Are Garden Snakes Poisonous? Shredding The Truth On Yard Snakes

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 19, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Common Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis

It is obvious that the snakes we see in our gardens are referred to as garden snakes.

But the topic of garden snakes doesn’t end there. Numerous varieties and species of snakes are found in your gardens and many of them are venomous snakes.

You will see more than a dozen species of snakes in your garden every day which can be harmful to you and your family members. Many of them are poisonous and venomous that can harm humans by their venomous poison.

Some of the garden snakes can be non-venomous too. Today, we will talk about the most common garden snake in the regions of North America. You will see garter snake species the most in your garden if you are living in or near the North American region.

You will observe many of your neighbors will have pythons as pets! After reading all about these dangerous pets, do read are hippos carnivores and what kind of dog is Bolt?

Are garden snakes poisonous to humans?

The most common garden snake is a garter snake that can be seen mostly in many gardens of North America as well as in the southern regions also. The garter snake is a very thin and sleek snake that is found in your gardens.

The reason behind the garter snake being thin and slim is that it is meant to catch and prey on fat and small animals like rats or mice.

So, it needs to be slim in order to run around the ground very fast. These garter snakes are no doubt venomous snakes that can harm humans.

You will see many kinds of garter snakes in different regions. The most common ones have the combination and patterns of red, yellow, black, green, gray, as well as a tint of all the colors can also be found in many garter snakes.

Garter snakes are also known as the common species that tend to be found in gardens. You will see different varieties of garter snake species in your or neighboring gardens.

Almost all types of garden snakes or garter snakes are venomous in nature but the black one is not venomous or aggressive.

The reason behind garter snakes being poisonous is that garter snakes, when catching prey, release a venomous poison also known as neurotoxic poison. As the name suggests, this neurotoxic poison allows them to prey as the use of toxin slows down by acting on the nervous system of the prey.

When the nerves stop working efficiently it stops the body of the prey to move. The garter snake can easily catch the prey without much hustle.

This will help the venomous snake to eat and digest its prey very easily.

This poison can be harmful to humans as well, the same venomous neurotoxic poison numbs the nervous system of humans by directly attacking the central nervous system of the body. It can be dangerous for humans to stay around a garter snake or make even minute noises when you detect any species of snakes, not only garter snakes.

What are garden snakes attracted to?

If you are recently noticing garden snakes or garter snakes lying in your yard or gardens, it makes it very important for you to understand and observe what are the things that are attracting garden snakes to your yard.

To your utter horror, in many of the cases, you are only attracting the garden snakes in your yard. You are attracting garden snakes and mostly the garter snakes most of the time by various things.

These attractive things to the garter snakes include a very high population of rodents, birds, and insects.

As you know by now, garden snakes or garter snakes are created by nature in a way that preys on fat rodents and animals including rats and mice, they eat them as their food to stay healthy and fit.

If your garden is lately having a large population of rodents, there is a possibility that you will definitely be going to find a garter snake in your garden.

It is very obvious that wherever the snake will find its food to eat in good proportion, it will definitely be going to be on that land.

Other than having a good population of rodents and birds, garden snakes or garter snakes are also attracted to tall and big grasses and plants. Any snake will not roam around in bare land as it will be on the verge of getting attacked by humans.

Tall grasses and plants help the garter snake to hide easily while searching for its prey without harming itself. So, if you have tall grasses and plants in your garden, it is advisable to walk in your yard with a lot of care.

If you have a pet in your house, like a dog or a cat, and you unknowingly leave the dog food or cat food in the yard, you are going to notice a garter snake in your garden after some time for sure.

Garter snakes are attracted towards the dog or cat food as it finds it fascinating to feed on them.

While mildly venomous snakes will not kill your pet dog but a highly venomous one's bite will need veterinary attention.

Many people who own a garden or yard, usually perform the process of composting in it. Composting helps the garden soil to be nutrition-rich.

The plants that you grow on such land will be rich in nutrients and minerals and will be very healthy. A compositing dig mostly attracts garter snakes.

With so many advantages of doing composting in your garden, it is a clear invitation for a garter snake to arrive at your composting inauguration.

With no waste of time, garter snakes will arrive at your composting dig to make their presence in your garden known. Cool damp places and a good amount of water in your garden can also be an open invitation to garter snake species to visit your garden.

Common eastern Garter snake coiled in the grass 

Where do snakes hide during the day?

As we have seen above, if your garden has tall and big grasses and plants, there is a good possibility to see and configure a garter snake in your yard. Garter snakes have stripes all over its body starting from the head and reaching to the tail.

These stripes can be used as a parameter to identify a garter snake in your yard.

Snakes usually do not like to roam around in bare places in the daytime as they are at high risk of getting attacked by big animals, birds like vultures, and humans also. You will notice snakes roam on the land during the nighttime more as compared to the daytime.

Species of garter snakes that you will generally find in your gardens and yards are no doubt venomous in nature.

They release harmful toxins that can harm you as well with the rodents and birds they prey to eat.

With so much danger in the presence of the species of garter snakes, it is important for you to know their hiding places so you can avoid garter snake species to make their home inside your yard. Because if a snake makes it home at a place, it becomes very difficult to get rid of them.

And having a poisonous snake can be very harmful to you and your family as they also enter the house if they do not find that cozy environment out there.

A garter snake will be found hiding in several places that have one or the other quality or characteristic to hide the snake very well. The first being the tall grasses in your garden.

Other than that, if you have damp and moist areas in your garden, there will be a possibility for a garter snake to be present over there.

Moist areas and holes in your yards will help the garter snake species to hide easily in the daytime. They come out in the rain as their living bills get filled with water.

Not just garter snakes, but many snakes are also harbored in nature and want specific regions to hide during the daytime.

They find a hiding place that will keep the snake warmer while having a constant and good source of water and food for them to eat while easily hiding at a place. Dense bushes will allow the garter snake to hide easily while no human or other animals would find them in that.

They hide in dense and warm places where they can roam without getting noticed by other species from which they have danger.

A not so well-kept yard with low maintenance being done lately will have garter snake species mostly allowing a safe home and hiding place for them. A constant supply of food and water for them to drink and eat will allow them to stay away from humans and hide during the day.

Garter snakes hibernate inside a moist and warm hole to stay away from any danger.

How do you get rid of garden snakes?

Garter snakes are the predators that feed upon fat rodents and birds. Young garter snakes are more active in nature.

Garter snake species that are young have a similar pattern all over their body from head to tail which they shed off with time. As they get mature, you will find their shed off skin in your yard if garter snakes usually come to your garden.

It can be taken as a sign that your garden is a friendly place for garter snakes now.

Male garter snakes are more active in nature that makes it difficult to catch them and makes them stay away from your yard. These predators lay eggs in your garden marking their territory in your garden.

If you find snake eggs around your feet while roaming around your garden, it is high time to do something because eggs are a sign that this harmful wild species is slithering around your garden.

Slithering of garter snakes and shedding off their skin in your gardens can be a proper sign or signal for you to take action to get your garden free of these wild harmful and venomous snakes. As you know garters feed upon mice and rats mostly, pesticides can help to keep the rodents away from your gardens.

This action will prevent the garters from finding and kill their prey in and near your yard.

You will notice these reptiles with three-chambered heart near spring seasons the most. Garters move out of hibernation in the spring seasons to prey for their food and eat them.

Garter snakes are wild snakes that not only kill small rodents but also eat insects. The yellow color subspecies of garter snakes are known to slug around the human yard and bite humans in many cases.

Female subspecies of garter snakes eat small rodents and insects to stay healthier and lay healthy eggs. To get rid of the female garter snakes in your yard, insecticide on plants and grasses can be a very good option.

As many common garter snakes hide in tall grasses and plants, keeping the maintenance of your garden up to date will help to cut the hiding places for garter snakes. You can clearly identify between venomous snakes or non-venomous snakes by looking at the stripes they have on their bodies and snakes slithering.

Many species of garter snakes are dangerous to humans but green color garters are relatively harmless. Try to fill the pits if you find any in your yards.

It will block their way to home and is a possibility to not roam in and around your garden area. You can also do your composing far away from your house.

As far as you can, do the compositing so your family members are not at the risk from wild venomous garter snake bites.

As soon as you find any sign of snakes garter in your yards, call the authority that catches the snakes, as going near the snakes garter can release its harmful venom on you which then can cause serious issues.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are garden snakes poisonous? Then why not take a look at what kind of cheese is Babybel? Or gopher snake facts?

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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