Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services, LLC
Telephone: (804) 457-2883
Most snakes are harmless and, much like bats, provide a valuable service around your home in the way of rodent control. In fact, the presence of snakes around your property or in your house may indicate a rodent problem. There are only three species of venomous snakes in Virginia. The copperhead (found statewide) is the most common; and while it is usually not found inside homes, it may be common in gardens and woodlots. Timber rattlesnakes are common only in the mountainous regions of western Virginia and a small area of extreme southeastern Virginia where they are known as canebrake rattlesnakes. Water moccasins are found to the south and east of Petersburg and are common only in wet areas. Virginia Professional Wildlife Removal Services provides trapping, removal and exclusion of snakes in Central and Eastern Virginia - including Richmond, Charlottesville, Goochland, Louisa, Mineral, Gordonsville, Earlysville, Keswick, Fluvanna, Orange, Albemarle, Powhatan, Henrico and Hanover.

Snake Identification and Damage Identification

Of the many kinds of snakes found in the United States, only the following are harmful: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, coral snakes, and sea snakes. The latter group lives only in the oceans. All poisonous snakes, except coral snakes and sea snakes, belong in a group called pit
vipers. There are three ways to distinguish between pit vipers and nonpoisonous snakes in the United States: (1) All pit vipers have a deep pit on each side of the head, midway between the eye and the nostril. Nonpoisonous snakes do not have these pits. (2) On the underside of the tail of
pit vipers, scales go all the way across in one row (except on the very tip of the tail, which may have
two rows in some cases). On the underside of the tail of all nonpoisonous snakes, scales are in two
rows all the way from the vent of the snake to the tip of the tail. 2). The shed skin of a snake shows
the same characteristics. (3) The pupil of pit vipers is vertically elliptical (egg-shaped). In very
bright light, the pupil may be almost a vertical line, due to extreme contraction to shut out light. The pupil of nonpoisonous snakes is perfectly round. The poisonous coral snake is ringed with red, yellow, and black, with red and yellow rings touching. Nonpoisonous mimics of the coral snake
(such as the scarlet king snake) have red and yellow rings, separated by black rings. A helpful saying to memorize is: “Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack.”

A nonpoisonous snake bite has no venom and can do no more harm than frighten the victim. After being bitten several thousand times by nonpoisonous snakes, the author and his students have never suffered any adverse reaction, and no treatment was ever used. The only harm nonpoisonous snakes can cause is frightening people who are not familiar with them. A bite from a poisonous snake, however, causes an almost immediate reaction—swelling, tissue turning a dark blue-black, a tingling sensation, and nausea. If none of these is observed or felt, the bite was from a nonpoisonous snake. Also, bites from one of the pit vipers (copperheads, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths) will reveal two fang marks, in addition to teeth marks. All snakes have teeth;
only pit vipers have fangs. North American pit vipers have only two rows of teeth on top and two on the bottom, whereas nonpoisonous snakes have four on top and four on the bottom. (Source: Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage — 1994)

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Kents Store, Virginia 23084 (Goochland County)
Telephone: (804) 457-2883
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