In Colorado, nearly all species of snakes are not only harmless but beneficial to humans because of their appetites for insects and rodents. Along the Front Range, however, there are occasionally problems with prairie rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes have elliptical pupils, Distinctive, heat-sensing pits on each side of their face and rattles on their tail.
If you live where prairie rattlesnakes are found or if you have an aversion to snakes, some simple habitat modification around your property will usually solve the problem. Keep firewood in a covered box.
- Do not landscape with expanses of large rocks, especially in open sunny areas.
- Mow weeds and vegetation, and remove rocks, boards and debris.
- Reduce the rodent population on your property to reduce a major food source for snakes.
- Seal entrances to crawl spaces and basements.
If you encounter a prairie or massasauga rattlesnake (the only poisonous snakes in Colorado), simply back off. The snake senses your presence by your body heat and movement. In Colorado, rattlesnakes may be legally killed if they pose a threat. All other snakes are classified as nongame wildlife and are protected by law.