Snakes of Hackensack, NJ

Hackensack snake

Welcome to! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Hackensack, NJ. Many people don't know that Hackensack is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some New Jersey snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Bergen County NJ, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Hackensack. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Hackensack, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Hackensack, as well as the venomous snakes of Hackensack that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Hackensack. Remember the following:

  • Most snakes of Hackensack are harmless and don't want to encounter you
  • Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Hackensack, New Jersey
  • Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the New Jersey ecosystem
  • Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.

Common Snake Species in Hackensack

Hackensack snake Milk Snakes: The eastern milk snake is one of the more common snakes found throughout New Jersey. These non-venomous snakes can be anywhere from two to four feet long and have a distinct appearance that makes them easy to identify. The background color of their body is a light grey and there are brown or red splotches that are located all over the back of the snake. They also have a distinctive light-colored Y-design on their neck. The milk snake is completely harmless to humans and relies on its constrictive abilities to kill its prey. Milk snakes feed on rodents, amphibians, birds, and even other, sometimes venomous snakes. The milk snake prefers to live in areas that are home to high rodent populations, so they love woodland areas, as well as certain urban areas.

Hackensack snake Racer Snakes: The northern black racer is one of New Jersey’s most common snakes and can even be found thriving in urban areas. The black racer is around three to six feet in length and generally has a slender, black colored body, complete with a white-colored throat. These snakes derive their name from both their black bodies and their high speeds that they can travel when they want to. In addition to their speed, these snakes can even climb trees. The northern black racer feeds on a variety of prey, such as rodents, birds, amphibians, and baby rattlesnakes, and copperheads. These snakes are not dangerous to humans, though they can deliver a painful bite.

Hackensack snake Northern Water Snakes: The northern water snake is a very common snake found all throughout the state of New Jersey anywhere there are aquatic environments. Even Hackensack can host water snakes, as they will live in ponds, lakes, streams, and even drainage ditches. These non-venomous snakes are about two to four feet long and are harmless to humans, other than a painful bite. The northern water snake features a brown background with dark or red-colored bands around its body. As the snakes mature and age, they generally become more dull-colored and it can become hard to see their patterns. The water snake feeds on amphibians, fish, and small mammals, as well as other small snakes.

Hackensack snake Garter Snakes: The most common snake found in Hackensack, New Jersey is of course the garter snake. The eastern garter snake is non-venomous and is completely harmless to humans. The garter snake has a distinctive appearance, which is a black, dark green, or dark brown background color with lighter-colored stripes along its back. These snakes can thrive in many different habitats, which is why they are commonly found in urban areas. The eastern garter snake can be anywhere from one and a half feet to four feet long. They primarily feed on different insects and small amphibians if possible.

Venomous Snake Species in Hackensack

Hackensack snake Northern Copperhead: Northern copperheads are rare in Hackensack, New Jersey, though it is worth watching out for them, as they have the potential to cause death to humans. While they are certainly venomous, there are very rarely deaths from copperhead bites, as many times it is only a dry bite where very little venom is injected. This snake has a copper-colored head and body with big splotches of darker shades with a background of lighter shades. The copperhead can be anywhere from two feet to five feet in length, depending on a variety of factors.

Hackensack snake Rattlesnakes: The timber rattlesnake is the other venomous snake that can be found in New Jersey. While this snake is unlikely to be near Hackensack, there is always a chance, so it is important to be aware of the timber rattler. This snake is anywhere between three to six feet in length and has two distinct color phases. The first of these is a yellow or light brown background with dark bands around the body. The second is a dark brown or black background with dark bands around the body. These venomous snakes have the potential to kill humans, though they rarely strike unless they are threatened. The timber rattler prefers to feed on rodents, birds, and other small critters.

If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Hackensack snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.

Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Hackensack, it's venomous snakes of Hackensack. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Hackensack. The few venomous snakes of Bergen County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Hackensack in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Paramus, Ridgewood, Fort Lee, Teaneck, Englewood, Mahwah, Fair Lawn, Bergenfield, Wyckoff, Ramsey, Tenafly, Westwood, Lyndhurst, Cliffside Park, Glen Rock, Lodi, Montvale, Garfield, Township of Washington, Dumont, New Milford, Edgewater, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Hillsdale, Closter, Elmwood Park, Franklin Lakes, Teterboro, Oakland, Waldwick, Oradell, Emerson, Maywood, Rochelle Park, and the surrounding areas.

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