Garter snakes are common across North America. Their appearance varies from reds, yellows, and browns with bodily patterns including geometric spots, stripes, or speckles. Because of this variety, it can seem confusing to identify a Garter snake; however, they can always be distinguished by a consistent marking: a clear longitudinal stripe on their sides and back.
Due to their adaptability, Garter snakes can be spotted in various regions of the U.S. and in varying environmental conditions. They can be found specifically where there is a food source, including bugs, birds, and small mammals. While any snake sighting can be alarming, rest assured that Garter snakes are not dangerous; however, they will strike when they feel threatened. A bite may result in a minor laceration, as their teeth are rather small, but it is not venomous. If a bite occurs, it may be prudent to seek medical care to avoid potential infection, though the risk of this is low.
Homeowners may notice a concentration of Garter snakes on their property when a female is releasing a sexual pheromone to attract a mate, during which time many male snakes will approach the area in which she lives. The concern this may cause a homeowner is understandable; however, there is no need to kill these snakes. Rather, ridding your property of this nuisance can be entrusted to a pest control professional or by simply leaving them alone.