Brown Snake


Actual Size:  About 10 – 21” long.

Characteristics: Small snakes. Mostly brown in color. Usually, they have two rows of black spots with a light stripe that runs along the spine. Juvenile brown snakes also have yellowish neck-rings.

Habitat: Can be found in areas near swamp edges and wetland margins. Also frequently found in residential areas. They’re one of the most common snakes you can find in urban areas.


  • Spend most of their time underground or under leaf litter or garbage.
  • Sometimes called “city snakes” because they thrive in residential areas.
  • Nonvenomous. Frequently mistaken for the much more dangerous and venomous copperhead snakes.
  • Hibernates over the winter.

Brown Snakes in Louisiana

As their name implies, North American brown snakes are brown in color and have rows of dark spots and stripes down their backs. They are on the smaller side, growing to a maximum size of not more than 21 inches long. Brown snakes are often confused for copperheads, which is a much more dangerous snake and why so many brown snakes are killed when seen in suburban areas. Brown snakes are non-venomous and not particularly dangerous to humans. 

Brown Snakes Habitat

Brown snakes are common in residential areas. Unlike most snakes that like to spend time under rocks and stones, brown snakes actually prefer hiding under trash piles. At nighttime, they will venture out to look for food like slugs, snails, worms, grubs, and beetles. Because they’re small, birds of prey and larger snakes hunt brown snakes. 

Brown Snakes Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The brown snake is harmless to humans, but it is easily mistaken for the copperhead, which is venomous and can be quite dangerous.  The best way to tell if it’s a brown snake or copperhead is that brown snakes lack the classic hourglass pattern that copperheads have. 

They can be beneficial in gardens as they feed on soft-bodied invertebrates such as slugs and earthworms. If you are having an issue with brown snakes on your property, give the wildlife control experts at Ja-Roy a call today.