RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Warmer weather not only draws out more people but more snakes too–which means there could be an increase in human and snake interactions over the coming months.

If you see a snake crossing a trail or road, experts want you to give them plenty of room to move away from you. However, there are two snakes wildlife diversity biologists at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission want you to report if you spot them.

If you see a rattlesnake or the threatened pine snake, the commission is asking you report it.

Biologists want to know more about where northern pine snakes are calling home. According the commission pine snakes are:

Pine Snake, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Non-venomous
  • Range between four and five feet long, but can get as large as 7 ½ feet
  • Have a white or tan background color with dark brown or black markings
  • Markings begin as solid coloring or messy blotches near the head before becoming distinct saddle-like blotches toward the tail

Pine snakes are mostly found in the sandhills and the southern coastal plain. They have also been confirmed in Cherokee and Swain counties. The Wildlife Commission said they are often found in open areas within pine-oak forests with well-drained, sandy soil.

“It’s difficult to conserve a species when we don’t even know all the places it occurs. Assistance from citizens in recording and documenting the pine snake will be a huge help. Websites like HerpsofNC.org are great for helping people to identify snake species,” said Gabrielle Graeter, conservation biologist with the Wildlife Commission.

What to do if you see a pine snake

If you spot a pine snake, send an email to pinesnake@ncwildlife.org. In your email include the following:

  • A photo
  • Date and time
  • Location (GPS coordinates preferred)

You can also download the HerpMapper mobile app to document their observations electronically.

What to do if you see a rattlesnake

Of the state’s six venomous snake species, three are rattlesnakes- the timber, the pigmy and the Eastern diamondback. They are protected by the North Carolina Endangered Species Act because of their declining numbers. NCWRC said their persecution by humans and habitat destruction are the main culprits.


If you see a rattlesnake, send an email to rattlesnake@ncwildlife.org. In your email include the following:

  • A photo
  • Date and time
  • Location (GPS coordinates preferred)

If you see any snake in your yard and don’t want it there, you can gently spray it with a garden hose to lead it elsewhere. Cleaning up clutter like stick and rock piles, keeping your lawn mowed, closing gaps and holes in your siding and foundation, and sealing openings under doors, windows and around waterpipes will give snakes fewer places to hide around your home.