Whenever you spot a snake it puts an instant fear in people. Because fear can cause you to react abruptly it is important to know what type of snake it is you are encountering. It is vital to know if you are dealing with a venomous snake or not to ensure your safety. Keeping your distance from venomous snakes is always the best way to avoid getting bit. Within Ohio, there are 3 common venomous snakes.

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

 This snake is small in length with thick bodies. The average size of an adult Eastern Massasauga snake is 2 feet. Their head is heart-shaped with 9 large scales. They are gray or light brown in color with dark brown or black blotches along its back. They can be found in wetlands such as; marshes, wet prairies, and areas near the edges or rivers or lakes. They like to hibernate under logs and in abandoned burrows.  It is important to also note that this species of snakes is endangered. If you encounter this snake seek professional help to preserve the life of this snake. Although their venom is more toxic than other rattlesnakes the amount they inject when biting is not fatal.

Northern Copperhead

Northern Copperhead snakes have an unmarked copper-colored head and reddish brown, copper-colored bodies with chestnut brown crossbands toward the midline. They grow to be 2.5 feet in length with thick bodies. The females tend to be longer than males, whereas the male tends to have a longer tail. They tend to reside in rocky-forested hillsides as well as various wetlands. One of the most helpful tips to know is that copperheads are social hibernators. This is important to note due to the danger you could be in if you spot a copperhead, where there is one there could be many. They can easily be overlooked because they camouflage well with their surroundings.  There are many copperhead bites reported each year but few are fatal.

Eastern Timber Rattlesnake

The Eastern Timber Snake is a very large snake measuring up to 3-4.5 feet long or more in length. Although these are rather large snakes they can still easily conceal themselves in their surroundings. It has a triangular head with numerous small scales covering it, with a border of larger scales. They can be spotted as being either yellow with dark brown or black crossbands or black with dark crossbands. They can be found in deciduous forests. A bite from one of these snakes can be very serious. Their fangs are long enough to penetrate clothing as well as boots. If you believe you or someone around you has been bitten by one of these snakes seek medical attention immediately.