When there's about to be utility works, you'll see all kinds of colored sprays in your yard - red, orange, blue and yellow - but if you see a yellow streak in the grass that doesn't look like spray paint - get the heck away.

Before getting too close, you'll want to know what they might be, and know if you should head for the house or not.

Mowing or cutting the long grass with a green lawn mower in the summer sun
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It's not just a sight of the yellow streaks, you might also smell cucumbers, which means you definitely should get moving, because it's not happy.

A Baby's Unique Yellow Feature


According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources, Copperhead snakes are just one of four known venomous snakes in the state:

  • The Copperhead
  • The Timber Rattlesnake
  • The Cottonmouth
  • The Pygmy Rattlesnake

The Copperheads are between 24 and 26 inches long. The snakes are not active during the day in the spring and fall and become nocturnal when the hot summer months come around.

Mother Copperheads typically will give birth in the springtime, and they can produce up to fourteen baby Copperheads. The baby snakes have something unique that helps you know right where they are: a bright yellow tail.


As you can see above, that angry baby copperhead has a distinct yellow-tipped tail. If you see that snake slithering in your yard, run right away because you have venomous snakes.

Copperheads Aren't Necessarily Seen In The City

According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Copperheads are mostly found in the state in the higher-density wooded areas, so if you're in one of the big cities, you shouldn't have to worry too much. However, if you're out in a more remote area, keep an eye out.

Definitely keep a watchful eye when you're near the lakes and streams.

Why Venomous Snakes Smell Like Cucumbers

Some sources say that these highly venomous snakes like rattlesnakes or copperheads will smell like a cucumber, and there's a reason why.

When feeling threatened, snakes will emit a musky smell from their scent glands as an early warning to predators that lets them know they feel threatened. It's typically found with Copperheads, but all venomous snakes will emit some kind of odor.

stephen bowling

If you do smell and spot a snake, remember that they can and will poison you, and they strike fast, so good luck trying to jump out of the way of a strike. Call a professional to remove the snake from your home.

Other Places To Keep An Eye Out

Raking fallen leaves in the garden
Zbynek Pospisil

If you like to hike or work in your yard, remember the cucumber scent trick to knowing you've come across a venomous snake. Make sure your dogs stay back from the smell of cucumbers as well, because they may not know better than to be curious where the smell is coming from.

It's possible you accidentally stumbled across a nest of these animals, which will smell like cucumbers. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you smell cucumbers somewhere you shouldn't be there.

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