The rat snake lives throughout the eastern area of Texas and into southern Louisiana. This species is also known as the western rat snake. Adults of this species generally get to be 42 to 72 inches in length, with the record being 86 inches. They feed on mice, rats, and other small mammals along with nestling birds and eggs. When frightened, they often assume a “Kinked” or “S” posture and remain motionless. They will vibrate their tail, can expel a malodorous musk, and will bite if harassed.
The rat snake is the largest and most abundant snake throughout our region. The rat snakes are excellent climbers and are frequently found in lofts, on rafters of old barns, sheds, and other out buildings.
The rat snake is capable of climbing straight up a brick wall. They are often referred to as a “chicken snake” due to being found in barns eating chicken eggs.