Have you seen something ssssssslithering around your yard recently? If so, please be very careful and do not try to catch or handle a snake. It could be one of the six venomous snakes that we have in the Lowcountry. The diet of most snakes consists of frogs, lizards, small mammals, or insects, making them beneficial when it comes to rodent and pest control. However, most residents prefer a more professional approach to pest control. If you have unwanted reptiles in your yard, crush up some moth balls and sprinkle the material in areas where you don’t want them. Here is some information and pictures of poisonous snakes that can be found in our area.


The copperhead is East Cooper’s most common venomous snake. Found throughout our state, the copperhead can reach an adult length between 2 and 4 feet. This snake varies in color from pinkish to coppery-tan with dark brown hourglass-shaped crossbanding. The head is typically a copper color.


This snake is also known as the water moccasin.  Adult cottonmouths can get very large, reaching lengths of 5 feet or more. The cottonmouth usually hangs out in swampy or wet areas. Most people think of a cottonmouth as a jet black snake but their color can range from brown, dull olive, or even a brownish-yellow. Adults will have irregular stripes or bands the length of their bodies. Most snakes will usually try to escape when approached, but the cottonmouth will hold its ground and coil up.

Timber Rattlesnake:

Also known as the canebrake rattlesnake in coastal areas,  these venomous snakes enjoy woodlands, rivers, swamps, and wet low lying areas as their home. Canebrake rattlesnakes can grow to 5 feet in length. The canebrake is usually light brown, but can be pinkish or pale orange. Typically, it has dark cross-bands with reddish-brown stripes running down its body.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake:

The Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake is easily East Cooper’s largest poisonous snake. They can reach lengths in excess of 6 feet. The distinguishing diamonds running down its back are usually black or dark brown. The diamonds may look like they are outlined in yellow or ivory. This snake also wears a black mask across its face. They hunt larger mammals like rabbits and squirrels.

Coral Snake:

Red on black, friend of Jack. Red on yellow, kill a fellow. The coral snake is very colorful but is one of the world’s most venomous snakes. It is small, reaching a maximum size of 2 feet. The bright red, yellow, and black bands alternate down the length of the body. The poem above distinguishes the markings of the coral snake from its nonvenomous look alikes, the milk snake and scarlet king snake.

Pigmy Rattlesnake:

The pigmy rattlesnake is a very small snake. Adults may be less than 1 foot long. Due to their size, they are masters of disguise and their rattle is very hard to hear. They range in color from dark gray to light gray and have very dark blotchy markings down their back. You will find this rattlesnake around ponds, marshes, and swampy areas. They like to feed on frogs and lizards.


East Cooper Termite and Pest Solutions can provide helpful advice on snake identification and wildlife management around your home.