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Do Snakes Come Out in the Cold? – VenomousSnake

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Do Snakes Come Out in the Cold? Yes, snakes do come out in the cold, but their behavior and activity levels are significantly influenced by the temperature. Snakes are ectothermic, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. As the temperatures drop, their metabolic processes slow down, and they become less active. In colder climates, snakes often enter a state of reduced activity known as brumation, where they seek sheltered areas and conserve energy to survive the harsh conditions. While they may come out occasionally to bask in the sun or find prey, their overall activity is significantly reduced during colder periods.

Do snakes come out in the cold?


Picture this: a serene winter landscape covered in a blanket of glistening snow. The air is crisp, and nature seems to have come to a standstill. But beneath the frozen surface, life finds a way to persevere. Snakes, these incredible cold-blooded creatures, possess a repertoire of adaptations that allow them to navigate the chilly embrace of winter.

As the mercury drops, snakes undergo remarkable changes in their behavior and physiology. Being ectothermic, their body temperature is influenced by the surrounding environment. In colder temperatures, their metabolic processes slow down, much like a well-choreographed dance entering a graceful pause. This reduced metabolic rate helps them conserve energy and survive in conditions that would be inhospitable for warm-blooded creatures.

But what does this mean for their activity levels? Well, as the cold weather takes hold, snakes become less active. You won’t find them slithering about with the same vigor and intensity as they do during the warmer months.

Instead, they adopt a more sedentary lifestyle, seeking sheltered nooks and crannies to hunker down and weather the storm.

This period of reduced activity is known as brumation, a clever survival strategy that allows snakes to conserve precious resources during the winter months. Imagine them nestled in their cozy hideouts, snug as can be, waiting patiently for the sun’s warm rays to reawaken their slumbering spirits.

But don’t be mistaken; snakes don’t completely disappear from the wintry landscape. They might venture out on occasion, driven by the need to bask in the limited sunlight that graces their world. These sun-soaking sessions serve a dual purpose – to warm their bodies and recharge their energy reserves.

It’s also important to note that not all snakes respond to cold weather in the same way. Different species have varying levels of tolerance to colder temperatures. Some can endure freezing conditions, while others seek refuge in milder microhabitats, such as underground burrows or crevices.

So, the next time you find yourself amidst a winter wonderland, keep your eyes peeled for these resilient serpents. They may not be as active as they are in warmer months, but they’re still a part of the enchanting tapestry of nature.

Snakes, with their innate ability to adapt and survive, remind us of the incredible resilience found in every corner of the animal kingdom.

Snakes’ Response to Cold Weather

When faced with colder temperatures, snakes exhibit a noticeable slowdown in their metabolic processes. Just like a well-choreographed symphony reaching its tranquil interlude, snakes gracefully reduce their activity levels. This decrease in metabolic rate allows them to conserve energy and endure the cold with remarkable efficiency.

As the world around them transforms into a frost-covered landscape, snakes seek sheltered areas to escape the chill. They tuck themselves away in hidden nooks, crevices, and burrows, finding solace and protection from the biting cold. These chosen hibernation spots, known as hibernacula, serve as safe havens where snakes can endure the harsh conditions until the warmth of spring returns.

During this period, snakes enter a state of reduced activity called brumation. It’s a captivating phase where their bodies slow down, and they become less responsive to stimuli. Their movements become languid, their appetite diminishes, and their primary focus shifts to conserving energy. It’s as if they enter a tranquil slumber, patiently waiting for the arrival of more favorable conditions.

Do snakes hang out in the cold?

Have you noticed what time of year you see the most? Snakes are seasonal, meaning they live in places based on their body temperature. Since they can only adapt to certain climates, you may see many or none at all. One question may come to mind.

Do snakes hang out in the cold? Yes, but only long enough to look for food and water. Their bodies cannot withstand extreme temperatures.


Where do snakes go in winter?

During the winter, snakes hide, but do not hibernate. Instead they enter brumation, a state of inactivity during the winter months. It is very similar to hibernation but allows them to wake up and seek nourishment.

Because brumation is imperative

During brumation, snakes conserve energy while they sleep. Then they wake up and seek nourishment. If the temperature rises, the snakes may decide to stay outside longer. When it cools down again, the snakes will go back into brumation.

Why are they brumanus? Snakes are ectotherms or cold-blooded creatures that cannot regulate their body temperature. They cannot survive hot or cold temperatures. They depend on the weather to determine whether they seek out prey or stay away.

Unlike endotherms like mammals, snake bodies cannot turn calories into body heat. This means they have to use the sun to keep warm. If they don’t get warm, they can’t digest food.

Brumation can last for weeks or even months, depending on geographic location. Northern states have colder winters, which means snakes may need to haze longer. They can spend most of the year in their burrows.

Where snakes can hide

Depending on where they are, snakes may use hibernacula to brumate. Hibernaculas are small underground burrows that protect against frost. They can be found on slopes, underground, or anywhere that receives sunlight for warmth.

Snakes may not need water while in brumation due to their inactive state. When it’s time to come out of their hiding places, they find hydration. They prefer areas closest to water sources, so they don’t have to creep far.

Some snakes build their own hibernation, while different species may share the same space. Snakes must hide from the harsh elements to survive and will go anywhere that is warm, even indoors. Finding snakes hidden in drawers or under the bed explains why.

What is the temperature too cold to let snakes out?

Snakes cannot handle sub-zero temperatures. The coldest temperature they can tolerate is around 65 degrees. They will smolder until temperatures go above that. At what temperature do snakes die? Freezing weather and anything below 65 degrees can kill snakes.

Snakes can get too hot and die. They are prone to dehydration during the summer, so they need to be near bodies of water. To stay cool, they may migrate to areas under trees, in tall grass, under soil or rocks. They can also crawl near a house and other places of shelter.

Snakes are vulnerable to predators, such as hawks, so they try to blend into their environment. That’s why you usually won’t find a snake in broad daylight.

When are snakes most active?



In the United States, snakes are most active in the spring, from March to April through early fall. In some parts of the United States, snakes may prowl until late fall or early winter.

The southeastern region stays warmer for longer, so you may see more snakes in those areas. Up north, snakes may not be as active due to the climate.

Species and circadian cycles

Snakes hunt after their own circadian cycles: diurnal, nocturnal or twilight.

Day snakes

To avoid most predators, rattlesnakes are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. Rattlesnakes are most comfortable in temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees. Otherwise, they could overheat and die. If temperatures rise above 90 degrees, they’ll find cool places to hide.

Baird’s rat snakes are harmless and prey on rats and birds during the day. They prefer to live in rocky areas where they can hide. California kingsnakes are also not venomous, but they can force their prey to death. They are immune to venom, making it possible to consume rattlesnakes.

Eastern indigos are harmless to humans. They hunt their prey during the day.

Garter snakes are friendly to humans and love gardens and flower beds. They eat a variety of small creatures such as snails, mice, frogs and lizards.

Night snakes

Kingsnakes are nocturnal or active at night. Due to their resistance to venom, they can eat venomous snakes. These include rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads.

Nocturnal desert snakes also hunt at night, but they don’t have to work as hard. They are venomous and only need to strike their prey once before engulfing it.

Twilight Serpents

Corn snakes are crepuscular, making them most active during sunrise and sunset. They use those times to hunt prey while they sleep and before other predators move. They love to eat rats and usually find them around those times.


Are snakes completely inactive during the winter?

While snakes exhibit reduced activity during the winter, they are not completely inactive. Some species may comeout occasionally to bask in the sun or find prey, but their overall activity is significantly reduced.

How do snakes survive in the cold without freezing?

Snakes have remarkable adaptations to survive in the cold. They slow down their metabolic processes, seek sheltered areas, and conserve energy. Additionally, some species have the ability to tolerate freezing temperatures without harm.

Do all snakes hibernate during the winter?

Not all snakes hibernate in the traditional sense. However, many snakes enter a state of reduced activity called brumation, where they remain in sheltered locations and conserve energy until warmer temperatures return


In conclusion, the question of whether snakes come out in the cold has been unraveled, revealing the captivating ways in which these slithering creatures adapt and survive in wintry conditions. As we explored their behavior and adaptations, we witnessed the resilience and ingenuity of these mesmerizing reptiles.

While snakes do venture out in the cold, their activity levels are notably reduced. The colder temperatures prompt them to slow down their metabolic processes and seek sheltered areas to conserve energy. This period of reduced activity, known as brumation, allows snakes to endure the harsh winter months and emerge unscathed when the warmer seasons return.

If you’re hungry for more fascinating insights into the world of venomous creatures and want to delve deeper into the captivating realm of snakes, we invite you to read more on our Venomous blog. Discover the secrets of their venom, the diversity of their species, and the awe-inspiring tales of their survival. Get ready to embark on an exhilarating journey that will leave you spellbound and with a newfound appreciation for these enigmatic creatures.