|The old adage
"play with a snake and you get bit" is
generally true, and all experts agree that the
way to prevent a snake bite is to leave a snake
alone. Almost all snake bites occur
because of amateurs handling snakes, or because
of someone's failure to take proper precautions
while in the field.
About 90 percent of snake bites occur below
the knee and occasionally on the hands and
arms. A snake can strike 1/2 to 2/3 of its
total length, so staying well away from a
venomous snake is the best defense should you
Use common sense and care in areas where
venomous snakes occur. Always look where
you are walking and don't place your hands in
holes, or under logs or rocks without first
looking. Wearing protective knee-high
leather boots is a good practice. For
Further safety don't handle dead snakes, stay on
established paths and trails, and don't wander
around after dark. During the hot summer
months most snakes are inactive during the day,
but come out at night to feed.
With millions of New Jersey residents hiking,
picnicking, camping and wandering our woodlands
and fields, there has not been a single case of
a snake bite causing illness or death.
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If you see a snake on your property
or while hiking, the best action is to avoid the snake
unless you are familiar with snake identification and
handling. Here in New Jersey it is illegal
to possess most snakes and they should be left in the
wild and not kept as pets.
Please click on the picture of the
snake you would like to know more about.
Only three species of snakes may be
possessed without a permit in New Jersey--boa
constrictor, the garter snake, and the ribbon
snake; all others require a permit. The
Division of Fish, Game and Shellfisheries (PO Box
1809, Trenton NJ 08625) should be contacted for
information on obtaining the proper authorization
before the snake is acquired. Generally, permits
are not issued for venomous snakes.
to control Snakes
are hundreds more non-venomous snakes than
there are venomous ones and these harmless
snakes frequently come into contact with
man. During the fall months when
snakes are seeking winter hibernating
quarters they may be attracted to basements,
stone walls, and rock gardens. The
best prevention is to make certain that all
cracks and crevices in the house and
out-building foundations are tight.
Also, by removing rock piles brush piles and
trash and keeping grass and weeds cut low
you remove cover attractive to snakes.
Finally, any food or cover that attracts
rodents should be removed as rodents are the
primary food of many snakes.