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Most snakes are non-venomous and not aggressive unless threatened. There are 37 species of snakes found in North Carolina, but five venomous snakes cause the majority of snake bite poisonings.

1)  American Copperhead

2)  Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)

3)  Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

4)  Pygmy Rattlesnake

5)  Timber Rattlesnake

Venomous Snake Characteristics:

--triangular or diamond-shaped head

--elliptical or "cat-like" pupils

--long, movable fangs

--facial pits, located below the eyes

Non-venomous Snake Characteristics:

--smooth, tapered head

--round pupils

--no fangs, have small teeth

Venomous snakes leave one or two puncture wounds.

If bitten by a snake,


  • attempt to catch or kill the snake. It is possible to get bitten again.
  • cut, suck, constrict, or ice the area.


  • Wash the area with warm, soapy water.
  • Remove any jewelry or constrictive clothing.
  • Attempt to splint or immobilize the affected area.
  • Elevate affected area to at least heart level.
  • Seek medical attention.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a snakebite or for more information.

American Copperhead
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Pygmy Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake
Carolinas Poison Center    P.O. Box 32861    Charlotte  NC    28232-2861    1-800-222-1222  •  © 2015