I know what you're thinking right now, you only clicked on this article to see just how wrong it was.

You may have thought...clickbait.

There are definitely some people who didn't click on this article at all and just B-lined it to the comments section and are currently writing a nasty comment about how dumb I am.

Well, my friends, I will have the last laugh here. Why, you ask? Well, because I am in the right.

SoJO 104.9 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Before you get all up in arms yelling at me and quoting incorrect articles that have told you all about the two "poisonous" snakes we have in New Jersey, let me tell you that those articles are completely wrong.

New Jersey does not have any poisonous snakes.

If you want to get even more specific, there is not a single poisonous snake in the world.

New Jersey has venomous snakes, two of them to be exact.

What's the difference between venomous and poisonous?

Poisonous applies to things that transfer a toxin if you touch or consume it.

An example of a poisonous animal would be a poison dart frog.

poison dart frog

Snakes are venomous because they inject their toxin into you with their fangs. You ca touch a snake without being effected by the toxin.

snake fangs

Does New Jersey have venomous snakes?

Yes, we do have two VENOMOUS snakes in New Jersey.

We have the northern copperhead and the eastern timber rattlesnake.

Chances are you won't find a northern copperhead here at the Jersey Shore, they prefer to stay up in North Jersey.

However, you may have a run-in with an eastern timber rattlesnake.

Does New Jersey have water moccasins?

No, we do not have water moccasins (cottonmouth snakes) in New Jersey. However, we have plenty of species that you may find swimming in the local lake.

The eastern timber rattlesnake is an endangered species here in New Jersey and the northern copperhead has been listed under special concern.

If you do spot one of these two venomous snakes it's best to keep your distance and call the NJDEP Endangered and Nongame Species at (609) 628-2103 or after office hours/weekends at (877) WARN-DEP.

Please don't kill these creatures, they are an important part of the ecosystem.

What to do if you get bit by a venomous snake?

If you do get too close to either one of the venomous snakes and get bit don't do this:

  • DON'T try to extract the venom. I've seen plastic syringes that are marketed to extract the venom. Spoiler alert: that doesn't work. Don't try to suck the venom out either...
  • DON'T put on a tight bandage. If it will take longer than 30 minutes for you to receive medical attention, wrap a bandage about 2-4 inches above the bite. Do not wrap it too tight to restrict blood flow.
  • DON'T apply a cold compress.
  • DON'T cut the wound open. I can't think of why this would be thought to be a good idea...

Oddly enough, just because you were bitten does not mean you have had venom injected into your body. Sometimes snakes bite without injecting any venom.

However, if you are bit by a venomous snake call 9-1-1 immediately and do these things:

  • STAY CALM. Think of it this way. If the snake did inject venom into your bloodstream, panicking will only make it spread through your body quicker with your accelerated heart rate.
  • CLEAN THE BITE. Wash the area with soap and water.
  • KEEP THE BITE AREA LOW. Keep the wound below your heart.
  • WAIT FOR HELP TO ARRIVE. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Either have someone take you or wait for an ambulance to arrive.

All of this can be avoided by just respecting the snakes and keeping your distance. Snakes don't ambush people, they are more afraid of us than we are of them.

You can own a variety of snakes as pets, obviously not the two native venomous ones. However, you may be surprised that these animals are perfectly legal to have as a pet in New Jersey.

12 Animals That Are Illegal to Own as Pets in New Jersey

Gallery Credit: Heather DeLuca

Animals gone wild in NJ: Turkeys, tigers, snakes, bears and more

The best of animal encounters — real and a few rumored — from around New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From SoJO 104.9 FM