Because of misconceptions, many people fear snakes and consequently try to eradicate them.
Maine is home to 9 species of snakes; Garter Snake, Northern Water Snake, Red-Bellied Snake (smallest), Smooth Green Snake, Milk Snake, Brown Snake, Ribbon Snake, Ring-Necked Snake, Northern Black Racer (largest). All snakes are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature fluctuates with the temperature around them. This is why you will often see snakes “sunning” themselves on an exposed rock or even on the side of the road. Both rocks and pavement (especially dark pavement) absorb and hold the warmth of the sun.
Being cold-blooded, snakes are true hibernators. Once the daytime temperatures dip below about 55 degrees, snakes will enter their dens and hibernate for the winter. Their metabolism slows down so much that they can survive on just the fat stores in their bodies. All Maine snakes hibernate in a den which must be properly vented, not too wet or too dry, and warm enough to keep the snakes from freezing to death. To help with this, certain species including garter snakes hibernate with other snakes in one big ball, so that they can share warmth. This is called a hibernaculum.
Snakes are carnivores, meaning they eat meat. Snakes are wonderful as pest control! They prey on or eat many animals that we consider pests and that can do damage to our gardens. In fact, red-bellied snakes love to eat slugs! For additional information check here.
Serving the Following Counties:
Aroostook | Penobscot | Piscataquis | Hancock | Washington