Are Snakes Active at Night?

Snakes are interesting creatures that adapt to their environments and are often difficult to spot unless you look for them or stumble upon their hiding place by accident. Therefore, many people don’t know a lot about them. So one question you may wonder is if snakes are active at night.

Snakes are active at night. In fact, many species tend to be the most active during this time in the day. During hot weather and in areas where there are crowds of people busy during the day, it may be more common for snakes to be active during the late hours of the night or early morning. 

This article looks at the time of day and how it influences a snake’s behavior. Read along and discover the types of snakes most active at night, why they are more active, and whether or not all snakes are active while you are sleeping.  

Which Snakes Are Most Active at Night?

The United States is home to over 100 different snake species. Nearly every state has snakes, with some being active at night. 

It is most common for snakes to be active at night, except for some species. So which snakes are most active at night? Let’s take a look at the most famous examples of snakes that prefer to do their hunting and move around at night: 

  • Copperheads
  • Eastern Coachwhips
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Southern Black Racers
  • Night snakes
  • Cottonmouths

These aren’t the only snakes active at night, but you can see that many different species, both venomous and nonvenomous, are active at night. 

There are also a lot of different snakes that are not active at night. Certain snakes prefer to be awake and active during the daytime. But in the United States, many snake species, especially the venomous ones, tend to do most of their moving around at night.

Why Are Snakes Active at Night?

You may be wondering why snakes are active at night. Many of us have seen a snake in the daytime, but numerous species tend to be far more dynamic while we are in our beds dreaming. 

But what is it that makes snakes more active at night? Several reasons make some species more mobile later in the day, and it’s important to understand a few factors that influence this.  

The Weather Impacts When Snakes Are Active

Summer months are known for snakes being more visible, including snakes that hunt at night. Because many species are more dormant in the winter, spring and summer months tend to be when they become more active at night

The hot weather makes snakes hunt very early or late in the day, which can often mean they are active at night. Snakes typically spend the hottest hours of the day hiding and saving their energy for later so they can stay cool and get more food when the heat is less intense. 

Snakes Will Hunt When Animals Are Active at Night

Snakes are hunters by nature. If your home hosts things they like to eat, it may attract snakes waiting to feast. If you live in an area with rodents that want to come out at night, you may find that the snakes in your area are also more active at night. 

Some animals that like to be out at night that may cause the snakes in the area to be more active feeding later in the day include: 

  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Lizards

Human Population Can Affect When Snakes Are Active

Snakes are frequently scared of people. They do what they can to hide and not be in the same places where people are, or at least not be seen. In areas where there are a lot of humans around in the daytime, snakes may be more common to be active at night when they have less potential threat around them, causing them to be more timid and reclusive.  

Snakes Are Active When Seeking Shelter

Snakes may be more active at night when they are seeking shelter. Depending on where the snake lives and the natural threats, snakes may be lively at certain hours of the night, trying to find a place where they feel safe. You may see snakes actively searching for somewhere to hide during the nighttime hours. 

Final Thoughts

Snakes are fascinating creatures that come in hundreds of species. They are small or large, nocturnal or diurnal, and can exhibit different behavior depending on the time of the year and various environmental factors. 

Many snakes are awake at night, with some preferring to do their most important tasks during the late night hours. Some of the things that you’ll most commonly see snakes doing when they are active at night include: 

  • Finding their food.
  • Looking for a place to rest.
  • Eating their prey after catching them. 

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