Did you know that 34 species of snakes call Tennessee home? Today, we are keeping you in the know and are exploring the top 5 Nashville snake nuisances.


  1. Cottonmouth SnakesCottonmouth

Cottonmouth snakes, also known as Water Moccasins, are large snakes that reach 24 to 48 inches at maturity. They are found west of the Tennessee river in aquatic environments.

As their name suggests, Water Moccasins prefer to live near water sources – swamps, rivers, floodplains, and fresh water. Their dull color appears almost black. These aggressive venomous snakes can bite underwater. While they are usually found above water, they can completely submerge underwater in search of amphibians and fish.


  1. Copperhead Snakes

Osage Copperhead

Tennessee is the home of 2 subspecies of copperhead snakes – the northern and the southern. The northern species inhabits most of the state, while the southern species is found near the southwestern corner of Tennessee.

Copperhead snakes will reach 24-36 inches, and can range in color from peach to pink. They primarily consume mice, but will also consume small snakes, amphibians, birds, and lizards. Copperheads are not typically aggressive, but can strike when disturbed. While copperhead snakes are the least venomous snakes in the state of Tennessee, one should still take caution.



3. Rat SnakesClose up of a yellow Rat Snake in the water

The gray rat snake, also referred to as a chicken snake, is known for entering chicken coops in search of eggs and chicks. In addition to eggs, they will consume rodents and birds. This medium sized snake ranges from 39 – 72 inches and can be found in forests and fields.

The rat snake is an excellent climber, and will climb to raid bird nests. If confronted, this nonvenomous aggressive snake will assume a strike stance and release the foul-smelling contents of their cloaca. They will bite if threatened, but the wound requires no more than a bandaid.



  1. Brown Snakes

Brown Snake

The brown snake is a small, shy snake. They have rows of parallel dark spots down their backs and typically range from 10 to 21 inches in length.

As the most common urban snake, it can be found in a variety of habitats, typically near meadows, woodlands, wetlands, ponds, and even overgrown yards. They are found throughout the state of Tennessee. When threatened, these snakes secrete a foul smelling fluid from their anal glands. While they are often mistaken for copperheads, the brown snake is harmless. They rarely bite, and have small mouths that are unable to break skin.


  1. Garter SnakeBaby Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) on moss in spring

The common garter snake is a medium sized snake that ranges from 18 – 28 inches in length. They vary in color from yellow, brown, or light green with black stripes down the length of their bodies.

The garter snake can be found in hillsides, woodlands, fields, meadows, and overgrown yards. Their variety filled diet includes tadpoles, frogs, fish, earthworms, birds, and small rodents. Like many snakes, these harmless snakes will secrete a foul smelling fluid from their anal glands. They are often found in East Nashville, Clarksville, and Murfreesboro.


Tennessee law prohibits harming, removing, or killing native snakes. If Nashville’s nuisances are wreaking havoc, call in the experts at Ace Wildlife. Our proven methods will help safely remove and prevent the reentry of snakes, no matter how big or small!