Scaly, slithery, and sometimes deadly, snakes are found in underbrush and other wooden areas in Western PA. While you should be cautious of all snakes, there are four venomous snakes in particular that you should be on the lookout for when you’re enjoying the outdoors.
Copperhead snakes are the cause of thousands of bites a year, but are rarely fatal. Even newborn copperheads have fully functioning fangs that are as venomous as adult fangs.
Adult timber rattlesnakes shed their skin every one to two years, and a new rattle segment is added each time the shedding occurs. Their venom can be fatal to humans if the bite is left untreated.
Cottonmouth snakes are usually more active at night and spend much of their time in the water. Also, they are usually not aggressive and will only attack if agitated.
Small and venomous, massasauga rattlesnakes have declined so much in population that they are on the path to becoming extinct if work is not done to conserve them.