Snake ID Needed

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

I went out today to fertilize my veggies. I heard my dog Max really barking but then he stopped. I did not think anything of it since he barks at chipmunks and squirrels. I saw that some of my tree collards needed to be tied again to there stakes. I started around one of my veggie beds to tie one of the collards and nearly jumped out of my skin. There was this 4ft plus snake tangled up in the bird netting that I had around my squash and zucchini. I was surprised that Max had stopped barking. The snake must have just gotten tangled because I had just walked up near that area to get my chair and did not see it. It could have been my walking in the area that drove it into the netting. I immediately went for the large garden hoe and started chopping. I thought it was a copperhead. After killing it I started thinking that it might have been a rat snake. Although I don't like killing non-poisonous snakes I really don't want to stand in front of a 41/2 foot snake that looks like a copperhead and trying to decide if it is one. It wasn't the fact that it was a snake that made me jump as I had a very large black non-poisonous snake that use to hang around the front yard. And the 4ft plus garden snake that I had to get out of my house in 2013. It was the large patterns on the snake that made me jump. I need to really start looking around before I start walking thru the garden.
Can anyone ID it.

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

It does not look at all like a copperhead and appears to be a rat snake. They are very good predators of mice, voles, moles shrews and, of course, rats. How sad. Viperous snakes such as copperheads have a distinctive triangular spade shaped head. The venomous snakes of our area are copperheads, water moccasins and the occasional rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are more common in south Georgia. Corn snakes are another good snake often mistaken for copperheads. I stopped using that netting after accidentally killing a corn snake and a box turtle.

Edited to add corn snakes are a type of rat snake too. You usually find snakes where snakes find food. Otherwise tbey are just passing through. If you eliminate the rodent predators you will have to deal with the rodents.

This message was edited May 27, 2015 4:40 PM

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Looks like a black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus nigra), one of the best of the snakes to have around. Not only are they great predators of rodents, but they will run off the rattlers, which we sometimes have in abundance.

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

No,it's not a kingsnake. I know the look of the kingsnake, The kingsnake does not have such large pattern on it. I use to have a eastern black kingsnake in the yard years ago. If I definitely knew it was a rat snake I would have collected it with my snake pole and put it in the easement.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

In any case, and for future reference, all non-venomous snakes are protected in Georgia. There is lots of good information for Georgia gardeners about our native snakes. Thete is also i formation on how to reduce your snake friendly habitat by removong brush, empty containers and cleaning out sheds. One little known fact is that other snakes, like rat snakes, can rattle. My son was sharing a video he took down by the Chattahoochee this morning of a huge black rat snake rattling.

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