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December 24, 2016 2 min read

Rough Earth Snake

Facts, Control and Identification

Latin Name

Virginia striatula

Physical Appearance

Earth snakes are secretive snakes, having gray, brown or red color on their backs, while a yellow to cream coloration on their belly. Young earth snakes have a light coloration at the back of their head. When fully grown, earth snakes measure between 7 and 12 inches.

Diet, behavior and Habits

This specie of snake is mostly active between March and October. They build their nests loose soil and rock crevices. They source their meals from insects, slugs and earthworms. When searching the soil for earthworms which it feeds on, it uses its head as a spade.

Unlike other species of snakes, female earth snake do not lay eggs. They live mostly in Eastern Texas and Virginia, Southern Florida and Missouri. Woodland, hillsides, and piles happen to be their habitat. If you own a garden, you are very likely going to have frequent encounters with earth snakes. Rain drives rough snakes out of their hiding places.

More about rough earth snake

Rough earth snakes are not harmful as they do not produce venom. However, they have a limited defense ability which they use against a predator. They only inflict superficial wounds with their bites, and will only do so when threatened. Cats are known to prey on the rough earth snake, killing and living their lifeless bodies on their owner’s patio or walk way.

If your property has been taken over by the rough earth snake, the best way of dispelling them is by engaging the services of a pest management professional (PMP), as they have the expertise and knowledge to solve the problem.

Eliminating their source of food supply can also help keep the rough earth snake away from your property. Vegetation and debris should be properly mowed as they provide excellent habitats for snakes. Added to this, piles of wood, leaves and rocks must be cleared away. As an added measure, all crevices and cracks must be sealed, while also keeping landscapes trimmed at all times.

Bushes and shrubs are snakes’ favorite hiding spot. If you have ornamental shrubs and bushes around your property, ensure they grow pretty high above the ground, with its bottom free from grass. To keep your kids safe, erect snake-proof fences around your home.

Glue traps, used for trapping rats and mice can also be used for catching rough earth snakes. As a safety measure, always wear safety gloves when removing trapped rough earth snakes because glue traps either kill or wound them.

Using fake owl sounds, hawk or ultrasonic sounds aren’t effective because the rough earth snake can’t pick up the sound frequency.