Identifying Garden Snakes in Connecticut

Identifying Garden Snakes in ConnecticutThere are several species of snakes in Connecticut that are commonly found in gardens, where they hunt for insects and small mammals such as mice and moles. A snake in the garden might be a scary surprise, but it is a great benefit as it will help to control pests that damage your flowers and vegetables. (Pictured: Milk Snake)


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Identifying Garden Snakes in Connecticut

Step 1
Identify the Common Garter Snake by the three white or yellow stripes that run the entire length of its body. It has a has a belly that is bronze or greenish-yellow in color. A garter snake can be as long as 42 inches but usually much shorter. The garter snake is one of the most common found in a Connecticut garden.
Step 2
Identify the Smooth Green Snake by its color. This thin bodied snake will be a very bright shade of green, and is sometimes called a "Grass Snake." This snake is rarely longer than two feet. It eats mostly insects and spiders.
Step 3
Identify the Eastern Worm Snake by its close resemblance to an earthworm. This snake will be between seven and 14 inches long. Its coloring can range from brown to gray, and its belly has a pinkish hue. Its tail will be short and come to a point at the tip. It primarily eats earthworms.
Step 4
Identify the Ring-necked snake by the yellow ring around its neck. This small snake, which averages between 10 and 24 inches in length, has a bluish-gray body with an unmistakable yellow belly. The ring around its neck cannot be missed either. It will eat worms as well as salamanders in a garden and is harmless.
Step 5
Identify the Milk Snake by the red, brown, and tan colored markings on its back. These will be among of the longer snakes one would expect to come across in a garden, as they are able to reach 40 inches in length. It has a checkerboard-like pattern of black and white scales on its belly. The milk snake prefers to hang around barns and stone walls, so if the garden is close by, it could wander into the garden hunting mice, birds, and even other snakes.
Step 6
Identify the black rat snake, or simply "black snake," by its size and black color. Black snakes are typically the largest snakes in northern North America, and they can sometimes be found in gardens that are near barns or other outbuildings. Despite their size, black snakes are harmless to humans. They generally freeze when frightened, or attempt to flee. They are good climbers and may climb wooden barn walls, fences, or trees.

Tips & Warnings

Connecticut's two venomous species of snake, the copperhead and the timber rattler, are creatures of the woods and will not be found in a well-tended garden under normal circumstances.

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