Virginia is abundant with rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. With all that natural beauty comes watersnakes and cottonmouth snakes (also known as water moccasins). For more in-depth information on Cottonmouths and Water Moccasins click here

If you’re out on the boat or fishing this spring and summer, you’ll want to be aware of water snakes in the area, and avoid confusing a northern watersnake for a water moccasin.

The cottonmouth snake is a common venomous snake found in Virginia with a large body, pit-viper shaped head, a white mouth, and “fishhook-like” fangs that inject its prey with venom. If you come in contact with a cottonmouth snake, you’ll want to exercise extreme caution. Move away from the snake and don’t provoke it. If you find a cottonmouth snake in your home or boat, give the snake removal experts a call!

cottonmouth snake Virginia

Cottonmouth snake

In Virginia, there are three species of watersnakes; the brown watersnake, the northern watersnake, and the plain-bellied watersnake. The northern watersnake and the brown watersnake are the largest and can reach a length of nearly 6 feet.

The harmless Northern Watersnake is often confused for the venomous cottonmouth, as well as several other aquatic and semi-aquatic snakes. The northern watersnake has anterior cross-bands that do not widen on the sides, no pit-viper look, no vertical pupil, and no fangs. Other aquatic snakes are either uniform in color and pattern or have alternating dorsal and lateral blotches.

Where Cottonmouth Snakes are Found in Virginia

Most cottonmouth snakes in Virginia are primarily found to the southeastern portion of the state, particularly the southern regions of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake with isolated populations in Brunswick, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex, and York counties, and the cities of Suffolk and Newport News. Mostly, the cottonmouth hangs out in the swamps and streams of far southern and southeastern Virginia. An isolated population lives near the confluence of the James and Appomattox rivers in the Hopewell area.

watersnake vs cottonmouth snake Virginia

Northern Watersnake

Watersnakes in Virginia

Watersnakes are found statewide in every county and municipality. Unlike cottonmouth snakes, watersnakes inhabit a wider variety of aquatic habitats including lakes and reservoirs, streams, rivers, ditches, and ponds.

Cottonmouth Snake Removal

While the majority of snakes you may encounter are harmless, they still should be treated with caution and respect. Seeing a cottonmouth or other snake in the wild can cause panic. Understanding who to call and how to respond when this happens can be crucial. The experts at Virginia Snake Removal can help with safe, humane snake removal.

Our trained snake removal specialist will come out to your home or business and identify the snake, as well as the source of its entry if it’s in your home. We may also remedy any further snakes from entering or finding their way into your home or on your property again. Our snake removal specialist will then safely and humanely remove the snake from your property and relocate it to an area where there are no other homes or further conflict between humans and wildlife.