Where do garter snakes live?

garter snake

Often the most populous snakes in any given habitat

Garter snakes are some of the most well known snakes in North America and for good reason. These little boys are found from Canada to Central America. They are often the most populous snakes in any given habitat. Garter snakes live in, well basically every environment. They can be found in grasslands, forests, swamps, coastal areas, mountainous areas, and even urban settings. And like most of us, they have their favorite places.

These snakes are not great climbers

Garter snakes generally like wet environments such as lakesides, streamsides, and riversides. All of these places can attract the garter snake and make them feel right at home. These snakes are not great climbers, so spend most of their time on the ground. Sometimes they can be found hanging out in low lying bushes, but its unlikely someone will get smacked by one falling from the tree canopy.

Their territories are often quite small, so they are generally considered solitary snakes, well for most of the year.

Separate themselves by the moisture of the habitat

It’s not unlikely there are plenty of garter snake individuals living nearby. When different species inhabit a similar area, they may even separate themselves. They may even separate themselves by the moisture of the habitat, with one species preferring wetter areas, and the other preferring drier areas. It all depends on the species, of which, there are currently thought to be more than 30. Though this could always change with research.

Most active during the day

Garter snakes are most active during the day, except for the hottest parts of the summer. During these times, garter snakes will either switch their activity times to night time or just become sluggish, and not do anything.

It’s not like their parents are breathing down their throats to get a summer job. Their parents probably aren’t talking to them at all.

Garter snakes are on their own from birth

Garter snakes are on their own from birth. In northern parts of their range, garter snakes will gather in large groups and hibernate together during the winter. This is similar to rattlesnakes.

They emerge in the spring, then mate

When they emerge in the spring, they mate. Hey, it’s much easier to make out that way, when everybody’s like right there. Perhaps you’ve seen the garter snake facts on those u-haul trucks talking about the garter snakes in Manitoba. This is what these trucks are referring to. The female garter snakes don’t lay eggs. They retain the eggs inside their bodies, then give birth to live young, sometime in late summer. Though this can vary by species.

Predators like fish, frogs, other snakes, crows, hawks, herrings and foxes

The babies are most vulnerable in their first year of life. Not only do they have to watch out for predators like fish, frogs, other snakes, crows, hawks, herrings and foxes, but they also have to eat enough food to ensure they can survive through the winter hibernation, at least in the Northern species. Other species found in the southern parts of their range may not hibernate through the winter.

Garter snakes eat all kinds of food

Garter snakes eat all kinds of food. Some are specialists and only eat certain types of food. Others will eat anything from leaches, birds, and bats. The garter snake may also have a mild toxin to paralyze its prey. This has been shown to potentially cause mild reactions in humans, although Garter snakes are still considered harmless to humans.

Many species have lateral stripes around their bodies

Garter snakes are usually easy to identify and many species have lateral stripes around their bodies and may also come with keeled scales like butch vipers, however just because they can be easy to identify, they’re often not easy to spot as their patterns help them blend in with their surroundings.

Can release poo and a stinky musk

If a Garter snake is caught by a predator, it can release poo and a stinky musk which will cover both the snake and the predator, and who would want to eat a poopy snake?