Facts You Must Know About Snakes In California | Pestclue

Facts You Must Know About Snakes In California

Snakes in California are fascinating and often misunderstood creatures. California, with its varied landscapes, is home to many species of snakes, some of which are native to the area while others are not.

In this article, we will explore the different types of snakes that live in California, their behaviors, and why they are important to the environment.

We will also discuss how to identify a snake and how to keep them safe. So grab your snake-spotting binoculars and join us as we take a closer look at California’s slithering inhabitants!


What are the Common Snakes In California?

  • Pacific Gopher Snake:
Pacific Gopher Snake
Picture of the Pacific Gopher Snake

The Pacific Gopher Snake is a non-venomous species of snake native to California. It is a large snake, with adults reaching an average length of 3-5 feet.

As a diurnal species, it is active during the day, using its coils to squeeze its prey. It feeds mainly on small mammals, birds, eggs, and lizards, and is known for its ability to climb trees, making it an effective predator in its habitat.

The Pacific Gopher Snake is an important species in California, helping to maintain the balance of the ecosystem.

It is believed that its presence helps to control the rodent population and can even help to control the spread of disease. It also helps to keep the food chain balanced, as it is an important part of the food web for birds, reptiles, and other predators.

The Pacific Gopher Snake is a species that is important to the environment, and it is important to remember to protect it from harm.

It is a protected species in California, and it is important to be mindful of its presence and not to disrupt its habitat.

This can help to ensure that the Pacific Gopher Snake is able to thrive in its natural environment and that its presence can continue to benefit the ecosystem in California.


Read also: What Does Snake Poop Look Like?


  • California Kingsnake:
Snakes In California
Picture of the California Kingsnake

The California Kingsnake is a species of non-venomous constrictor snake native to the western United States. It is a small to medium-sized snake, usually measuring between 3 and 4 feet in length, and is one of the most popular pet snakes due to its hardy nature and its wide variety of color and pattern morphs.

These snakes are semi-arboreal and inhabit open areas, shrubland, and woodland habitats. The California Kingsnake is an opportunistic feeder, preying on a variety of small animals such as rodents, birds, lizards, and amphibians.

Although it is a relatively docile species, it can become defensive when threatened. The California Kingsnake is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN and is protected by state laws in California.

  • Ring-necked Snake:
Snakes In California
Ring-necked snake

The Ring-necked Snake is a small, non-venomous snake found in California. It is typically black or dark gray in color, with a yellow or orange band around its neck.

This small but mighty snake is an important part of the state’s ecosystem, helping to keep rodent and insect populations in check.

The Ring-necked Snake can be found in dry habitats such as open woodlands and grasslands. It is nocturnal, often hiding under rocks or logs during the day.

It feeds mainly on small rodents, insects, and other invertebrates. It is a long-lived species, with some specimens living up to 10 years.

The Ring-necked Snake is an important part of California’s ecosystem, helping to keep rodent and insect populations in check.

It is also an important part of the food chain, providing a valuable source of nutrition for other wildlife species. For this reason, it is important to protect this small but mighty species.

If you are out in the wilds of California, keep an eye out for this small but beautiful snake. The Ring-necked Snake is an important part of the state’s ecosystem and should be protected for future generations.

  • Western Rattlesnake:
Snakes In California
Picture of the Western Rattlesnake

The Western Rattlesnake is a venomous snake found in California and other western states in the United States. It is identified by its diamond-shaped body and the distinctive rattle at the end of its tail.

This species of snake is typically found in areas of dry, rocky terrain and sagebrush, but can also be found in areas of higher elevation such as mountains and canyons.

They are nocturnal creatures and usually avoid humans, but if threatened, they will rattle its tail and may strike. While the Western Rattlesnake is not endangered, it is protected under the California Endangered Species Act in order to ensure its population remains stable.

The Western Rattlesnake is a valuable part of the California ecosystem and can be a fascinating creature to observe in its natural habitat.

It is important to be aware of their presence and to take the necessary precautions when outdoors. Being knowledgeable about the species and its behaviors can help ensure the safety of both humans and the Western Rattlesnake.

  • Coachwhip (or Racer) Snake:
Snakes In California
Picture of the Coachwhip (or Racer) Snake

Coachwhip (or Racer) snakes are one of the most common snakes found in California. Typically found in dry, open areas such as deserts, grasslands, and scrublands, these snakes can reach up to five feet in length and have slender bodies with pointed heads.

Coachwhip snakes are well known for their incredible speed, which they use to catch their prey such as small lizards, rodents, and other small animals.

Though they are non-venomous and generally not aggressive towards humans, they will bite if provoked. Therefore, it is important to be aware of their presence and be respectful when encountering them in the wild.

  • Western Yellow-bellied Racer:
Snakes In California
Picture of the Western Yellow-bellied Racer

California is home to a variety of different snakes, including the Western Yellow-bellied Racer. This nonvenomous snake can be found in several parts of the state, including the Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley.

The Western Yellow-bellied Racer can grow to a length of between 36 and 72 inches, with a grayish-brown body and distinct yellowish patches down its sides.

The Western Yellow-bellied Racer is an active snake, and can often be seen basking in the sun during the day. This species of snake is not considered to be dangerous and is also known to be quite docile and non-aggressive.

They are also quite adept climbers, and can often be seen scaling rocks and walls in search of food. The Western Yellow-bellied Racer is just one of the many species of snake that can be found in California.

They can be a fascinating addition to any outdoor space and are a great way to add some color and activity to your garden.

  • Garter Snake:
Snakes In California
Picture of the Garter Snake

Garter snakes are the most common species of snake in California, and can be found in a variety of habitats, from suburban and urban areas to parks and other natural areas.

They are typically small, reaching lengths of two feet or less. Garter snakes are generally harmless to humans, and have a diet that primarily consists of small insects and amphibians.

These snakes are usually brown or green in color, with yellow stripes along their sides. Garter snakes are active during the day and like to bask in the sun for short periods of time.

They are an important part of the California ecosystem, helping to keep insect and amphibian populations in check.

Garter snakes can provide benefits to humans, too, by controlling populations of the garden and agricultural pests.

If you find a garter snake in your backyard or garden, you don’t have to worry – they’re generally harmless to humans. However, if you’re concerned, you can always contact a local wildlife specialist for advice.

Garter snakes are an important part of the California ecosystem, and it’s important to ensure that their populations remain healthy.


Read also: How to Get Rid of Snakes and Control Snake Infestations


What are the Venomous Snakes In California?

California is home to seven species of venomous snakes, all of which are rattlesnakes. The most common venomous snakes in California are the:

  • Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
  • Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
  • Red Diamond Rattlesnake
  • Western Rattlesnake
  • Mojave Rattlesnake
  • Speckled Rattlesnake
  • Sidewinder

These snakes can be found in a variety of habitats, including deserts, mountains, and woodlands. The venom from these snakes can cause a variety of effects, ranging from swelling and pain to even death.

It is important to be aware of the potential danger these snakes pose and to take necessary precautions if you come into contact with one. Many of these venomous snakes can easily be identified by their distinctive rattles or diamond-shaped patterns on their backs.

If you spot a rattlesnake or one of these other venomous snakes in California, it is important to stay calm and move away slowly.

Do not attempt to touch, catch, or kill the snake, as this can be dangerous. Instead, it is best to alert local authorities who can deal with the snake safely and humanely.

Remember, venomous snakes are an important part of California’s ecosystem and play an important role in controlling rodent populations. With proper knowledge and respect, it is possible to coexist peacefully with these snakes.


How Do I Get Rid of Snakes in California?

Snakes can be a common sight in many parts of California, so it’s important to be aware of how to safely handle them if you come across one on your property.

  • A snake hook is a great tool to use when attempting to remove a snake from your property. This tool is designed specifically to help you safely remove a snake without causing any harm.
  • It is important to wear protective gloves when handling a snake, as some species may be venomous and could pose a risk if not handled properly.
  • When trying to remove a snake from your property, it is also important to make sure you have a secure place to relocate the snake.
  • Releasing it back into the wild may not always be the best option, so it is important to be aware of other options.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the type of snake you are dealing with, it is a good idea to contact a professional wildlife removal service to help you safely remove the snake from your property.

With the help of a professional, you can ensure that the snake is safely removed from your property and relocated to a suitable environment.


How Do I Prevent Snakes in California?

Snakes can be a problem in California, but there are steps you can take to keep them away from your home or yard:

  • Trimming vegetation and removing debris around your home can help reduce the number of snakes in the area.
  • Installing a snake-proof fence can also be an effective way to keep them out.
  • Additionally, it’s important to check your property for any potential entry points and seal them up.
  • Using repellents can also help keep snakes away. There are several snake repellents on the market, so make sure to do your research before choosing one.

However, if you’re dealing with a snake infestation, it’s always best to call a professional for help. They’ll be able to advise you on the best way to handle the situation and help you get rid of the snakes.


Read also: How to Get Rid of Copperhead Snakes



Having a pet snake in California is a popular choice for many reptile lovers. However, it is important to understand that there are laws and regulations in place to ensure the safety of both the snake and the owner.

One of the most important regulations is that only non-venomous species can be kept as pets and venomous snakes are strictly prohibited.

In addition to this, pet snakes must be licensed and kept in humane and sanitary conditions. Depending on the city or county, there may be additional regulations in place, so it is important to check with your local laws first.

Fortunately, keeping a snake as a pet in California is generally legal, so long as the previously mentioned regulations are followed.

Doing so can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, as long as the owner takes the proper steps to ensure the safety of the snake and follows the laws and regulations in place. Thanks for reading!

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