Deadly Coral Snakes and Other Poisonous Snakes in Texas
Be On the Alert!
There are only four dangerous types of snakes that inhabit parts of the United States. The coral snake is the most deadly of all four. The others are copperheads, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths which are also known as water moccasins.
We have all four of these poisonous snakes in Texas. Aren't we the lucky ones! Haha!
Coral snakes, scarlet kingsnakes, and milk snakes can look quite similar but if there is any yellow coloration with red against yellow beware! There is an old saying which goes like this: “Red touches yellow, kill a fellow. Red touch black, a friend of Jack."
I am not sure who came up with that rhyme, but if it or variations of it serve to identify the poisonous coral snake and a person remembers it because of the verse, then it serves a useful purpose.
Coral snakes also have black noses.
This video above shows the nonpoisonous scarlet king snake.
Most of the time coral snakes hide under the ground in burrows or in places like piles of leaves. They are most active at night or early mornings. They are a reclusive snake and only attack if feeling as though they are threatened.
If they attack, these particular snakes latch on to their subjects, and the neurotoxins seep into the wound causing respiratory and cardiac arrest.
Because few people are killed each year by coral snakes, the cost of producing antivenin is becoming prohibitive. That is scary! So with a severe shortage of antivenom available, it pays to know what coral snakes look like. It also pays to avoid startling them in the wild if stumbling upon them by accident.
There are different types of coral snakes living in Florida, Texas, and Arizona but all of them are equally deadly to a person being bitten by them. Watch the video above to see the dangerous coral snake in Florida and the comparison of a non-deadly milk snake.
Safety Measures and Precautions
Usually, unless feeling threatened most snakes shy away from people. That is good, but there are still some common sense things which can be done to avoid snake encounters.
Snakes usually like to hide in the underbrush, fallen leaves, fallen logs, rock outcroppings or burrows of some type. So obviously, it pays to keep debris piles from building up around one's home.
If hiking out in a wooded area, be careful if stepping over things like logs where you cannot see where you might be stepping. Wearing sturdy shoes or boots are some protection.
Be extra careful and stay alert if walking along waterways. Supposedly water moccasins can be quite aggressive and even chase people. Yikes!
Photo of a Cottonmouth aka Water Moccasin
Tromping with heavy footsteps can ward off snakes since they feel vibrations in the ground.
I used to think that making verbal noise helped but apparently that is a false assertion. So whistle or sing while you walk if you wish, but only if it pleases you.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Photo
Other Poisonous Snakes in Texas
Photos of the other three poisonous snakes in Texas are shown here for identification purposes.
My mother once had some copperheads in the shrubbery around her home. They were discovered by some workmen who were installing new siding on her house. They killed the snakes. Most often if snakes are in the wild, it is best to leave them alone.
One thing we were told, and which I have used it to good effect, is the following. Apparently, snakes do not like the smell of mothballs. Even though it was just some type of non-poisonous snake hanging out in our garden, I put out mothballs, and the snake went elsewhere.
I know that snakes serve a valuable purpose. It is less likely that rodents will be hanging around the same area where a snake lives. That being said I cannot help myself in hearing an involuntary shriek every time I see a snake up close in our yard. So I always have mothballs as a defense. Fortunately, I have only had to haul out that arsenal a few times.
In reading about what repels snakes, some people think that the mothball idea is bogus. All I know is that it has personally worked for us.
Photo of a Copperhead Snake
Which of these snakes do you have where you live?
Did you learn anything new about snakes after reading this?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Peggy Woods