Problem with snakes?

Identifying Common Northern Nevada Snake Breeds and Potential Deterrents


The vast majority of snakes that live in Northern Nevada are harmless. The only truly venomous type of snake that inhabits our area is the rattlesnake. The other common types of snakes you might stumble across are the gopher snake or the garter snake.

The garter snake is a striped snake that typically frequents areas closest to the water. You’ll find them near the river, as well as around creeks and ponds. Its primary colors are black or dark brown, with distinctive, lighter-colored stripes. These snakes tend to feed on fish and other small amphibians.

The gopher snake, also known as the bull snake, is similar in appearance to the rattlesnake. However, there are a few identifying factors that can help you better distinguish between the two, the most important being that the gopher snake doesn't’t have a rattle! The gopher snake also tends to be longer than the rattlesnake, as well as slimmer, with a more narrow and rounded head than that of a rattlesnake. They also have rounded pupils, whereas the rattlesnake’s pupils are more vertical. These snakes tend to feed mostly on rodents.

Rattlesnakes are the type of snake you want to steer clear of! This venomous breed of snake is most easily recognized by its distinguishing rattle, which you can both see and hear very clearly when in close proximity to one. Rattlesnakes have other trademark characteristics, such as a broad and triangular head, thin neck and a thicker body. The most common type of rattlesnake in Northern Nevada is referred to as the Western Rattlesnake, or the Great Basin Rattlesnake.

There are many different types of snake repellents that can be purchased at local home improvement stores, such as Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace. However, the most effective type of snake deterrent, if you’ve got an ongoing issue with snakes coming onto your property, is to construct a snake fence. These fences are most commonly made with either steel mesh or plastic fabric, and make it nearly impossible for a snake to slither through the barrier to reach your yard or home.

Another good way to keeps snakes away from your property is to make them not want to be there! Keeping your landscaping maintained and free from excessive weed and brush overcrowding can help, as well as ensuring wood and rock piles are placed as far away from the path and entryways to your home as possible.

Resources for identifying different types of snake breeds, and deciding which deterrents might work best for you are:

Venomous Reptiles of Nevada

Rattlesnake Safety


WCRAS does not endorse any person or business listed. Optional resources for your consideration in Northern Nevada who may assist with snake removal:

Battleborn Rattlesnake Commission LLC (BRC) (775)722-1102 – "Veteran owned and operated, the BRC provides 24/7 eithical snake removal and relocation services as well as yard inspections and snake proofing consultations throughout Washoe County. There is an affordable fee for removals, though our priority is the safety of citizens and wildlife and we will not turn away requests for our service. We do ask that the snake be kept in eyesight and remain unharmed while we respond. We also offer free snake IDs, simply text us a picture and location."

Reno Snake Removal. You can get more details here

Bob Lissner (775)750-5537 - Bob offers no-kill snake removal services 7 days per week, from 9am-9pm, within 15 miles of downtown Reno. Services are free of charge. Snakes must be visible upon arrival, so your call should be cancelled if the snake disappears.