Snake sightings could increase after rainy weather in San Antonio-area

How to tell if snake is venomous

Jessica Alderson, an Urban Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, sent these photos of snakes homeowners may see. This is a picture of a venomous rattlesnake.
Jessica Alderson, an Urban Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, sent these photos of snakes homeowners may see. This is a picture of a venomous rattlesnake.

SAN ANTONIO – Heavy rains in the San Antonio-area overnight could cause a spike in snake sightings.

Snakes, historically, like to come out after rainstorms. “The rain is known to bring the snakes out since they will be chasing after frogs,” and other prey, according to Snake-Removal.com.

Snakes also seek higher ground and shelter from the rain, which means they could show up in your house or neighborhood.

What can you do? Keep storage areas, such as your garage or shed, as clean and tidy as possible. Snakes can fit through tiny openings and easily hide in shadowy areas which means wood and brush piles should be kept as far away from your residence as possible.

Exercise caution everywhere, including the dark areas of your home. Snakes can make their way into the most unlikely of places.

Unless there is an immediate threat to your safety, snakes should be left alone. They are a natural part of our ecosystem.

The four common venomous snakes in South Texas are copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes.

Copperheads are usually light-colored with red/brown crossbands along their body. They can be found along streams and rivers and heavily weeded areas.

The photos below show a copperhead and a cottonmouth, respectively.

Copperhead snake.
Cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin. Photo courtesy Asih.org.

Cottonmouths, also known as water moccasins, are usually darker in color. They can be dark brown, olive green, and even solid black. The cottonmouth prefers swamps, rivers, ponds, and waterways, something to be wary of when visiting the River Walk.

Coral snakes are highly venomous and commonly confused with the nonvenomous milk snake. Coral snakes typically have a black head with a red, yellow, and black pattern. Milk snakes usually have a red head with a black, red, black, and yellow pattern.

Coral snake. Photo courtesy www.poinsoncentertampa.org.

An easy way to remember the difference between the coral and milk snake is to recite the rhyme “red touch yellow, kill a fellow, red touch black, friend of Jack.”

Rattlesnakes are the easiest to identify because of the rattle at the end of their bodies. Different types of rattlesnakes prefer different environments. Some like marshes and others seek a drier climate.

Be careful when letting animals out to go to the bathroom; venomous snakes could be lurking in the grass and bite your pet.

Most venomous snakes in South Texas, with the exception of the coral snake, will be thick and fat instead of thin.

Related: Be wary of mushroom poisoning in dogs following heavy rains


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.