College Station Snakes: Poisonous Snakes vs. Non-Poisonous Snakes
Have you ever encountered a snake in your backyard, a camping trip or while snorkeling on a coral reef? When this happens, fear for snakes can easily turn you hostile to protect yourself from imminent danger. Staying calm is important to respond to the threat or to friendly encounter. This is why it pays to know the physical marks of a venomous snake.
Although there are snakes that can be easily identified as venomous, there is no definite characteristic to specifically tell if it is one to be avoided because there are exceptions to the rule. Here are a few pointers to help you make a quick ocular assessment of the snake if it is poisonous or not.
• Triangular or arrow-shaped heads. Snakes that are poisonous often have an arrow- or triangle-shaped heads, except for coral snake. While this is a distinguishable feature, there are also non-poisonous snakes that may have the same characteristic like the Eastern hognose snake that has the ability to flatten their heads when sensing threat.
• Single row of scales. Another distinct characteristic that most poisonous snakes possess is a single row of scales seen in the underside of their tail. The double row is actually a characteristic observed widely among non-poisonous snakes. There is, however, a very deadly coral snake that has a double row of scales on their tail. This kind of identification can be used on shed skin; it is not recommended on live snake encounters.
• Presence of a pit. Poisonous snakes can also be identified by the presence of a hole or a pit found between the snake’s eyes and nostrils such as the pit viper, a very poisonous snake species. The pit or hole is heat-sensitive that allows it to find warm-blooded prey even at night or in the dark. Non-poisonous snakes do not have these sensory pits.
• Red-on-yellow bands around the body. The coral snake’s appearance does not present the typical identifying features to safely conclude if it is venomous or not. There are three non-poisonous snakes that resemble the coral snake; these are the scarlet snake, scarlet king snake and the red milk snake. These non-poisonous snakes also have different combinations of red and yellow. A phrase to remember when faced with these kinds of snakes is “Red on yellow will kill a fellow, but red on black won’t hurt Jack,” this means red touching yellow bands is the distinct characteristic of the highly poisonous coral snake.
• Catlike eyes. Poisonous snakes usually have vertical- or elliptical-shaped pupil (almost catlike). Non-poisonous ones typically have round pupils.
Being familiar with the characteristics of poisonous snakes can save you from a venomous bite. If you encounter a snake, you can avoid the misfortune by staying calm to have the presence of mind. Harming an innocent reptile can be avoided if you know how to visually assess the threat. Always remember that each and every living thing in this planet serves a purpose and snakes are an important part of the ecosystem. Think of this before acting in panic or haste.
There is no use dillydallying too when you are faced with a real threat. If the snake gets inside your home or garden, which happens quite often in College Station TX, the best decision is to call professional pest control service that can easily do the right thing to the reptile intruder.