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Old 10-12-2013, 07:16 AM   #1
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young black snake


I know they help eat bugs from your garden but I'd prefer not seeing them.

Yesterday after walking barefoot, back and forth on a stone walkway, which hasn't been set into the ground or filled with sand yet, a black snake popped out from between the stones and wiggled away. Now I'm nervous about walking on that path, but it's the only way to the back yard on that side of the house.

I've seen snake deterrent in the pest area at Walmart. Wondered if anyone had any luck with them? I was thinking of pouring a little gas on the sand around that walkway and maybe it won't smell good to the snake and he'll go away?

Last yr I found 2 long snake skins behind a tree at the edge of my property.

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Old 10-12-2013, 08:00 AM   #2
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If you want the snake to go away, eliminate his prey. Address the mice problem that you have. Snake repellent is a joke, and can adversely affect your soil chemistry as it's usually just sulphur with a patent medicine label on it. Pouring gas on the ground is illegal, dangerous, and just plain stupid. It won't keep snakes away, but it would be a nice flammable trail straight to your home to set it on fire.

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Old 10-12-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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Let them eat the rodents....once the rodents are gone.....it will move on....

Trust me...that snake is more afraid of you than you of it.....

I am no tree hugger.....but I'm am NOT a fan of poisons or chemicals to control pests...mother nature does a pretty good job......as much as I hate spiders....I leave them.....except for the black widows....(I have kids). Spiders eat bugs....when the bugs are gone...spiders move on.

We have 2 cats.....and no rats or mice....or snakes....

We do have some raccoon's in the neighborhood....I keep the cat food in....raccoon's don't come by....

Let nature do it's thing.....it works pretty good....and is neat to watch.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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Don't pour gas on the ground.

Let the snake alone. It will eventually take care of all of your rodents near your house, and move into the woods.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Snake Away is nothing more then 95% inert ingredients and 5% Naphthalene.
The same ingredient in mothballs.
Difference is mothballs contain 95% of the active ingredient and 5% inert ingredients and only cost $1.00 at any dollar store as opposed to about $7.00 for Snake Away.
If your going to try something that will not work any way why not keep the cost down at least.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:20 PM   #6
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Get a barn cat. Mine is effective against snakes, mice, dogs, and squirrels.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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This afternoon the same (I think) snake was around the corner of the house, near where he was yesterday.

Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think we have mice down here. I've never heard of anyone having them.

I do have a lot of little toads, slugs and millipedes in the yard. Maybe he's eating them?

The city doesn't allow cats outside to roam, so that wouldn't work. He does seem to run away when we see each other (or slither away).

edit: someone told me we do have mice and that bird seed scattered from my feeders would attract the mice. Up in Ohio practically everyone would get mice when cold weather began.

It's just strange I haven't seen him before and now two days in a row.

Last edited by Startingover; 10-12-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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young black snake




Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think we have mice down here. I've never heard of anyone having them.


Everyone has mice,they are universal.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Please live and let live.
As long as you don't harass it (or accidentally step on it) there is no reason you can't co-exist nicely together.
They do more good than harm.

We had a big one (better than five feet!) live in our shed for a couple of years. It kept the mice population down and was a welcome tenant.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
I know they help eat bugs from your garden but I'd prefer not seeing them.

Yesterday after walking barefoot, back and forth on a stone walkway, which hasn't been set into the ground or filled with sand yet, a black snake popped out from between the stones and wiggled away. Now I'm nervous about walking on that path, but it's the only way to the back yard on that side of the house.

I've seen snake deterrent in the pest area at Walmart. Wondered if anyone had any luck with them? I was thinking of pouring a little gas on the sand around that walkway and maybe it won't smell good to the snake and he'll go away?

Last yr I found 2 long snake skins behind a tree at the edge of my property.
Sounds like a young southern black racer to me based on your description of the snake. The good news is that black racers are harmless, nonvenomous and pose no threat to you even if you were to accidentally step on it and get bitten. It would most likely barely break the skin..if that. These snakes are diurnal, mostly active during the day and enjoy sunny warm days. They will actively crawl about on the surface and search out prey. If you ever have the chance to observe the snake, you might see that it will often raise its head "periscope" style and look around..then lower its head and continue to crawl. I have noted this behavior numerous times with racers in the wild. In fact, this is actually how the wives tale that racers will chase you down got started. Racers will NOT chase humans, however they WILL often raise their heads off the ground and crawl slightly towards a person...not to chase but actually just to get a better look at you. To a person that fears snakes this is usually all it takes and they run away thinking the snake is chasing them...lol.

The bad news is that if the snake is in fact a black racer, these snakes are indiscriminate in their dietary preferences. Racers are opportunistic feeders and will consume rodents, small birds, eggs, lizards, other snakes, etc. Why is that bad news? Well with other types of snakes they generally feed on a specific type of prey... like others mentioned you can eliminate their prey and the snakes will usually go away. But with a racer they eat so many different things that makes it difficult.

In my opinion the snake repellents are a waste of money and can only do harm to things you don't want harmed. Other wildlife, plants, your soil, etc. Definitely DO NOT pour gas on the ground! That would not be a good idea for reasons also previously mentioned.

The snake skins that you found could have come from any of your local snakes, they may or may not have come from the small black snake you found. With this in mind, never let the size of a discarded snake skin scare you in regards to its length. When a snake sheds its skin, initially the skin is very moist and elastic. Once the snake rubs on a rock, tree, or other object to get the shedding process started it will then continue to crawl out of its old skin stretching it out as it goes. After the old skin dries out, the elasticity is gone. What this means is that a 2 foot skin found may have come from a 12-14" snake... you just never know. The shed skins are almost always longer than the snake that left them...FYI.

If you have read this far, I have a few other things to mention about snakes on your property. Keep in mind snakes are fairly simple creatures, they don't have alot of demands. Most of them go through life with the following priorities:

1) Food/water
2) Shelter
3) Mate

With the species that are prey specific... rat snakes (mice/birds), garter snakes (worms/amphibians/fish), water snakes (fish/frogs), you can eliminate their food and this will reduce their numbers or maybe even make them all go away. Example, if you had a rat snake "problem" you could do your best to eliminate anything to attract rodents to your property and the snakes would find somewhere else to catch mice.

Shelter is another thing all snakes seek. They don't just lay around in the open all the time. Snakes prefer to hide either at night or during the day or even after feeding..depending on when they are most active. A snake that is active during the day likes to find a nice flat board, piece of metal, a log, rock, etc to get underneath for the night. Vice versa for the night dwelling snakes...during the day they will hide under stuff. Make sure your property doesn't have things like this to give snakes shelter and they will usually move right along. Example, don't have piles of unused roofing metal or plywood boards behind the shed, stacks of old lumber, brushpiles, etc. A clean, well manicured lawn goes a long way in keeping snakes from utilizing your property. Sometimes natural features such as rock piles, creeks/ponds, standing trees with hollowed sections, etc will provide cover for snakes that can't be controlled.

Snakes will also enter your property in search of a mate...however if you have done your best to eliminate/discourage their prey and limit their opportunites for shelter then you should have this one covered...

Thanks for reading my long winded post, as you can tell I'm passionate about snakes...lol.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:15 PM   #11
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goinpostal

thanks. Most interesting was about snake skins stretching.

How did you become so knowledgeable about snakes? The main focus of my yard is for a bird sanctuary and butterflies. I've planted everything known to attracts both.

I have been putting timothy hay around under shrubbery, so that birds can scratch in it hunting for bugs. I've put rounded pc's of clay pots under the shrubs for shelter for some insects and I have a cute toad I named Lois I see every day. I have 4 bird feeders. Everyone is always amazed by the birds in my yard, a dozen cardinals years round, Carolina wrens, great crested flycatchers, blue gray gnatcatchers, mockers, Carolina chickadees, warblers, jays, 2 species of woodpeckers, bobwhite, hummers, finches, robins in winter, thrashers, unfortunately a random hawk altho he's very handsome, and zooming thru, swallowtail kites and chimney swifts in the summer. I haven't had time to put bird houses up but of course wouldn't want a snake eating the eggs. Recently I've had a great horned owl sail over my yard.

I'm learning to walk with my eyes on the ground so I don't step on the snake, but haven't seen him for a few months. (maybe the hawk?).

I was getting ready to hike over in Seminole Co. at Katies Landing and was warned that March and April pygmy rattler babies are all over, so I'm afraid to go there. Once hiking in Ocala alone, heard weeds russling and looked over to see a python so big around I don't know if I could have gotten my hands around it........he headed off it the other direction and I ran.

ps, I do have gophers, in my yard and havent tried to get rid of them, don't know how. Hoping that's what the snake like to eat.

Last edited by Startingover; 01-19-2014 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
thanks. Most interesting was about snake skins stretching.

How did you become so knowledgeable about snakes?
I've caught snakes and other critters since I was a child and have also been keeping/breeding snakes in captivity for almost 20 years. I'm an amateur herpetologist/herpetoculturist and enjoy photographing reptiles and amphibians as well. I've "hunted" snakes throughout most of the southeastern US.... KY, TN, GA, AL, NC, SC, FL, MO, AR, etc, mostly for photographs. Here is a picture of a racer that I took in south GA........



I know about the snake skins and shedding because all of my captive snakes do that on occasion. Sometimes I actually observe them in the process of molting/shedding and remove the old skin from their cages before it has a chance to dry. They are very elastic when fresh but once they dry become somewhat brittle.

Quote:
The main focus of my yard is for a bird sanctuary and butterflies. I've planted everything known to attracts both.

I have been putting timothy hay around under shrubbery, so that birds can scratch in it hunting for bugs. I've put rounded pc's of clay pots under the shrubs for shelter for some insects and I have a cute toad I named Lois I see every day. I have 4 bird feeders. Everyone is always amazed by the birds in my yard, a dozen cardinals years round, Carolina wrens, great crested flycatchers, blue gray gnatcatchers, mockers, Carolina chickadees, warblers, jays, 2 species of woodpeckers, bobwhite, hummers, finches, robins in winter, thrashers, unfortunately a random hawk altho he's very handsome, and zooming thru, swallowtail kites and chimney swifts in the summer. I haven't had time to put bird houses up but of course wouldn't want a snake eating the eggs. Recently I've had a great horned owl sail over my yard.

I'm learning to walk with my eyes on the ground so I don't step on the snake, but haven't seen him for a few months. (maybe the hawk?).
That's quite a list of birds! The hawk could have very well snagged that little snake for you.

You may know this already, but you might be providing cover for small snakes with those pieces of clay pots under your shrubs, fyi. These will be the small snakes that you would probably never see anyway.

If you set up bird houses, the main snake you would have to worry about would be the yellow rat snake. They are superb climbers and would probably not turn down a snack of bird eggs or baby birds. Young yellow rat snakes prefer to eat small lizards (the kind you probably have living in/near your shrubs) but as they grow into adults they develop a taste for rodents and/or birds. They are sometimes called "chicken" snakes in some parts of the country due to their tendency to hang around chicken coops and sometimes partake of the eggs. Here is a link that might be useful if you set up bird houses:

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests...snakegard.html

Quote:
I was getting ready to hike over in Seminole Co. at Katies Landing and was warned that March and April pygmy rattler babies are all over, so I'm afraid to go there. Once hiking in Ocala alone, heard weeds russling and looked over to see a python so big around I don't know if I could have gotten my hands around it........he headed off it the other direction and I ran.
Yes you have to be careful of those pygmy rattlers. While not overly aggressive, they are quite numerous in your neck of the woods and well camouflaged in their native environments. While it is possible to find them at any time of the day, in late spring/early summer I've found them most active in the evenings just before dusk. This time of year they may have a different window of activity based on temperature. Remember warm sunny days would probably elicit more snake activity than a cool, cloudy day....if that helps you plan your hikes.

Quote:
ps, I do have gophers, in my yard and havent tried to get rid of them, don't know how. Hoping that's what the snake like to eat.
Most snakes are not big enough to consume gophers, the exception to that might be a southern pine snake, indigo snake, or perhaps an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. I don't recall if you mentioned that you lived in the city limits somewhere or in a more rural setting....but in most cases the snakes I just mentioned are somewhat rare in heavily populated areas.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:52 PM   #13
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goinpostal,

oops. I called those things in my yard gophers, but they're moles.

Good photo!
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #14
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Great info about snakes--thank you--the picture is superb---

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