Common Garter Snake


Actual Size: 2 to 4.5 feet long

Characteristics: Usually brown, black, or green with yellow stripes.

Habitats: Found in backyards, riversides, and forested areas, often in rural or suburban communities.


  • Frequently referred to as garden snakes. 
  • Capable of biting, but bites usually only cause mild itching or burning. 
  • Unlike other species, garter snakes give birth to live young.

Common Garter Snakes in Anaheim

Garter snakes – also frequently called garden snakes – are one of the most common snake species in the United States. They’re highly adaptable creatures that can thrive in a wide range of environments including woodlands, fields, riverbeds, and more. It’s easy to identify garter snakes by their characteristic stripe that runs down the entire length of their spine, which is usually yellow in color. Though large garter snakes can be frightening to encounter, this species is relatively harmless to humans – and can even benefit the environment. 

Common Garter Snake Habitat

Most garter snakes build dens in a sheltered area, such as beneath stepping stones or inside of rock retaining walls. They rarely stray far from water sources and are more common near rivers, lakes, and streams. Garter snakes consume a varied diet which usually includes crickets, snakes, slugs, and other insects. Larger snakes may also eat small animals like birds, rodents, or frogs. This species is most active in the warm months of the year and will hibernate from October to early April.

Common Garter Snake Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though it can be scary to come across a snake, garter snakes aren’t aggressive and are generally pretty harmless. They don’t have fangs and their venom isn’t potent enough to affect humans, beyond some mild itching or burning. In some rare cases, people may experience an allergic reaction to garter snake saliva. Bites may also become infected if they are improperly cleaned. While garter snakes aren’t a major threat to your health, it can still be unnerving to come across them while trying to enjoy your time outside. If you feel there are too many garter snakes on your property, consult a professional pest control company for advice.