State laws prohibit killing snakes in Tennessee
According to Tennessee Snakes.org, 34 species of snakes are common to the state. Chances are the one you stumble across in your yard is not one of the four venomous ones in the region.
According to Tennessee's hunting regulations guide, "The taking, killing and/or illegal possession of hawks, owls, songbirds, endangered species or any other species (i.e. snakes) for which a season
is not set is prohibited"
Many of us have children and pets, and their safety is our number one concern. "The best thing to do is to get a water hose. Snakes don't like trauma, so if you get a cold water hose and you just spray them really hard, they're going to head the other direction," said Trish Hobbs, Park Coordinator at Reed Creek Park.
Even if you find a venomous snake in your yard, trying to kill it can put your life in danger. "In fact, most bites occur when people are trying to kill a snake so I would argue don’t try to kill any of them because if you are trying to kill a rattlesnake, that's the time you're going to get bit," Hobbs said.
Snakes serve a big role in our ecosystem. They control rodent populations and serve as food for other animals. Certain types of snakes will even eat venomous snakes.
"Please help the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to protect our native snakes," says TWRA on the Tennessee Snakes website. "Do not remove snakes from the wild or release snakes that have been captive into the wild. Once-captive snakes often don’t survive in the wild and can introduce harmful diseases and parasites into the wild."
If you aren't sure about how to identify a snake, check out
for a list of species that are common to the state.