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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Common Snakes of California

Common Snakes of California

California is home to different species of snakes and you can encounter them especially if you love the outdoors. There are many people who aren’t in a position to identify snakes as some are difficult to identify and sometimes they want to know whether the snake they have seen is venomous or not. Snakes vary greatly in their appearance and when they are in motion, they can appear very different as they do in those still photos that you may have seen. It isn’t about the color alone as they may appear a shade darker or lighter than in pictures.



Some of the most common snakes include:

Gopher snake: This snake isn’t dangerous to the humans. It is common all over California and it is often active in the day. You can encounter this snake in gardens and yards.

Coach whip (racer): this snake is mostly found in the desert suburbs and desert. It is not a danger to humans.

Red racer: it is most common in the southern parts of California and less common in the foothills and valet of SanJoaquin. The snake is active in the day.

Sharp tailed snake: this is a snake that people encounter within their property in northern California. The snake isn’t a danger to humans. The snake is secretive and is common in central and north coast as well as at the SierraNevada foothills. You will rarely see the snake whether during the day or night.

The California king snake: this is common all over the state and it can be striped or banded. It isn’t dangerous. Its active in the day and in the night and its appearance is variable as it can be brown, or black,

Western racer: this is a snake which is common all over California. It has a solid color and moves fast. It can be brown, greenish or grey. It isn’t a danger to humans.

Western rattlesnakes: this is a large bodied snake that has a triangular head. The tail is blunt and has a rattle at the end. It is common all through California. It is venomous and therefore is potentially dangerous to humans.

Garter snakes: these are common all over the state. They have three or two stripes that are light but this isn’t always the case. They have a wide head and aren’t dangerous to humans.

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Go back to the main Snake Removal page for more information about Common Snakes of California or read about Venomous Snakes of California.

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