How To Identify Oklahoma’s Snakes – Friend & Foe
If you spend any amount of time outside in SWOK, you're going to cross paths with a snake. While it's best to just avoid these creatures altogether, it's better to know what you're encountering.
You might feel you know the difference, but a lot of people confuse the good with the bad. Primarily in this state, the difference between a cottonmouth, banded water snake, and the rat snake. Just check your favorite Lawton facebook page on any given day, one picture - seventeen different answers.
All the same, there are several non-venomous snakes that people confuse for rattlesnakes... The bull snake, great plains rat snake, or the prairie king snake. One thing leads to another, and someone is chopping heads off these creatures.
Now I'm not being the 'love all nature' hippie, by all means, if you feel you have to kill a snake for your own safety, kill the snake... But odds are, you don't really have to. There is nothing wrong with letting one of earths most cringe-inducing creatures go along its way. Especially since the non-venomous snakes in Oklahoma make meals of the bad snakes along side rats, mice, vermin, insects, etc... Good snakes are good to have around.
For instance, every Spring, as I clean up the yard to get ready for my perfectly manicured lawn of bermudagrass, I always run across a few lined snakes. They're pretty small when they're fully grown, distinctive in their identifying marks, and really adept to eating bugs. Why in the world would I want to get rid of them? Even more shocking, the momma snake lays her clutch of eggs under my shed every year where Marvin the rabbit lives all year. If they can coexist under there, I can too.
Here's how you can identify your friendly neighborhood snakes in Oklahoma.