Are There Poisonous Snakes In Minnesota?
I'm not entirely sure what I was watching or doing when the question popped into my head about whether or not Minnesota had any poisonous snakes. My guess is I was on the lawn tractor saw a tiny snake that was slithering through the grass, that probably got the gears going. According to the Minnesota DNR, there are 2 venomous snakes that make the #BoldNorth home.
Both venomous snakes, the Timber Rattlesnake and the Eastern Massasauga, are found only in the southeastern counties and are rarely encountered. The snake that most often appears in homes and yards is the common garter snake, which is harmless. So how do you identify these two snakes from the 17 that make Minnesota home? The Timber Rattlesnake has a broad, triangular-shaped head and narrow neck, a distinctive barred body pattern, and a gray to tan rattle with 1 to over 13 segments. A picture of the Timber Rattlesnake is below.
The other is the Eastern Massasauga it has a grayish-brown background overlaid by a pattern of dark brown blotches with 2 or 3 rows of smaller spots along each side. The tail is ringed and ends in a segmented rattle. The Massasauga prefer wet habitats such as marshes, bogs, and swamps, but they also use old fields, woods, and pastures, especially during the summer. This is was the Eastern Massasauga looks like.
So the next time you're out mowing the lawn or are out for a hike, chances are that snake you saw won't kill you.