Snakes of Fresno, CA

Fresno snake

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

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

Common Snake Species in Fresno

Fresno snake Gopher Snake: Gopher snakes are a very large species of snakes, yet they’re pretty harmless. Small adult gopher snakes are three feet long, yet many can grow up to eight feet in length. These snakes tend to have a cream-colored body, with brown patches running all across their backs. They sometimes even have small dots here and there. These snakes can live in a wide variety of locations. They are found in deserts, forests, prairies, and much more. Yet they spend most of their lives underground. As the name implies, gopher snakes primarily feed on gophers. Yet they won’t shy away from other mammals, birds, or even bird eggs.

Fresno snake California Kingsnake: The California kingsnake is a harmless, small snake. Most adults of the species will only grow up to two feet long. What’s fascinating is that they have incredibly long lifespans. Many members of this species will live for up to thirty or forty years. These snakes are black or brown in color, with white bands scattered about their bodies. These reptiles can be found in a wide variety of areas. You’ll be able to spot them in deserts, marshes, or even in grasslands. They’re even sometimes found in suburban areas. Yet that’s not a cause for alarm, as these snakes could actually help get rid of venomous snakes. That’s because this species is a kingsnake, and like all kingsnakes, they’re known to hunt and feed on other snakes. In fact, the California kingsnake is known to hunt some of the venomous rattlesnakes that can be found in its habitat.

Fresno snake Ring-Necked Snake: The ring-necked snake is a small, harmless snake that’s quite common in many parts of the United States. These snakes are only one to two feet long. They’re well-known for the orange or yellow band around their neck that deeply contrasts with their brown or black bodies. Their chins and bellies are also a vibrant orange color. Ring-necked snakes can be found in forests or other highly vegetated areas. Yet you’re unlikely to spot them. That’s because they spend most of their time living under rocks, logs, or even burrowing underground. Because of their small size, these snakes are restricted to eating slugs, worms, and small insects. Yet they’re particularly fond of hunting and eating the red-backed salamander.

Fresno snake Common Garter Snake: The common garter snake is a small, non-venomous species. These snakes frequently show up in people’s gardens. They have a dark body, with three white or yellow stripes running down their backs. They also have a white or yellow chin.

Venomous Snake Species in Fresno

Fresno snake Western Rattlesnake: The western rattlesnake is a large, venomous species of snake. Adults are typically five feet long and have heavy-built bodies. These snakes tend to have light-brown or grey bodies with dark brown patterns running down their entire body. These snakes can live in a wide variety of environments. They’re frequently found living in deserts, forests, and plenty of other places. Like most other rattlesnakes, the western rattlesnake mainly hunts mammals. That’s because these animals have the ability to sense the heat coming off their warm-blooded prey. These snakes are also known to hunt birds, amphibians, and other reptiles on occasion.

Fresno snake Western Diamondback Rattlesnake: The western diamondback rattlesnake is another large, venomous species. These snakes can look quite similar to the western rattlesnake, yet they have some small, key differences. This snake typically has a grey body, with dark diamond-shaped markings across its back. It’s these markings that give it its name. This reptile also has black and white bands near its rattle. Like the western rattlesnake, the diamondback rattlesnake can be found in a wide variety of locations. This snake also has similar prey and will mostly hunt small mammals.

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 Fresno snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.

What Should I Do If A Snake Is Inside My Home Or Other Building?

What to Do When a Snake Enters the Property
Snakes are risks, whether they are venomous or not. They can bite and cause trouble for you, and are especially dangerous if you have pets or young children. When they are in your property, the risks go up. There are fewer places to hide, with more issues to consider. You have to think about the snake’s location, keeping track of everyone in the house, and your options available to you. All of this is a high stress situation. Dealing with the snake immediately is necessary. How are you going to do that, though? There are some ways to manage a snake once it has gotten into your home. With care and effort, you can remove it with no harm done.

Know the Snake
There are tons of different types of snakes, and every area has its own native breeds. They differ in a lot of ways, but the most important is in venom. Venomous snakes pose a significant risk to your health and the health of others around you. If you know snakes, figuring out the type is crucial. If it is a venomous snake, the risks to your health are far too high for you to handle this yourself. If it is not venomous, the risks are lower. This does not mean you should handle the snake, but it does mean you have fewer worries when doing so.

Block Off the Snake
Once the snake enters a specific area of the home or building, block it off. Do not allow it to leave that area. With a good build in place, you can completely cut off free movement of the snake, forcing it into a single small location. This makes it easier to keep track of the snake. You no longer have to worry about it getting loose and harming you or anyone else. Keep track of it to make sure it does not leave on its own.

Physical Removal
You can physically remove the snake yourself, or use a trap to do so, or you can contact a professional to do the removal. Anyone unfamiliar with snake handling, or if you do not know whether it is venomous, should trust in the professionals. Doing it yourself may be too dangerous a task. Do not let any snake continue to bring terror into your home. Take action through removal, either on your own or with a professional, to keep your home safe.

Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Fresno, it's venomous snakes of Fresno. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Fresno. The few venomous snakes of Fresno County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Fresno in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, Selma, Sanger, Kerman, Coalinga, Kingsburg, Firebaugh, Parlier, Fowler, Huron, Squaw Valley, Shaver Lake, Orange Cove, San Joaquin, Calwa, Mendota, Friant, Caruthers, Auberry, Del Rey, Centerville, Biola, Riverdale, Big Creek, Laton, Tranquillity, Easton, Raisin City, Minkler, Malaga, Cantua Creek, Three Rocks, Bowles, Lanare, West Park, Monmouth, Lake Don Pedro, Mayfair and the surrounding areas.

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