cross it. The reason it says not to use it if snakes have already been spotted is that you might accidentally trap one INSIDE your yard that now doesn’t want to go OUT. And that would be what my daughter calls a “Ginormous Whoops!”

  119. I want any snake that will eat mice and won’t medium sized dog(Chow-chow Golden retreiver mix)or myself will either of these black snakes do so if either of us don’t bother the snake?

  120. I have been in Florida for over 30 years and have had a number of snakes around my home. My favorite are the black snakes. They are very curious, harmless and fun to watch. I wish I had more to keep the frogs down since they move into the pool every night and often are louder than the TV indoors. This is Florida. Respect the wildlife and you’ll find them to be fun and exciting to watch.

  121. Just moved to NC found very slender solid black snake about 5 to 6
    Ft in length.basking in the sun in my driveway!

    He lifted his head and I didn’t see any color underneath his head or neck as in photos of harmless black snakes. There is stream
    Behind my garage way behind the woods. He left. Is it a rat snake?
    I have puppy, is it dangerous?

  122. I am completely terrified of the black racers. I was outside last weekend working and one was flying (not literally) toward me because a cat was chasing it out of the wooded area in my back yard. I literally had to run to get in side because it was headed my direction. Thankfully my 2 girls (dogs) were inside. Now I worry what I will do if it happens again; and how to keep my dogs safe (2 small Westies). Any suggestions?

  123. OK, people, time for a little logic. No snake native to the contiguous United States is large enough to eat even the smallest of humans. A snake’s prey has to be small enough, relatively, to be swallowed whole.
    Given this, the only reason for a snake to bite is in defense. Even in defense, the snake that escapes without biting has a much greater chance than the biter. People kill biters. So the snake has a survival investment in getting away without biting anyone. Or getting away without being seen at all.
    I’ve been bitten four times. Each time was when I was messing with the snake and I don’t blame them a bit. One bite brought a tiny spot of blood, the others were only pinches.
    A big snake might go for a small puppy. Any larger dog would be bitten only in defense.
    Children? Teach you kids to respect nature-including the slithery kind, and they’ll be OK. Those who don’t hurt don’t get hurt.

  124. My wife found a black snake while I sleeping. She woke me up and I got up and yelled for her father as we live with her mom and dad. We live in a trailer park and I know snakes can be common in places like this. I wonder if it could be a rat snake seeing how we have found mouse or mice at times in our trailer. There are woods behind us as well. Can anyone tell us how to deal with it? My wife said it ran off towards our dresser . I’m paranoid now about it. I have to leave for a work trip because my company is a inventory company. ? Please help us.!?

  125. I live in New England and had no idea I’d see a Black Racer Snake in my yard. However up until a few days ago I had encountered Garden Snakes(which are common), but as I headed out to the garden in my back yard, I found a baby black racer, and then if it was still the same thing, he’d gotten huge! I’d like to get rid of him. He’s a pest!

  126. A few days ago my younger daughter and granddaughter were with me in a family pool when my daughter said a snake just swam by her.
    I went over to see what was going on and found a 14 or 15 inch ringneck snake swimming towards me.
    She came up to me and climbed onto my left arm. Then she rested.
    A lot of animals can get into swimming pools that can’t get back out. This adult ringneck was near to drowning. Her fear made her trust what should have been her worst enemy-me.
    We released her, unharmed, into the grass outside the enclosure.

  127. I found a fresh snake skin in my mom’s house this morning and I took it to the police station and an officer told me that the snake will not hurt us. My mother is 91yrs. old and is terrified of snakes of any kind so I did not tell her because she has had two heart attacks and I know she would of start to panic and worse might have another attack. How can I find it in the house? I was told it was at least 5ft. long by it’s skin shedding. A friend told me to put salt around her bed to keep it out of it. Please help me I’m afraid when I am not here she might see it and have a heart attack.

  128. Good article! The only thing I would quibble with is that snake bites are easily infected. while I would not suggest anyone handle a snake they weren’t very familiar with, either by type or individual, but snake bites are somewhat less prone to infection than most animal bites.

  129. My encounter with the black snake was when my dog was barking and she was in the pen with the pony and she started barking really bad so I went to look to see what it was and it was a black snake curled up and yeah it was around five and a half to 6 feet long and only thing I had was the water hose I got it out with water it worked just fine he went his way we went ours..

  130. My brothers family was recently awaken by their three dogs barking like crazy at 4 am in their living room. Their home is on about 7 acres of land and they have chickens and ducks and such, So back to the barking, my brothers gets up and goes out to living room to find a 5 foot give or take a foot very healthy BLACK SNAKE laying across his floor. we still are not sure how it got in but our best guess is down the chimney, is this possible?
    They have been working the outside of the chimney and have scaffolding set up could it have climbed the scaffolding and got on roof?
    We are really wondering and truly happy the snake did not eat the very
    small dog hiding in the corner of its kennel.

  131. One reader mentioned keeping mice away will deter snakes. You also need to keep a handle on your frog population. Snakes love frogs! Frogs got so bad around my patio that I took a small net and captured over 70 in one evening! Put them in a bucket and relocated them down the road.

  132. Husband and dog cornered a big(4ft) black snake . They both wanted to kill it….so I had to put my foot down. I have been having probs with voles eating the roots in my garden…so I dearly want this big boy to hang around.
    I had heard it…but this is the first time I ever saw one shake his tail like a rattler.
    Took me a few minutes to convince my snake hating husband and German Shepherd that he was harmless.

  133. I believe I have a black racer he spends most of his time outside of our patio comes in through our lattice fencing… He’s not afraid of us !! me and my little dog sit on the patio and I turned and looked and there he was, he’s also come through the fence even when I’m trying to direct him AWAY r. He wants was outside and I tried to make him go away, he came inside my patio between my feet and we were doing a dance LOL I can laugh now but that was five minutes of dancing with the black snake, it was not fun Possible could you please give me some information on how to deter the snake from coming on my patio I know he likes to SUN himself and I live in Florida, so we have many blizzards I just don’t like him spending so much time close to us I do appreciate the snake dots because I don’t like frogs ha ha. But I do not like the snake chilling with us when we are outside every time I try to direct him one way he comes back the opposite way, PLEASE HELP. Thanks in advance for your advice… , Fed up in Florida

  134. My chaua dog, weighting 4.5 pounds and 18 years old, came up missing two weeks ago. About that time, we found a 5-6 foot, fat black snake by the side of the house where the dog usually went. Is it possible that the snake ate my dog????

  135. I just found a black snake living under my AC unit out side. I need to kill it. I throw moth balls under the AC unit. I hate snakes… I have mouse traps for mice don’t need a snake for that.

    • Hi, James,

      When dealing with creatures of all shapes and sizes, we recommend checking with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service office in your area.

      Good luck!

  136. I had a 6 foot black snake in the INTERIOR of my car today!!! It went in under the dash and the only way we got him out was to turn on the air conditioning full blast. He exited out the front grill. I may never be able to drive that car again!!!

  137. My mom just found a little black snake by the cat litter. My mom called me downstairs was telling me she saw a little black snake in her bedroom. And I’m really concern about my pets right now. Who do we should call????????

    • Hi, Amy,

      When dealing with creatures of all shapes and sizes, we recommend checking with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service office in your area.

      Good luck!

  138. my friend house in wa Australia may be have had snake and mouse in her house lopsided can you please help what is your phone number
    thank you
    ms thitaboon chatdang

    • Hi, there!

      We’re United States based, so unfortunately, we would not have that information.
      We recommend checking phone books in Australia for services that deal directly with wildlife.

      Take care!

  139. Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am scared of any type of snake. Recently my son-in-law reported that there are some snakes (black in color) in my garage. I want to get rid of them not only because of my fear but because I think that these snakes have attacked birds’ nests out of the trees in my yard. So I need to ask you two questions: (a) Can these snakes survive in 100+ degree heat? (b) Should I call a professional exterminator or herpetologist to expel these snakes from my garage?

    Sharon Rabon

    • Hi, Sharon,

      When dealing with creatures of all shapes and sizes, we recommend checking with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service office in your area.

      Good luck!

  140. I had a Black Snake laying on the front steps this morning in central
    Pennsylvania . He was either hunting or basking . There are chipmunks and moles in the yard so probably hunting breakfast. Can have all he wants.

  141. A few minutes ago, about 2:45 in the afternoon, I was planting some small bushes in an area in front of our house. This is an established neighborhood full of houses but with some typical Florida jungle on the edges.
    A three-foot long Southern Black Racer came out of the lawn and across the walk about 8 feet from me. He went into the bush area and hit an Anole lizard (which didn’t last long). Then he explored the area a little. He got as close to me as 5 feet but didn’t seem to mind my being there.
    I lost track of him while planting other bushes, but I think he might be checking out the garage. I’ll leave the doors open until this evening so he can get out.
    Natural controls. I like the lizards around the house but there are hundreds of the little guys. Snakes have to eat, too.

  142. You all are truly sad. It is a NON VENOMOUS snake. Get a grip! Let it go and move on with your other first world problems. I get black snakes in my garage, crawl space and attic all the time. I leave them alone because they kill rats and mice. You all need to get a grip! Dont kill snakes!

  143. I am wondering if the black snake I’ve been observing more frequently lately is waiting somehow to eat the turtle eggs or the little hatched turtles. Often raccoons raid the nests, but this year we protected eggs with metal mesh above the place under our windows. No information about how long it would take to watch, just “way into the fall” I wonder if the snake is watching?!

  144. I thought I got bit by a spider and have been hurting a little and stared to get sick to my stomach.Then today as I was getting my laundry together I noticed a black snake in my bedroom.Could this be what bit me and should I go to the hospital

    • Hi, Aino,
      When dealing with creatures of all shapes and sizes, we recommend checking with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service office in your area.
      Good luck!

  145. Today right now I’m having a snake in our house
    A black snake
    Last time we had a yellow snake in our house
    How shall we get rid of it ?

  146. I was working in my basement and moved an old suitcase and a large black snake looked out, I went back up the steps very quickly and shut the light off. Was hoping went back to sleep, and had help today to remove the suitcase and take it outside. But the snake was gone. It could have gone to the attic or still in the basement. So do you think it is hibernating in the basement/attic or since it is in the house it is active year round? I have 2 house birds which is the concern besides the yuck factor. Thanks

  147. I have little black snakes in my backyard , here in Massachusetts, during the summer.

    My philosophy toward these little fellows – let them live. They mean and bring no harm. And if you see them, enjoy their presence.

  148. I live in an rv park in south Florida with a creek running along the back of my camp site. I frequently see what I believe are black racers, but when they see me they go down toward the water and out of sight. I didn’t think black racers liked water. Could this be something other than a black racer? It looks the same as the ones I used to have in my yard.

  149. First snakes of the Spring!
    I found a lethargic Northern Water Snake about 20 feet uphill from a creek in a wilderness area about 30 miles from our Kentucky farm on April 4.
    Now, we have a greyish Southern Black Racer about 40 inches long living on and under a concrete slab that used to house a chicken pen. He or she doesn’t seem too skittish; moving around when I’m within 7 or 8 feet. Good for the snake. He’s welcome around here.

  150. My neighbor came over and asked for help to move a snake near his hot tub. It was a large black snake (about 5 feet long) that I nor my neighbor had ever seen before. First I provoked it with a stick to see if it had fangs and it didn’t. Got a sack and after some wrangling got it into the sack and we drove to a large field adjacent to a wooded area and released it.
    later I checked the Web for snakes native to NJ and determined it was a Black Rat Snake. Also learned that it is a good snake to have around one’s property.

  151. On the East side of my home, adjacent to a low lying vacant lot, filled with water, under my hibiscus bush I found a 3.5 foot black snack with a 18” water moccasin in its mouth. This is in SW Florida

  152. I have a large black rat snake and a tiny smooth green together in a mound just behind my garden. I have seen them curled up together asleep. But, more interesting is the fact that every morning when I go out to my garden..I see the large black snake ..making its way down to the stream in my backyard and..the little bright lime green snake is always following right behind the black snake. I never see one without the other. Is this common or unusual?? Does anyone know??

  153. Maybe black/rat snakes aren’t poisonous, but that doesn’t mean harmless. This morning my dog & I were standing at the edge of our woods in Kentucky when a black snake bite my dog. I didn’t see it happen, or notice even my dog reacting to it. But 8 steps later my dog began to limp. Very surprised, assuming he’d stepped on a splinter, we back to home & I saw a 4′ black colored snake quickly moving away from us. Moments later in my house, with my dog still limping, I checked the foot & saw the leg already swelling. The vet gave him steroids & antibiotics. We’re hoping the snake is simply one of the nonpoisonous ones. For now, my dog’s leg is swollen like a tree trunk, he’s in a good deal of pain, I’m out $265.00 in vet bills, & I’ll be monitoring my poor dog all night to be sure he doesn’t go into shock. I’m horrified at the thought that the bite could’ve been on his torso, where more damage could’ve been done internally. If he had been a small child I doubt “non-poisonous’ would provide much relief either.

  154. I’ve been dealing with black snakes for years. 2 tips for you. #1 get a ‘snake stick’ from Amazon, it’s a life savers. You can safely grab the snake and dispose of it without harming it. #2 thoroughly inspect the foundation around your house. Fill ANY hole, no matter how small. Snakes can get though any opening, no matter how small.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the Today’s Homeowner community!
      TH community members helping other TH community members — we love it. 🙂

  155. My comment above from Apr. 27, 2019 was incomplete. It turned out we have a snake den behind our farm house. All Black Snakes, some between 5-6 feet and several inches through. I’ve seen as many as 7 at a time sunning themselves in the morning before leaving for work eating mice.
    We have no venomous snakes in that area so that is nothing I have to be concerned with.
    I’m always careful when mowing and run the mower through the area first with the blade off. This alerts them that they might want to take shelter.
    My little terrier takes her cue from me and is friendly and unafraid around them. She wags her tail and sniffs but none have struck at her yet. She’s too big to eat and isn’t a threat to them.
    I’m assuming I’ll see them when I get to the farm and will be greatly disappointed if they’ve moved on.

  156. Found a decent sized black snake in our walk-in closet. Assume it came up from under the house through ductwork.

    I put on an old leather army glove, grabbed it behind the head…it wrapped around my wrist. Surprised at how strong the constriction around my wrist was. Walked to the edge of the lawn and woods and flung it into our pine forest.
    Hoping it will grow big enough to one day eat our cats, as they are truly loathsome creatures.

  157. I’ve been in my home for over 6 years and this past year I’ve seen snakes everywhere. There were two birds nest on my front porch. I noticed the birds weren’t singing in the morning. After walking out to the mailbox, there was a fairly large black snake with large gold diamonds stretched upwards and protecting the door. Did it show up because I turned on the light? Because it’s rained for a week straight and the porch was dry? Because it wanted the baby birds and eggs ready to hatch.
    How can I get them for my porch?

    • Hi, Rachel,
      Sorry to hear about your snake infestation! That sounds like quite a challenge.
      We recommend checking with your local United States Fish and Wildlife Service office for next steps.
      Good luck!

  158. My son came home and found a black snake on his bed. We live on a farm and always have black snakes in the yard but this is the first time in 37 years we have found one in the house. We recently have had duct work under the house replaced and we have the encapsulation system under there. What can we do to keep the snakes from getting into the house.

    • Hi, Susan! Your local home center has snake repellant, and that’s the first step. Just make sure you purchase one that’s people and pet-safe.
      Next, remove pet food from areas accessible to snakes. They’re always looking for food and shelter!
      These are the most important things to try.
      Let us know how it goes. 🙂

  159. Bullsnakes and indigos are Large enough to eat all Typa size rats , small rabbits and guinea pigs , pigeon , cockatoo bird other birds , even Large pacman and bullfrogs and adult squirrels . So I’m tryna findout if a black rat , Texas rat , gopher , black racer , cottonmouths capable of eating same prey source in size prey like a bullsnake or indigo snake .

  160. I’m in Florida now. I have a resident Black Racer about 30 inches long who lives in a space supporting my patio enclosure. He (or she) is now comfortable enough that even my small dog barking at him does not scare him.
    I went out this morning because of Sadie barking and the snake was sunning outside the patio door.
    Even though I went to see him three times, he was totally relaxed about the whole thing.
    The best way to get over a fear of Nature is to get over your fear of Nature. I believe that most people who are bitten, etc., are demonstrating their fear by trying to harm animals. Because of fear.
    I’ve had snakes curl up beside me while fishing because someone else was obviously liberal about sharing minnows. And, I shared my minnows.
    They don’t want to hurt us.

  161. I was sitting out on my Florida patio when my little dog went crazy. I went out and found a 4-foot black racer in the grass. I calmed her down and took her back on the patio where a 4 1/2 foot racer joined us. I had to put the dog inside but stayed out for the show. Just outside the patio was the original snake while the larger was inside. I sat in my chair and ANOTHER racer came into the patio and crawled right past me to confront the larger snake. No real fight, but both patio snakes went past me to go out the door.
    They’re out in the grass now looking around.
    If I had to guess, I’d say that sex is involved with this gathering somehow. But that’s their affair.
    I did notice that every Anole lizard in and around my patio headed for high ground and are not coming down yet.


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