Snakes of Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati snake

Welcome to! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Cincinnati, OH. Many people don't know that Cincinnati is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Ohio snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Hamilton County OH, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Cincinnati. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Cincinnati, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Cincinnati, as well as the venomous snakes of Cincinnati that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Cincinnati. Remember the following:

  • Most snakes of Cincinnati are harmless and don't want to encounter you
  • Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Ohio ecosystem
  • Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.

Common Snake Species in Cincinnati

Cincinnati snake Northern ring-necked snake: The northern ring-necked snake is a small snake. They have an average length of two feet. Because they are small and non-venomous, they can be easily handled by individuals and kept as pets. The ring-necked snakes have distinctive rings on their necks, which are brightly colored and different from the rest of their bodies. The ring on the neck of these snakes could be colored red, yellow, or bright orange.

Cincinnati snake Hog-nose snake: They get their name from the way their noses are upturned like the snouts of pigs. The non-venomous snakes are known for the unique stance they take when they are threatened. When they are threatened, they flatten their heads and form a cobra-like hood. They also hiss fiercely and strike violently. However, all these efforts usually have little to no effects as they do not produce venoms and they usually miss their aims. Hog-nose snakes are also known for their ability to play dead and act like opossums, lying on their backs and stopping their breathing to deter threats. When the intruder or predator goes away, they return to the regular state and continue their activities.

Cincinnati snake Eastern milksnake: The eastern milksnake is found in different parts of Ohio, including Cincinnati. They have similar patterns to venomous snakes and can be mistaken for venomous snakes. Apart from the similar physical features to venomous snakes which they possess, they also act like venomous snakes. The eastern milksnake, just like the black rat snake, shakes its tail to deter predators and intruders. They express this behavioral pattern which rattlesnakes are known for in a bid to seem more dangerous than rattlesnakes. Eastern milk snakes do not drink milk or rely on any form of dairy product. Instead, they feed on small animals, including rats. They are found in human dwellings, which they infest to look for sources of food, in a lot of cases, rats.

Venomous Snake Species in Cincinnati

Cincinnati snake Massasauga rattlesnake: The massasauga rattlesnake is a small and secretive venomous snake. Although they are rarely seen, they are one of the native Ohio venomous snakes. They have stout brown to gray bodies. When they are threatened and bound to strike, they shake their tails and make the rattling sound. These snakes are typically sluggish. In most cases, they will not try to strike or bite except when they are left with no choice and have been thoroughly disturbed. They are found in wet areas such as close to numerous water bodies. They are also found in terrestrial areas. When they bite, they release venoms which are highly toxic. However, there are rarely serious consequences of their bites, because of the small quantity of venom they produce.

Cincinnati snake Timber rattlesnake: These long venomous snakes can grow to be as long as six feet. They make the rattling sound before they strike and are commonly found away from civilization in high elevations. Timber rattlesnakes are not aggressive but will definitely attack when they feel threatened.

Cincinnati snake Copperhead: Although they like to stay in hiding and are shy creatures, they are one of the most commonly encountered venomous snakes in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have copper-colored heads. They could also have copper-colored bodies. Their bodies could also be colored red. The snakes are known for camouflaging habits. They can easily remain in an area undetected as a result. They are most active at night when they hunt for the small animals that they feed on. They feed on small mammals, especially rodents. Even though they are not aggressive, they know how to defend themselves and will strike intruders and predators when they feel threatened. They may also shake their tails before striking. Notable physical features of copperheads include the hourglass patterns on their backs.

If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Cincinnati snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.

Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Cincinnati, it's venomous snakes of Cincinnati. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Cincinnati. The few venomous snakes of Hamilton County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Cincinnati in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Harrison, Blue Ash, Norwood, Cleves, North College Hill, Delhi, Mariemont, Montgomery, Forest Park, Wyoming, Greenhills, Glendale, Mount Healthy, Kenwood, Indian Hill, Cheviot, Springdale, Evendale, Lockland, North Bend, Saint Bernard, Newtown, Deer Park, Reading, Silverton, Lincoln Heights, Amberley, Addyston, Elmwood Place, Madeira, Terrace Park, Golf Manor, Finneytown, Arlington Heights, Miamitown, and the surrounding areas.

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