What is the Deadliest Snake in the United States

The short answer is that the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is the deadliest snake in the USA, with the most venom. A bite will very likely result in the death of any human. That said, if you ask what snake kills the most humans in the US, the answer is the Timber Rattlesnake, because it's encountered more frequently, and thus it kills more people. As far as potency of venom goes, that's the Coral snake - but that's a rare and docile snake. So it depends on your definition of deadliest. It's my opinion that the Eastern Diamondback is the deadliest, because it's the largest, strongest, and has the most venom. Chance of survival is lowest with an Eastern Diamondback bite.

There are many species of snakes in the United States that can be extremely dangerous should you be bitten by one. Whether you are talking about the rattlesnake or the copperhead, many are extremely dangerous if they should bite you.

What makes them so dangerous is not just the kinds of toxins that they can emit, but also the effect that toxin can have on its victim. There are four different kinds of toxins that a snake can inject into its victim, including neurotoxins, cardiotoxins, hemotoxins, and cytotoxins. Each of these can be quite dangerous in how they affect their victim.

While all are dangerous it is usually the neurotoxins and cardiotoxins that are considered to be the most dangerous to the victim. However, ironically enough, it is a snake that injects a cytotoxin that has established itself as the most deadly in all of North America. That is the Cottonmouth.

A cytotoxin is one that damages cells in the area where the toxin is present. Usually it directly effects the location where the snake has bitten its victim, and can have a very negative effect on the cells where the snake has bitten the organism.

In many cases only the area where the snake bit its victim is damaged. However, this is part of what separates the cottonmouth from other snakes that emit this toxin.

The cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin or water pitviper, is the only kind of viper that can live in the water. This isn’t just in North America, but is the only one worldwide. It is found in the southeastern part of the United States, but many have seen this snake reach to parts of the Gulf of Mexico. That is not good news for tourists who are visiting these areas, because these snakes are extremely dangerous.

As mentioned, these animals inject a strong cytotoxin. In fact, it is the most destructive and powerful cytotoxin of any snake on earth. This is what makes them so dangerous.

When a cottonmouth injects its venom into the victim the venom begins to eat away at the area where the bite occurred. This is a very grisly attack, as the venom literally eats away at the skin, often starting from the inside of the organism and working its way in all directions.

For those who have been bitten by this snake there are many instances where anti-venom is not sufficient enough to save the victim. The only solution is to remove the affected area by amputation, meaning that whole sections of skin and tissue have to be removed for the organism to be able to survive.

What makes this kind of snake even more dangerous is that the venom can quickly spread through diffusion or through the blood stream. As it moves through these other areas it causes incredible damage. To help understand this, it is like burning a bridge as you are crossing it. nothing can get to you from behind because the bridge is destroyed. Blood vessels are destroyed that have carried the toxin, but the toxin still is able to spread. It is truly brutal.

Avoiding a cottonmouth can be a real chore. These reptiles live in the water and hide in the brush or in the water itself waiting for potential victims to arrive. Once they do, they lash out and inject their venom into the victim, waiting for it to become incapacitated before they start to eat it. Cottonmouth snakes will eat virtually anything that they can fit into their mouth, but will kill any animal that they see as a threat.

For more information about What is the Deadliest Snake in the United States, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page.

Dear Mr. Wildlife man, I saw your website after looking for info on the Eastern Diamondback. Thanks for some great info. As I was getting ready to leave your website I glanced through and noticed a suprising heading "How to kill a snake". I almost did not look, but more out of curiosity as to your intent than anything else, I did go ahead and look. I was happy to see you do not advocate killing them. When I saw your comment about people sending you photos of dead snakes and how it upsets you, I thought I would send you the attached photo of a very healthy looking snake happiliy living in my back yard in Jupiter Florida (West side of Jupiter in an area known a Jupiter Farms). I first noticed him yesterday when I was cutting the grass. I checked and today he had moved a few feet but is still looking happy under some saw pallmetto and a large bouganvillia. I get a lot of the black racers, the occasional corn snake, a bunch of other smaller brightly colored snakes I cannot identify including some ribbon snakes, very rarely a king snake and just a little more often a Florida Scarlet. I cannot be sure but I think I once had a small pygmy rattlesnake sitting on the outside faucet!!! About 8 years ago I had my first encounter with an Eastern Diamondback in the yard. He was approx 6ft long with a body as thick as my forearm and the rattle was very clear to see. Since then, I never saw another diamondback until the one in the photo that I took today (enclosed). (If you disagree with my identification, please do let me know.) This one is not agressive in any way and I have not seen or heard his tail. He is not large but I have not seen him move or be stretched out but my best guess is that he is between 2ft and 3ft long. I am guessing his body is much thicker than my thumb but not nearly as thick as my wrist. Anyway, more than anything I just wanted you to receive a photo of a live snake and to know that he will be left on his own to enjoy my yard as are all the other snakes I am fortunate enough to see. Best wishes and thanks for a great, easy to use and informative web site. Peter the nature lover.