Welcome to atlantasnakes.com! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Atlanta, GA. Many people don't know that Atlanta is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Georgia snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Fulton County GA, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Atlanta. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Atlanta, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Atlanta, as well as the venomous snakes of Atlanta that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Atlanta. Remember the following:
- Most snakes of Atlanta are harmless and don't want to encounter you
- Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Atlanta, Georgia
- Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Georgia ecosystem
- Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.
Common Snake Species in AtlantaEastern garter snake: Garter snakes are common in Georgia. These slender snakes are usually 18 to 26 inches long but a few of them have been known to grow up to 49 inches. Garter snakes are mainly found in grasslands, moist environments especially near water bodies, and also in suburban areas hiding beneath logs or piles of debris and vegetation. They can be green, gray, or brown with yellow stripes along their slender bodies, they are somewhat similar to ribbon snakes in appearance.
Northern water snake: Northern water snakes are fairly common in lakes, ponds, marshes, streams, and rivers, they are large non-venomous snakes with an average length of 24 to 55 inches. These snakes have dark-colored bodies with even darker rectangular bands across their backs. In Atlanta, you can find them basking on tree branches overhanging the water, ponds, and river banks, and they feed mostly on amphibians.
Black racer: This is a shiny solid black snake with smooth scales and a long somewhat slender body. These snakes reach a maximum length of 60 inches and are known for their tremendous speed. Some snakes like the rat snake will freeze when approached, but the racer will run very fast to get away. Racers are very common in Georgia and can be found in many varied habitats; forests, wetlands, fields, etc.t snake 3.
Rat snake: Different types of rat snakes are encountered in Georgia; the yellow rat snake, black rat snake, gray rat snake. Black rat snakes are usually black, yellow rat snakes are greenish-yellow with dark stripes while the gray rat snakes are gray with dark brown blotches. Rat snakes are found in forests, hills, close to water bodies, and in suburban areas especially in old barns and abandoned buildings. These snakes are typically between 36 and 60 inches in length.
Eastern kingsnake: This is a large reptile with a shiny black and smooth-scaled body that measures between 36 – 48 in. Eastern kingsnakes live in swamps, forests, wetlands, farmlands, and suburban areas. Their shiny black bodies usually have white or yellow chain-like bands alternating horizontally across their backs.
Corn snake: The corn snake is an orange or reddish-brown snake with black-edged, reddish-brown, or dark brown square patterns. They are typically between 30 and 48 inches long and are found in dry lands, pinewoods, and mostly terrestrial habitats including barns, old buildings, and people’s homes in search of rodents. These snakes are sometimes confused with the venomous copperhead, but they are not poisonous and pose no real threat to humans.
Eastern milk snake: This is a gray or tan colored snake with rows of red or reddish-brown, black-edged blotches around their bodies which varies between 24 - 36 inches in length. Milk snakes are very common snakes in Georgia and are found in a wide range of habitats. The eastern milk snake is sometimes confused with the venomous copperhead.
Venomous Snake Species in AtlantaTimber rattlesnakes: These are large stout venomous snakes with a maximum length of 70 inches. They are usually found in rock crevices, stump holes, and mammal burrows and have a tan, gray, or pale yellow, or olive base color with a series of brown to black cross-bands and patterns.
Pygmy rattlesnakes: This is the smallest of the rattlesnake species and they rarely grow longer than 32 inches. These snakes typically have gray, tan, or sometimes a reddish or almost black base color with rows of dark spots on each side of their bodies. They are mainly found in pine forests and dry sandhills.
Copperheads: This is a light brown or gray snake with reddish-brown hourglass-shaped patches alternating across the body, with an average length of 24 to 36 inches. They are the least venomous pit vipers but still need to be avoided, these snakes occur naturally in rocky wooded hillsides, mountains, river edges, swamps, fields, etc.
If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at email@example.com and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Atlanta snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.
Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Atlanta, it's venomous snakes of Atlanta. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Atlanta. The few venomous snakes of Fulton County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Atlanta in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Alpharetta, South Fulton, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Fairburn, East Point, Milton, Union City, Hapeville, Chattahoochee Hills, and the surrounding areas.
Read our article about:
5 Ways to Keep the Snakes Away from your Property
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