A Snake In Your Yard? It's Likely A Garter Snake

Chances are, if you’ve seen a snake in your yard it was a garter snake. That’s because the garter snake is the most common snake in Illinois and the entire United States.

A garter snake. (Photo via Shutterstock)

One reason garter snakes are so common is because they can live just about anywhere. They live all over the United States, from coast to coast. They are often seen in meadows and grasslands, forests, marshes and even in people’s yards and gardens.


Fear not! Garter snakes aren't venomous and pose no risks to humans. In fact, no snakes that live in Will County are venomous.


Here’s some more interesting information about these slithering snakes.


Fun Facts


  • Garter snakes can be between 18 inches and 26 inches long.

  • The snakes are named for their stripes. The stripes look like garters men used to wear to hold up their socks. While most garter snakes have yellow stripes on their backs, some of the snakes have spots instead of stripes.

  • Garter snakes are carnivores, which means they eat other animals. Their diet mainly consists of insects, worms, slugs, small frogs, small fish, small rodents and even small snakes. Garter snakes are beneficial to humans because they eat many animals we consider pests. This helps control the populations of those animals.

  • Unlike some snakes, garter snakes can live in cities and towns. That helps explain why these snakes are one of the most common snakes in Illinois and the United States.

  • Female garter snakes give birth to live babies. They can have as few as seven babies or as many as 85! Baby snakes look very similar to the adult snakes, only smaller.

  • The female snakes are larger than the males. For most kinds of snakes, females are bigger than males. However, in other animal species, the males are usually larger.

  • Many people are afraid of snakes, a condition called ophidiophobia. Some people are afraid of all reptiles, including snakes. The term for fear of reptiles is herpetophobia.

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