Venomous Snakes in Maryland
Warming temperatures mean that snakes are going to be out and about. No need to be afraid, just be aware and learn how to identify them.
In Maryland, we have two venomous snake species: the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. The copperhead is common throughout much of the state and is often confused with non-venomous snakes
In Maryland, venomous snakes will have slit-like pupils, an extra sensory pit on either side of their head and a diamond-shaped head that is much larger than the rest of the body. Some non-venomous snakes will try to mimic venomous ones by puffing out their heads to look bigger. Young copperheads have a neon yellow tail used to attract skinks for food.
Please know that all snakes in Maryland are protected.
The best snakebite treatment is to avoid getting bitten. Some safety tips are to learn to identify, by sight, the copperhead and timber rattlesnake. Watching where you put your hands and feet when your outdoors, and in areas where there might be snakes, is also helpful. Wearing long pants when walking in tall brush and around rock piles can protect you, as well as resisting any temptation to capture or kill snakes.
Many bites occur when people attempt to kill or catch snakes. You should never pick up a snake that looks dead because the snake may not actually be dead and could bite you.
For more information on Maryland's venomous snakes, please visit:
This alert was provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Copperhead photograph by Lin Phu
Timber Rattlesnake photograph by Scott A. Smith