It’s that time of year where baby copperhead snakes take over the South. This species mates in the spring and typically gives birth between late August through early September. They are most likely to be encountered in Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, and Georgia.
So what do you do if you come across a snake? How do you know if it’s a copperhead?
Identifying snakes can be dangerous and should only be done from a safe distance. Copperheads have elliptical eyes and triangular heads but most people aren’t going to walk up to a snake to verify these details. Instead, look at the color pattern, tail tip, and body shape of a snake to identify baby copperheads from a safe distance. Look out for bright yellow or green lines on their tails. Baby copperheads typically have this mark for the first year of their lives. Their coloring is typically light brown or reddish, and some younger snakes can look dark gray. Copperhead patterning resembles an hourglass, and their head is generally triangular in shape.
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So, my morning walkabout through the garden was, initially, a little stress inducing. This fellow was there to greet me along the way (this is getting to be an annual event) to the new area on which I have been working. Copperhead Snake! This baby copperhead does have one feature that makes him stand out from an adult copperhead. They use that bright yellow tip of the tail to help trick prey into thinking it’s a small worm, and moving in closer. I beheaded him with some very sharp garden shears. 💪🏻✂️ Boom. . . . #greygardener #gardenlife #dontgardeninflipflops #texassnakes #zone8bgardening #thegardeninjune #inmygardentoday #mytexasgarden #gardenreptiles #snakesninthegarden #gardeningtexas #copperheadsnake #babycopperhead #watchyourstep #countryliving #countrygardens #countryhomesandgardens
Babies are seven to eight inches long, and are often mistaken for non-venomous water snakes, rat snakes and corn snakes. Adult copperheads can grow up to two to three feet long.
Although venomous, copperheads are not aggressive. If you encounter one, just let it be. When disturbed, they will usually try to escape first. It is only when they feel trapped or threatened that they strike.
For more information on copperheads, watch the video below.