There are many species of snake native to Virginia, and the majority of them are non-venomous. There are only three venomous species: the eastern cottonmouth (limited to the southeastern portion of the state), the timber rattlesnake (primarily east of the Blue Ridge Mountains), and the copperhead (found across the state). While it can be concerning to find one of these species in your yard or near your home, it is illegal to capture and relocate snakes unless performed by a permitted pest control company. The most effective ways to encourage snakes to relocate on their own is by removing the spots they are sheltering and clearing areas of brush or plants that attract rodents and birds. Snakes are also essential to the environment, as they manage populations of rodents and other species that they consume.
Snakes primarily need rehabilitative care due to injuries. They are often injured during yard work or when they are caught by a domestic cat or dog. If you find an injured snake, please contain it in a small container with ventilation and contact RWS immediately, as the animal will need to see a wildlife veterinarian.