Hognose Snake Facts
The hognose snake is not venomous and will not attack unless it feels threatened. In captivity, they can live for up to 11 years. Mating occurs in the spring months, eggs are deposited in the summer, and will hatch in early fall. Usually eat toads and frogs, along with salamanders, small reptiles and their eggs, small mammals like mice, birds, and insects. These snakes are capable of digging, making it easier to attack potential food sources.
Hognose Snake Bites
These reptiles do very little damage to humans, aside from surprising and frightening us. In fact, these snakes are actually essential members of thriving ecosystems. If you’ve got rodent problems, these snakes will most likely help you out, providing natural pest control at no cost to you--aside from the occasional shriek when you stumble across them.
Hognose Snake Infestation
Hognose snakes can be found skulking about in the daylight hours, particularly in the morning if you live in a warmer environment. Normally, they will bask out in the open, but nest underground, underneath logs, or inside other organic material. You may find elongated droppings around your property, as well as skins they have shedded. It’s difficult to tell if you’ve got these snakes because they move silently, eat their prey whole, and cause very few, if any issues, to the environments in which they live.
Types of Hognose Snakes
Hognose Snake Identification
One of hognose snake’s most distinguishing characteristics is its wide head with a flattened, upturned snout. These snakes, regardless of species, come in a variety of colors. Their bodies are usually dark and can have splotches that are red, green, orange, brown, black, or tan. They can range from 19 to 45 inches in length. There are three varieties of the hognose snake including the Western Hognose Snake, the Eastern Hognose Snake and the Southern Hognose Snake.
Western hognose snake
The western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus) is found from Texas to New Mexico and in the Plains. They range in length from 2 to 3ft and are identified by their pig-like, pointed snout. Dark patterns move down their pale brown to yellowish bodies.
Eastern hognose snake
The eastern hognose (Hertrodon platyrhinos) snake is found from Minnesota to New Hampshire, Florida and in some parts of Texas. They can grow to almost 4ft in length. They have particularly wide necks and thicker bodies. Their colors vary from yellow or tan to a gray, or reddish color. Some hognose snakes can even be entirely black.
Southern hognose snake
The southern hognose snake (Heterodon simus) is found from North Carolina through Florida and Mississippi. They have a tanish-gray color with very distinct black blotches that run all they way to its the tail. Of course, they have a hog-like nose which is a dead, give-away you are dealing with a hognose species. One of hognose snake’s most distinguishing characteristics is its wide head with a flattened, upturned snout. These snakes, regardless of species, come in a variety of colors. Their bodies are usually dark and can have splotches that are red, green, orange, brown, black, or tan. They can range from 19 to 45 inches in length.
Hognose Snakes In The Garden & The House
These snakes, because of their burrowing and digging tendencies, prefer woodlands with sandy, soft soil, as well as fields, farmland, and coastal environments. If you live in one of these areas, these snakes may slither on by during the day as they hunt for food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are hognose snakes poisonous?
Unlike vipers or other venomous snakes, hognose snakes do not have hollow teeth to carry venom. They do have toxic saliva glands to use on smaller prey like frogs and toads, but because it can’t be stored in large enough quantities, they aren’t harmful to humans. They are rear-fanged so they only bite when attacking prey. Biting is not a form of defense for hognose snakes, so the only rare case where a human would be bit is if they smelled like their prey.
How do you control a hognose snake infestation?
If you do need these snakes gone, it is possible to deter them from wanting to be around your property in the first place. Removing grains, seeds, and other food sources from around your home will deter mice, and thus take away a large part of the snakes’ diet. However, they are natural predators to rodents, so you might consider keeping them around.
Prevent them from getting into unwanted spaces by sealing any cracks you may find in structures around your property. Keep your grasses and shrubs short to reduce shelter, and remove any clutter or debris from around your yard that may serve as hiding places.
Since these snakes are not venomous, they can be handled with a pair of gardening gloves, placed in a cloth bag, and transplanted to a similar environment where they won’t be a bother to you.
Benefits of Professional Hognose Snake Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a hognose snake problem. Finding and treating the hognose snakes can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the hognose snake infestation.