Snakes in Iowa

Catch of the Week: Water Snakes

June 17, 2016

This week's 'Catch of the Week' is a little different than our regular posts in that Preferred Pest didn't remove the snakes pictured above. That said, one of our customers passed along the photo, and we wanted to share it! The photo shows three water snakes found on a boat hoist in Lake Panorama. Most water snakes are not venomous; however, it is important not to make any aggressive movements toward them if you happen upon one.

Let's take a look at the most common water snakes found in Iowa!

Types of Water Snakes in Iowa

Copperbelly Water Snake: The copperbelly water snake tends to grow between 2 and 4 feet in length and is non-venomous. They have a dark back and bright orange-reddish belly. These particular snakes are found in wetlands or floodplains, and favor flooded wetlands in particular for foraging areas.

Diamondback Water Snake: This particular species of water snake can grow between 48 and 63 inches long, making it the largest Iowa water snake. They have a chainlike pattern on their back and are light brown or dirty yellow in color. Diamondback water snakes prefer drainage ditches, backwater sloughs as well as quiet pools and are a non-venomous species.

Yellowbelly Water Snake: The yellowbelly water snake is the rarest of Iowa water snakes. This species of snake lacks markings and is a chocolate brown color on the top of their body and a yellow-orange color on their belly. They can grow anywhere between 30 and 48 inches long and prefer quiet pools of water such as swamps, sloughs, ponds, etc. and are non-venomous.

Northern Water Snake: The northern water snake is the most common Iowa water snake that can grow between 24 and 42 inches. You can find this species living in marshes, lakes, ponds and streams. They are non-venomous; however, if they are threatened they will not hesitate to bite repeatedly.

Interested in learning more about Iowa snakes? Check out our blog 'Snakes of Iowa.'

Leading Des Moines Pest Control

We hope you don't encounter water snakes like this particular individual, though if you do run into snakes on your property, Preferred Pest technicians can help! Though very few Iowa snakes are harmful, it is important to be careful and call a pest professional to take care of them safely and efficiently.
For effective snake removal, you can schedule an appointment with us online or give us a call at (515) 276-7277 today!