There are around 50 species of native snakes in Florida, with just six of them being venomous. Black snakes in Florida can be found in yards, golf courses, parks, retention ponds, and even garages and houses.
The Florida snake is a shy and misunderstood creature. They come in many colors, shapes, and sizes!
You will not know what type of snake it is until you catch it in your hands and notice the head shape. The Florida black snake might be venomous or they may not be at all!
But they can still do some damage when they strike you with their fangs.
These guys are a blessing for farmers as they will eat all kinds of pests that other animals won’t.
In this article, we’ll go over all you need to know about black snakes in Florida.
This snake is well-known for a variety of reasons.
⦁ It can be found all over the eastern United States.
⦁ It’s diurnal, which means it’s active during the day when we’re out and about.
⦁ It can be found in a wide range of environments, although it prefers the “edge” areas between forest and open habitat, where it thrives.
What Kind of Snake is All Black in Florida?
The southern black racer (Coluber constrictor), sometimes known as the eastern racer, is the most widespread “black snake” in Florida’s urban and natural environments.
These long, thin snakes have slick grey/black patches on their backs and bellies, as well as white chins and necks, and can grow to reach 4–5 feet long.
Racers are friendly to people and, as their name suggests, are quick and agile, retreating quickly when contacted.
If caught and intimidated, they may shake their tail furiously (creating a cracking sound on the floor or on dead leaves) and release a foul-smelling “musk” on their captor, or even strike if handled.
Frogs, lizards, tiny snakes, birds, and rodents are among the prey that black racers catch with their speed.
Black racers are occasionally mistaken for venomous cottonmouth water moccasins, which already have large, hefty bodies with rough-looking mild-mannered scales (with longitudinal ridges) and blocky heads, due to their dark appearance.
Young black racers are similarly tall and slim, but they look nothing like adults.
On a grey background, they have a sequence of reddish-brown spots down the middle of their backs, as well as several small, dark flecks on their back and bellies.
Are black snakes poisonous in Florida?
Other “black snakes” can be found all across the south-eastern United States and are often hard to ascertain.
Types of Non-Venomous Snakes:
There are two non-venomous coral snake look-alikes (scarlet kingsnake and scarlet snake) that can be mistaken for the coral snake at first inspection, but the order of their colored bands quickly distinguishes them as non-venomous (red touching black).
The black and red bands touch in the two non-venomous species, and their snouts are red rather than black.
Surprisingly, all pit vipers give birth to reside young, and the scarlet coral snake is Florida’s only venomous egg-laying species.
As a result, if you come across snake eggs, they very definitely belong to a non-venomous species and can be treated alone without risking your safety.
Are Black Snakes Good to Have Around?
They help control some of the other pests and animals that could be around in that area.
The most common snake you’ll see in your backyard is a black rat snake.
- It can grow to be more than 6 or 7 feet long.
- It’s almost all black, with white under the chin. It’s a somewhat calm snake. Small mammals like mice, rats, and other small rodents are their favorite diets.
- They will readily climb into bushes and trees, as well as try to get into bird nests.
- They’ll consume the eggs and possibly the baby bird as well.
- If you don’t mind having snakes around, black rat snakes are a great addition to the yard. Egg layers are black rat snakes. They can lay up to 20 eggs.
- They lay their eggs in June or July, and it only takes a few months for them to hatch.
Although non-venomous, black racers are very fast-moving and so can cause panic if they are coming your way.
However, it is not their normal habit to chase people deliberately. More likely you are both heading in the same direction, trying to get away.
Are All Black Snakes in Florida Harmless?
These shy snakes like to hide under logs and rocks, where they feed earthworms, slugs, salamanders, lizards, and small snakes.
Because of their small size, these snakes may be unable to crawl out of pools and may mistakenly enter a home through the cracks between the doors.
- They can be readily removed from the pool with a leaf blower or from the home with a sweeping motion into a bucket or small trash can. They are a necessary component of the food chain.
- They aid in the control of various pests and animals that may be present in the area.
- They’re also non-venomous, which means they won’t harm people or any pets you have at home.
- They are effective against rodents and other pests.
As a result, they are simply a part of the natural cycle in your yard.
Of the 45 species of snakes in Florida, only 6 are venomous.
The majority of Florida snakes are harmless and beneficial in that they help to control rodent populations.
Even poisonous species aren’t extremely harmful unless they’re trodden on or disturbed in some other way.
A list of venomous snakes are:
- Eastern Coral Snake
- Southern Copperhead
- Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
- Timber rattlesnake
- Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
The black rat snake has a long, black body and a white belly and is non-venomous.
If you have black snakes in your home, they are most likely either North American rat snakes or black racers.
Both are nonvenomous, have white or greyish bellies, and prey primarily on rodents and other small animals. Black snakes are nonvenomous, medium-to-large snakes that kill by compression.
Humans are not threatened by them.
Rat snakes are divided into two types:
Old World (Eastern Hemisphere) and New World (Western Hemisphere), and the two are genetically distinct.
What Attracts Black Snakes to Your House?
Snakes are generally shy creatures who avoid contact with humans.
They can be beneficial since they consume mice, slugs, grubs, insects, and other pests, as well as providing food for other creatures like hawks.
Mice– You may think your house mice are a nuisance, but they’re nothing compared to the snakes they may entice.
Many snakes’ species feed on rodents, so if you have rats in your attic or on your property, snakes are likely to be present as well. Even if you don’t have mice, look for food that attracts snakes, such as bird eggs, baby birds, frogs, lizards, and other smaller amphibians.
Leaf piles– Those leaf piles could be offering the perfect environment for snakes to make their way into your home, especially if they’re close to your foundation.
Snakes can hide among leaf heaps and hedge trimmings, which provide camouflage and a safe haven from predators.
Landscaping rocks– Using stones in your landscaping may add aesthetic value to your home, but if the boulders are placed close to your house, they may attract snakes.
If you need a wood or stone pile, keep it away from your house so that animals aren’t enticed to enter your home while they’re hiding.
Dense shrubbery– Maybe you believed the shrubbery around your house would help draw attention away from your foundation’s less-than-stellar paint job, or maybe you just think it provides some much-needed colour to your space.
Regardless of why you put it there, the lush vegetation provides ideal cover for snakes. Rodents are attracted to tall grass and unkempt plants, which also provide excellent cover for snakes.
Snakes can hide from predators and forage for food in these remote areas, which allows them to conceal themselves from predators.
Gaps in your home’s foundation– If you’ve been putting off re-caulking the spaces around your window frames or repairing the cracks in your foundation, now is the time to do so. Snakes can enter your home through a crevice as small as a pencil eraser.
Any holes, cracks, or fissures in the house should be sealed, especially near the crawl space. Snakes love drainage areas because they provide an easy access opportunity.
Bird baths– You may have purchased that bird bath in the hopes of attracting birds, but you may find that it attracts an unwelcome species instead.
Snakes require water to exist, therefore if you have a birdbath in your garden that is easily accessible, you are likely to attract snakes.
What Smell do Snakes Hate?
Scientists investigated both odors and physical objects that were thought to repel snakes in total.
These included the following:
⦁ Flour sulfur
⦁ Garlic, onion and cayenne pepper (liquid form)
⦁ Polybutenes and hydrogenated castor oil (bird tanglefoot)
⦁ Gourd vines
⦁ Coal tar and creosote oil
⦁ Sisal rope (yep, cowboy rope)
⦁ Cedar oil
⦁ Chain king snake musk
⦁ Hickory Smoke
Cinnamon oil and clove oil are the only known experiments that have proven effective at repelling snakes.
Cinnamon and Clove Oil
Cinnamon oil and clove oil have been demonstrated to be efficient at repelling the brown tree snake in studies.
There isn’t much information available about how cinnamon and clove oil operate to repel other snake species.
If you’re going to use cinnamon or clove oil to repel snakes, make sure it’s in a place where pets can’t get to it. Snakes have strong senses of smell and taste, and they will be repulsed from an area if something smells or tastes odd.
Commercial snake repellent:
There are many products on the market that promise to repel snakes. Sprays, powders, ultrasonic noisemakers, and more items are available.
Don’t be fooled into purchasing something that doesn’t work.
Some snake repellents are intended to be sprayed or disseminated throughout the home, while others provide quick protection and can be sprayed immediately on a slithering invader.
Furthermore, ultrasonic sound generators are unlikely to function on snakes.
This is owing to the fact that snakes do not have external ears.
Their inner ear, which is connected to their jaw, is what they rely on. Ultrasonic noise, on the other hand, has been proven in certain experiments to repel rats and mice.
This could be the reason why some companies claim that ultrasonics repel snakes; it simply eliminates their food sources.
How to Remove Snakes from Your Yard and House
There are suitable ways to take care of a snake if you are knowledgeable about snakes in your area and wish to do it on your own.
Even with gloves on, snakes should never be handled directly. This can elicit a defensive response from them, resulting in a bite.
Here are some at-home steps you can take to remove snakes from your house and yard:
- Get a broom and a huge empty container or garbage can. Have the container’s lid ready. Alternatively, specialist traps designed to live-trap mice for translocation are available. They can be used to catch snakes, but only little ones.
- Whether the snake is moving, place the container in its path to see if it will crawl in on its own. Place the container in the direction the snake is looking and gently nudge it with your broom if it isn’t moving.
- Once the snake is inside the container, cover it with the lid and turn it upright to prevent it from escaping.
What Do Black Snakes Eat?
Frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, rodents, and other small animals are prey for black racers.
They basically consume any little animal they can overpower by suffocating it or crushing it into the ground.
While these snakes are natural enemies of the aforementioned examples, domestic dogs and cats, coyotes, and birds of prey such as the red-shouldered hawk and the widening hawk are natural foes of black racers.
These birds utilize their keen vision to see black racers and attack them from the air. When these birds attack black racers, they use surprise to their advantage, rendering their speed and ground awareness useless.
Can You Keep Black Snakes as Pets?
These snakes are not suitable for keeping as pets.
They despise being touched, flailing, and biting as well as emitting a nasty smell. They also have extensive territories and are not well adapted to being housed in small places.
Don’t Want to Be Around Florida Snakes?
You don’t like the idea of non-native species being in nature where they don’t belong?
You’re afraid of them and think nobody else should be around them either-even if that means exterminating every single one of them. (I feel like this is a little bit extreme).
When it comes down to it, most people who dislike snakes read up on how to properly handle and dispose of them.
There’s no sense in getting emotionally attached to an animal only to endanger yourself or others by doing something stupid with or around it.
So….will black snakes in Florida die in the winter?
Snakes are not asleep all year round.
They just become less active during cold weather, which is called “brumation.”
Brumaitation refers to an extreme slowing down of their metabolism and snakes can be seen with heads titled slightly skyward waiting for warmer days ahead while still being very lethargic; you won’t notice them moving around much either!
If it hits below freezing at night (which is rare in many parts of the state), or if there’s some other unexpected event (like rain) that catches the snake off guard before they get back home – then these creatures may die without finding themselves in another suitable den nearby where this would happen less frequently than average since different types tend share living quarters when possible
I understand that some people just prefer to take the safe route and not risk it. Black snakes are wonderful creatures that live in a wide variety of habitats.
They have many skills to survive and typically prey on many local species.
Black snakes, though they may be looked down upon at times, play an important role in our ecosystem and should be respected as such!