There are about 220 distinct kinds of snakes on the North American continent. All are beneficial to mankind since they consume enormous numbers of harmful rodents and insects. The United States has only four major types of snakes with defense mechanisms which some-times prove hazardous to man--the rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth moccasin, and the coral snake.
Unless you live in the desert, your chances of having a poisonous snake in your yard is very small. The chances of having a rattler in your yard in the desert greatly increases because of the availability of water which cools the earth and the snakes are looking for an area to cool their heated bodies from the parching sunlight. This is no different from what we would do.
The farther south you live, the more opportunity for snakes, particularly poisonous snakes, to crawl into your yard. There are more species of poisonous snakes in the south and the weather permits these snakes to remain active all year, or most of the year. The percentages will work against the southern homeowner.
Snakes are most commonly seen in the yard in the spring and in the fall when tempera-tures are optimum for snake activity levels.
Small mammals are the primary source of food for large snakes and insects and worms are lunch for the smaller ones. Most snakes prefer damp protected areas. In cooler weather you may see snakes sunning themselves on flat rocks, sidewalks, or driveways to get heat enough to remain active. In late fall, snakes will seek a winter sleeping place.