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Katy Snakes to Know as Spring Storms Bring them Out

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

May 2, 2024

By Natalie Cook Clark

Stormy weather during these spring months brings snakes out and increases chances of resident encounters. Last night, two Katy dogs were bit. Many kinds of snakes call Katy home, including four that are venomous. Here's what you need to know.

Photo from a previous story when Bessy Gomez found a Water Moccasin or Cottonmouth at her Green Trails home. Photo credit: Bessy Gomez

Katy residents need to stay alert and be cautious of snakes. Katy moms have found snakes at local playgrounds while their children play. Family pets encounter them in their yards or while on walks. The greater Houston area has 34 different kinds of snakes. Of that number, about four are venomous. If you see a snake, leave it alone or call Animal Control.



Protect Your Pets

Last night Katy resident Keri Burdette was outside her home doing chores with her dogs when they encountered a copperhead snake.


"I'm just beside myself because now on one of my dogs, the black one, has two snake bites on his nose and face," she said right after the incident. "And Burdy, the GSP has run off with the chomping head of the snake in her mouth!"


Photo credit: Keri Burdette


Burdette reported that her dog who was bitten was having labored breathing and dripping blood for his his nose. Katy Magazine will follow up on the dogs to see how they are doing.


Snakes can be Found All Year

While weather can play a major role in encountering a snake, residents should be always knowledgable and cautious. Snakes can often be found hiden around our homes. One Katy family found one hiding their drain.

Photo credit: Kristen Johnson

"I posted a picture of it on a snake group that I joined when we moved here," says Johnson. "They responded so quickly what type of snake it was and that it was non venomous, so that made me feel better having my husband get it out of there."


They removed the snake and it quickly went off to find a new location.


As Katy continues to grow new construction disrupts wildlife and increases resident encounters with snakes.






Parents Should Be on the Lookout

Many Katy neighborhoods have lakes, such as near this park, that attract snakes. Parents should carefully look around play areas before children play and educate their children to be cautious.


One Katy mom recalls encountering a snake while she and her kids were at a neighborhood park last year.


"While my kids were playing at the Elyson’s Commons at Bear Creek playground, my 1yr old tripped over a snake on the pavement. It was horrible," says Katy Dad Hans Nassh. The family saw multiple snakes while the played at the park for thirty minutes.


The snake they encountered was later identified as a non venomous racer snake. Still the situation was a good reminder for Katy residents to stay cautious as Katy has snakes.



Most Common Katy Snakes

Southern Copperhead

Venomous, Very Common, Aggressive

MARKINGS: Tan or pale brown body with dark brown, hourglass-shaped bands on its back

Although copperheads are typically found in the eastern part of Texas, they have been known to make frequent appearances in Katy. Copperheads like to hide in wooded, suburban areas, and are unaccustomed to being in close proximity to humans.



Western Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)

(See opening photo)

Venomous, Moderately Common, Moderately Aggressive

MARKINGS: Dark colored, indistinct bands or markings, and a large, flat head that is wider than the neck

Although only 7% of all snakebite cases in Texas involve cottonmouths, this snake is on the list because it has been known to hang out in creeks, irrigation ditches, and rice fields in the Katy area. Their bite can cause severe tissue damage and dangerous bacteria infections.


Texas Coral Snake

Venomous, Moderately Common, Not Aggressive

MARKINGS: Black head, red, black, and yellow stripes on body

A coral snake's diet consists mostly of small lizards and other snakes. It can be found in urban areas, in gardens, and wooded lots. With neurotoxic venom more potent than other species, it's a good thing they will only bite if provoked.


Texas Rat Snake

Not Venomous, Very Common, Very Aggressive

MARKINGS: Dark-colored, square "spots" on light brown skin

The coloring can vary greatly, but the Texas rat snake is usually yellow or tan, and all have a solid gray head. These snakes can mostly be found around farmlands or fields. They can climb well, and feed mostly on rodents and birds.




Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Venomous, Rare, Aggressive

MARKINGS: Black and white banded tail, dark, diamond-shaped blotches, head is wider than the neck

The western diamondback rattlesnake is the most abundant of all venomous snakes in Texas. But the humid Houston climate is not its preferred habitat, as it usually prefers a more dry and arid terrain. Easily provoked, this snake will warn you by shaking or "rattling" its tail if it feels threatened. Seek medical attention immediately if bitten.



Texas Brown Snake

Non-venomous, Very Common, Not Aggressive

MARKINGS: Brown with common black vertical stripe; young ones can have a reddish tint


The Texas brown snake can commonly be found in gardens and flowerbeds. They feed on insects and earthworms.


Diamondback Water Snake (Nerodia rhombifer)

Non-venomous, Very Common, Not Aggressive


MARKINGS: Brown with diamond patterns. Can have a large head and locals often mistake them for cottonmouths.


These snakes are very common in the Katy area, especially around neighborhood lakes.



Any Snake can be Dangerous

Any animal bite can result in serious infection and injury, even without venom. If you see a snake, leave it alone unless it seems to pose an immediate threat. In that case call Animal Control.


“The best way to ward off unwanted animals is to control what they eat,” says Chris Williams of Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal. “To avoid snakes, spray for bugs to ward off lizards, control rat and rodent population. Everyone has them but if you control the food source you’ll avoid those types of predators.”

If you see a snake, call a removal company such as Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal, or your local Animal Control. Katy has three counties and therefore, three animal control offices:

Harris County 281-999-3191

Fort Bend County 281-342-1512

Waller County 979-826-8033


Another great resource is the Southeast Snake ID Group.





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