are there venomous snakes in ohio

Are There Venomous Snakes in Ohio?

Ohio is home to a number of different snake species, but whether or not it is also home to venomous snakes is a question that often arises. The answer is yes, Ohio does have venomous snakes present in the wild, but luckily for Ohioans, the chances of being bitten are very low.

What Venomous Snakes Live in Ohio?

The two species of venomous snakes that live in Ohio are the copperhead and timber rattlesnake. Both rattlesnakes and copperheads can be found regularly in Ohio, but are typically shy, non-aggressive species that try to avoid all contact with humans.

Where Will I Most Likely Find these Snakes?

Both types of snake typically inhabit rocky creek beds and wet, shady areas of the forest. They are generally seen out in the open during cooler months like spring and fall. As the temperature drops further, they will retreat to dens deep within rocky crevices or underground in abandoned burrows.

What Should I Do if I See a Venomous Snake?

If you do come across a venomous snake, the best course of action is to leave it alone. The snake poses no threat to you and will likely try to escape if approached. If you are unable to stop in your tracks, gently throw a rock or stick in front of the snake to distract it and allow it to move away from you.

How Can I Identify if a Snake is Venomous?

There are a few ways to identify venomous snakes in Ohio. The most reliable one is to look for the bright red, yellow, and black color pattern of a timber rattlesnake or the distinct hourglass shape of a copperhead. Additionally, venomous snakes in Ohio will have triangular heads, pits between their eyes and nostrils, and rounded tails.


To summarize, Ohio does have two species of venomous snakes present in the wild. These are the copperhead and timber rattlesnake. In order to identify them, try to look out for their distinct color patterns, triangular heads, and pits between the eyes and nostrils. The best course of action when encountering a venomous snake is to leave it alone, as they are usually not aggressive and just want to escape.

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