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As things begin to heat up, we aren’t the only ones who want to be out and about. Over the next several months, you may encounter a snake. They generally aren’t a cause for concern but encounters with them can be scary. To protect yourself, family, and pets, be sure to know how to identify nonvenomous and venomous snakes. Read the full story here.

Venomous snakes can be identified by:

  1. Their Heads
    • Most venomous snakes have triangular or diamond-shaped heads.
  2. Their Eyes
    • Venomous snakes typically have oblong pupils that look like a slit in the center of the eye instead of round pupils.

North Carolina has 6 types of venomous snakes:

  1. Copperhead
    • Most common venomous snakes in North Carolina
    • Brownish in color with an hourglass-shaped pattern, resembling a Hershey Kiss
  2. Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)
    • Dark bands on dark or olive skin with white cotton-like interiors of their mouths
    • Can be lighter in color and can resemble copperheads
  3. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
    • Gray or yellowish skin with a dark diamond pattern outlined in black
    • Large, broadheads with two light lines on the face
    • Known for bone-chilling rattle sound
  4. Timber Rattlesnake

    • Can vary in color, but has dark bands on lighter skin with a rattle at the end of its tail
    • Coastal varieties have what looks like a brown or orange “racing stripe” down the middle of the back
  5. Pigmy Rattlesnake
    • Gray, pinkish or red skin with a dark, spotted pattern
    • Rattle sounds more like a buzz
  6. Eastern Coral Snake
    • Least common in NC
    • Slender with red, yellow, and black rings similar to the harmless scarlet kingsnake. Remember: Red touches black, friend of Jack; red touches yellow, kills a fellow”