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Do Garden Snakes Bite? Are they poisonous or not?

I always chased after snake tales, caught them and held them up to eye level and then watched them slither away. It truly is remarkable how a snake moves. 

There are things that amaze me—and how a snake slithers on a rock is one of them. 

I can remember specifically one time as a teenager, chasing after a little garter snake, grabbing it gleefully for my niece and nephew to see and as they squealed. The snake quickly lashed upwards, we all screamed and I quickly dropped the snake.

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At that moment I wondered, “Do garden snakes bite?”

Garter snakes are carnivores, this is what they eat. But do garden snakes bite?

Do Garden Snakes Bite?

It’s important to understand how a garden snake is put together, so to speak. First of all, garden snakes don’t have fangs but they do have several rows of small teeth. 

They also eat their food whole, so somehow they need to have a way to get that big bite down the hatch and it’s those teeth that get the job done. If you’re curious about what a garden snake eats, check this out: What Do Garden Snakes Eat?

But this also means that they can bite you if they are provoked. 

Do Garden Snake Bites Hurt?

I would venture to say that anything that has the potential to bite and does, probably hurts the recipient to some degree. Thankfully, when a garden snake bites, it doesn’t do the damage that a set of fangs would. 

This is what a garter snake looks like but what do garter snakes eat?

Are Garden Snake Bites Poisonous or Dangerous? 

Garden snake bites are not poisonous. But if they bite and you don’t clean and disinfect the wound quickly, properly and very well, then it can become infected. 

You may also find that the site of the bite becomes a bit swollen and itches for a while. 

There is a very small percentage of people who are allergic to the saliva of garden snakes. 

Do Garden Snakes Attack Humans?

A garden snake may lash out if they are startled and you step on their tail or pick them up. But for the most part, they will slither away when you come close. They won’t set out to attack you!

Garden Snakes and You

If you have garden snakes in your garden or around your property, you don’t have much to worry about. They are a docile snake that eats a lot of bad (but also good) insects, bugs and nuisances. 

Do garden snakes bite? And if they do are they dangerous?

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Wednesday 7th of July 2021

When I was a child growing up in Minnesota, our yard was full of Garter snakes going their harmless ways. I used to catch them, play with them awhile and then release them back into the wild; most wouldn't even try to bite, but some did, and they got me several times. But I can tell you from my experience, being bitten by a garter snake is like getting a small cut or a scraped knuckle,in other words, nothing serious. Just wash it, put a Band-Aid on, and you're good to go. What I learned about these snakes in my early days fits right in with what you say here. Good article!

Delci Plouffe

Friday 25th of March 2022

I think it's fun to catch garter snakes too! They are fascinating! I still can't comprehend how they move though lol