Now that spring is here in Tennessee and warmer weather is on its way, snakes will be appearing more frequently. In Tennessee there are about 34 species of snakes, 4 of which are venomous. The Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, Western Cottonmouth and Western pigmy rattlesnake. In East Tennessee you will usually only encounter the Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake. Snakes are venomous and not poisonous. It is illegal to kill, harm, remove or possess native snakes without proper permits. All Tennessee venomous snakes belong to the family called pit vipers. Snakes are cold blooded animals, they regulate their body temperature by lying in the sun or crawling into shade.

Precautions and Responses

How to Avoid

Learn to recognize the snake species that are likely to be in the area. Please do not kill a snake – even a venomous one. Snakes serve a valuable function in the environment. The majority of bites result from people taking unnecessary risks with venomous snakes. Understanding what snakes look for in suitable habitat can help you know when to be wary. Understanding their behavior will help you know what to do if you encounter one. Snakes like tall grass.

  • Keep the lawn around your home trimmed low.

  • Remove any brush, wood, rock or debris piles from around the residence – they make great hiding places for snakes and their prey – rodents.

  • Always wear shoes while outside and never put your hands where you cannot see them.

  • Be careful when stepping over fallen logs and rock outcroppings.

  • Take care along creek banks and underbrush.

Snakes do not prey on humans and they will not chase you, in fact they usually retreat or escape if given the opportunity. The danger comes when they are either surprised or cornered. Do not play around with a dead snake, they have been known to bite and envenomate. See a snake on your property? Call (615)-921-1479 to schedule your FREE inspection!