Welcome to jacksonsnakes.com! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Jackson, MS. Many people don't know that Jackson is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Mississippi snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Hinds County MS, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Jackson. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Jackson, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Jackson, as well as the venomous snakes of Jackson that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Jackson. Remember the following:
- Most snakes of Jackson are harmless and don't want to encounter you
- Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Jackson, Mississippi
- Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Mississippi ecosystem
- Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.
Common Snake Species in JacksonRacer Snakes: The black racer is one of Mississippi's most abundant snakes and inhabits many different habitats. The racer can be anywhere from three to six feet in length and generally has a slim body type. Complete with all black bodies and white necks, these snakes have a striking appearance. The racers deserve their name because of the speed they can move at, which is speeds up to five miles per hour. The black racer eats a variety of foods, such as rodents, birds, and other baby snakes. Despite the bite they can leave, these non-venomous snakes are harmless to humans.
Kingsnakes: The speckled kingsnake, or salt-and-pepper snake, is one of the most respected snakes in all of Alabama. Thriving in urban areas, as well as swamplands, the kingsnake takes on venomous snakes and eats them, as it is resistant to pit viper venom. Generally around two to four feet in length, the speckled kingsnake has a salt-and-pepper checkered appearance. While they do not like to be seen, they can live in many different habitats and have been found in Jackson before. These snakes eat other snakes, rodents, birds, and amphibians. Despite a painful bite when cornered, these non-venomous snakes do not harm people.
Rat Snakes: The gray rat snake, also known as the chicken snake in some Alabama areas, is one of the most common snakes found throughout Alabama. They feature a light or dark gray body with a light-colored throat, often having random stripes of color down their bodies. This snake likes to eat almost anything but has a particular penchant for rats and mice. The gray rat snake is usually three to six feet long and has the ability to climb many different structures. Commonly found in urban areas, gray rat snakes simply need a rodent population to survive in places. When startled, the non-venomous gray rat snake might leave a painful bite, but will not otherwise harm humans.
Venomous Snake Species in JacksonCopperheads: Copperheads are a venomous snake species that can be found all over the state of Mississippi. Deriving their name from their copper-colored head, these snakes are about two to three feet long on average. They have a lighter shade of copper-colored background and dark copper-colored bands in the shapes of dumbbells around their bodies. While most bites inflicted by copperheads are dry (meaning they have injected little venom), they still do have the potential to be deadly. Copperheads are capable of living in many environments, and this includes urban areas, so it is always important to be aware. These snakes subsist mainly on rodents and other small creatures.
Rattlesnakes: Around the Jackson area of Mississippi, there are two main types of rattlesnakes that can be found. The pigmy rattlesnake is a smaller-sized rattler, generally about two feet long at most. They have pale body backgrounds with dark splotches all down their backs. The second of these rattlers is the canebrake rattlesnake, commonly referred to as the timber rattler. These snakes are generally anywhere from three to five feet in length, and they feature light-colored body backgrounds with dark, angular bands going around their bodies. Both of these rattlesnake species can be deadly, as they are both venomous and have the potential to kill humans. They both can survive in a variety of habitats and have sometimes been found in urban areas. They like to eat rodents, small birds, and amphibians.
Cottonmouth: The cottonmouth, or the water moccasin, is one of the snakes known for its potent venom it can inject into its victims. The cottonmouth likes to live in water environments, though many times it has been found in dry areas. The pure-white mouth of the cottonmouth gives it its name. Cottonmouths possess dark background colors and bands, however once the snake matures to a certain point, they become a relatively dull solid, dark color. These snakes enjoy eating amphibians, fish, and rodents, giving them the ability to live in many different environments. Always exercise great caution around cottonmouths, as they are very venomous.
If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Jackson 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 Jackson, it's venomous snakes of Jackson. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Jackson. The few venomous snakes of Hinds County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Jackson in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Raymond, Utica, Clinton, Byram, Terry, Bolton, Edwards, Learned, and the surrounding areas.
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