Welcome to greenbaysnakes.com! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Green Bay, WI. Many people don't know that Green Bay is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Wisconsin snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Brown County WI, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Green Bay. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Green Bay, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Green Bay, as well as the venomous snakes of Green Bay that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Green Bay. Remember the following:
- Most snakes of Green Bay are harmless and don't want to encounter you
- Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Wisconsin ecosystem
- Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.
Common Snake Species in Green BayRat Snakes: One of the most harmless snakes to humans in Wisconsin is the rat snake. This snake relies on its ability to constrict its prey instead of possessing venom. It is hard to describe a rat snake well because they have become so varied throughout the country that there is no clear consensus on what constitutes a rat snake anymore. Some of these rat snakes can be up to ten feet long, but the common average is probably closer to five feet. The most common rat snake in Wisconsin is the black rat snake, which is easily identified by its shiny, black appearance. As can be guessed from the name, these snakes prefer to eat rats, and will not harm humans.
Garter Snakes: The common garter snake is the most common snake that inhabits Wisconsin. They can be found in most habitat types, from urban to woodland, and everywhere else in between. Garter snakes can be anywhere from 15-28 inches long in Wisconsin, and some have even been longer than 30 inches. The appearance of the common garter snake makes it easy to identify. The common garter snake is black, with yellow stripes running down its body. These snakes will not cause harm to humans, so there is no need to worry about them. They generally eat all kinds of insects, fish, and frogs, serving an important role in the ecosystem around Green Bay.
Fox Snakes: The fox snake is one of Green Bay’s most misunderstood creatures. They are often mistaken for the copperhead snake which does not live in Wisconsin. They can also be mistaken for a rattlesnake, as they like to make a rustling noise when they are startled. The appearance of fox snakes consists of large dark-colored splotches along their backs, as well as small splotches around the snake’s sides. The background color of these snakes is generally a tan or tan-grey color. They do have a copper-colored head, which is why they are often mistaken for copperheads. These non-venomous snakes like to hunt around a variety of habitats to feed on a variety of rodents and birds. The eastern fox snake can be anywhere between three to five feet long.
Milk Snakes: Commonly encountered in a variety of habitats, the milk snake is one of Wisconsin’s more common snakes. Their appearance is best summed up by a light-colored background with splotches of dark red or brown colors on their body. They also possess a unique marking on their head, generally a white Y-shape on top of their head. The milk snake likes to live in many different areas but prefers to be around woodland areas. These snakes are harmless to humans and are often beneficial. Since their diet primarily consists of rodents, they are often seen as a good snake species to have around. They enjoy hunting for rodents around homes, especially when they are older homes that possess old stone foundations that have holes in them. The milk snake can be anywhere from two to three feet in length, depending on many factors.
Venomous Snake Species in Green BayRattlesnakes: The two venomous rattlesnakes that inhabit Wisconsin are the massasauga and the timber rattlesnake. While they are located in Wisconsin, they are not generally found around Green Bay. Nonetheless, it is possible that they can travel, so it is important to be aware. The massasauga is an endangered species, most notable for its distinctive dark dumbbell splotches along with a lighter-tan background color. They are rare in Wisconsin, however, they are venomous, so it is always smart to be aware. The timber rattlesnake is easily identified by its green/tan background color with jagged bands of brown circulating its body. The timber rattler is also rare to see, but it is venomous, so caution should always be exercised.
If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at email@example.com and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Green Bay snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.
Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Green Bay, it's venomous snakes of Green Bay. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Green Bay. The few venomous snakes of Brown County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Green Bay in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of De Pere, Suamico, Howard, Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, Denmark, Hobart, Allouez, Greenleaf, New Franken, Pittsfield, Glenmor, Hollan, Morrison, Humboldt, and the surrounding areas.
Read our article about:
Effective Ways to Keep the Snakes Out of the Basement
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