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With the warmer days of summer comes snake season. Copperheads, rattlesnakes, coral snakes, and water moccasins are common venomous snakes in the United States. This article will help you identify each type of snake and their likely hiding spots as well as offer tips on first aid in case of a snake bite.

Don’t Get Rattled by Snakes

The heat of summer is upon us. Unfortunately for those of us that enjoy being outdoors, that also means snake season is in full swing. Although most snakes found in the United States are non-venomous, there are several species of snake that you need to be on the lookout for. The most common venomous snakes found here are rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes. All of these except the coral snake are pit vipers.

Rattlesnakes are fairly easy to identify. When threatened, a rattlesnake shakes its tail and makes a rattling noise as a warning. The majority of poisonous snake bites in the U.S, each year are at the fangs of a rattlesnake. They thrive in a variety of different habitats like open areas, rocky regions, or wooded areas. For this reason, the rattlesnake population is not confined to a specific region of the country, but is more widespread.

Water moccasins are found mostly in the southern region of the U.S. in or around areas of water. They can grow to an average size of 4 to 5 feet in length. They are commonly referred to as cottonmouths due to the white coloring inside their mouths. Most water moccasins have dark brown or black skin with dark cross-bands. They are known to be rather aggressive toward humans.

Copperheads are gold or reddish brown and have distinctive hourglass shapes along their body. They are generally smaller than water moccasins and grow to about 3 feet in length. Although they are not usually aggressive, they will bite when they feel threatened. Most copperhead bites are a result of stepping on the make or startling it. They are found mostly in the Eastern U.S in rocky, swampy, or wooded areas.

Coral snakes primarily inhabit the southern region of the country. Mostly found in wooded or marshy areas, these snakes are covered in red, yellow, and blackish bands. They are the only venomous snake in the United States that is not a pit viper. Because they resemble one species of king snake, they are sometimes not initially recognized as venomous.

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