These alarmingly large snakes are more common than you may realize in Ontario

·1 min read

They can be alarmingly long - measuring up to 174 centimetres - and they may be more common than you realize.

An Alton, Ontario homeowner recently found a pair of eastern milksnakes slithering through her backyard.

Bev Fonseca tells The Weather Network she was up early one morning chatting with her daughter on the phone when she noticed movement near the woodpile at the back of her house.

Bev Fonseca - rattlesnake
Bev Fonseca - rattlesnake

One of the snakes near Fonseca's home. Courtesy: Bev Fonseca.

"When I went to investigate, I saw that it was the snake and yelled for my Mark, who jumped out of bed thinking it was something far worse," she says.

Mark and Bev managed to shoo the snakes off to a nearby forest, but not before he captured them on camera.

A few days later, Bev moved the garbage bin and found another pair of snakes coiled together, prompting her to scream again.

"Next on the agenda is moving the woodpile," Bev says.

"Mark will have to get someone else to help."

Had they opted to keep the milksnakes close, it might not have been a bad thing, because they act as a form of natural pest control, keeping rodent populations at bay.

bev and mark
bev and mark

Bev and Mark relocated to Alton from Toronto a few years ago. Courtesy: Bev Fonseca.


Milksnakes live all over Ontario, including areas as far north as Sault Ste. Marie and can be identified by the patterns on their skin, characterized by alternating bands of brown, red, and black.

If you happen to get close enough to catch a glimpse of their eyes or head, you'll notice the pupils and head are rounded.

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