Snakes in the yard


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Old 07-29-10, 02:52 PM
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Snakes in the yard

I am hoping to get some help. Can any one tell me how far snake go on there own if not being chased. I am trying to figure out just how many I have. If I am seeing the same one in different places, or I have more then one. When I am ready and looking for them, I don't see any. And when I don't have my shovel it's there. Oh if it is any help, they are just plain garden snakes. But my wife and kids want no part of it. I think even my cat is scared. She spends most of her time inside looking out.
 
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Old 07-29-10, 04:15 PM
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Ed - round them all up and send them my way. A garden snake is one of the best critters you can have in your yard. IMO they are better than a cat in keeping the rodent population in check.

When you mentioned having a shovel I hope you aren't killing them. They're like honeybees. they serve a good purpose. If the wife wants them gone (I can understand that) just pick them up and transport them elsewhere. There is no need to kill them.
 
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Old 07-29-10, 04:30 PM
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Do you have any idea as to the specis of snake? The black snakes in my yard seem to range quite a bit and I often seen them travel 50 yards from one hiding spot to another.
 
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Old 07-29-10, 06:00 PM
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Snakes do pretty much what they want as far as travel; no rules apply. In Pa. the fish commission regulates snakes and they are a good source of info and education. I also would urge you not to kill them; they are beneficial and harmless. Educate yourself and family about them. I know it is hard-snakes evoke a visceral reaction. We live in the Pa woods and have garter, copperhead, black snakes, and rattlers. We don't kill any. Quite honestly we feel privileged when we come across a rattler, be it in our driveway or in the woods. I shooed a copperhead off of our shared lane the other week before others saw it. We don't even tell our neighbors when we see a rattler anymore.

As long as you're sure it is non-poisonous, catch it with gloved hands, put it in a trash can with tight fitting lid and take it for a long walk/ride. Otherwise, if you harass it enough it may leave the area. If you can catch it and calmly present it to your family, they may begin changing their minds and warm up to the idea of no-kill.
 
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Old 07-29-10, 06:03 PM
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Catch and transplant is the easiest way. Place some medium size pieces of plywood on the lawn and flip them over on a warm sunny day. Snakes love the heat and will usually find them in short order. Move the plywood around so it doesn't kill the grass.

Be sure of your identification as even Maine does have poisonous snakes even though they claim not to.

Bud
 
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Old 07-30-10, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PAbugman View Post
Snakes do pretty much what they want as far as travel; no rules apply. In Pa. the fish commission regulates snakes and they are a good source of info and education. I also would urge you not to kill them; they are beneficial and harmless. Educate yourself and family about them. I know it is hard-snakes evoke a visceral reaction. We live in the Pa woods and have garter, copperhead, black snakes, and rattlers. We don't kill any. Quite honestly we feel privileged when we come across a rattler, be it in our driveway or in the woods. I shooed a copperhead off of our shared lane the other week before others saw it. We don't even tell our neighbors when we see a rattler anymore.

As long as you're sure it is non-poisonous, catch it with gloved hands, put it in a trash can with tight fitting lid and take it for a long walk/ride. Otherwise, if you harass it enough it may leave the area. If you can catch it and calmly present it to your family, they may begin changing their minds and warm up to the idea of no-kill.
I am fairly sure they are garden snakes from the picture I have found on the internet. But ask the kids or the wife, and they are like 5 to 10 ft long, and I have heard all different colors. The only thing that even comes close to that around here is a black snake, and I have never seen one here. What do you mean by harassing a snake. I though about putting some mole steaks in my yard. I saw something like them for snakes, but they were over a 100 bucks, mole steaks look the same and around 20 bucks.
 
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Old 07-31-10, 05:43 AM
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I think PAbugman was referring to the Pavlovian response system. An animal, when deterred enough times will cease to remain in the area due to the constant replulsion. Now, WHAT repulsion method works for snakes, I don't know. Most snakes are harmless, but knowing for sure is a plus. Not sure, but the black snakes you refer to are possibly rat snakes. Totally harmless and more beneficial. They actually feast on mice and rats, keeping the population down.
 
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Old 07-31-10, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
I think PAbugman was referring to the Pavlovian response system. An animal, when deterred enough times will cease to remain in the area due to the constant replulsion. Now, WHAT repulsion method works for snakes, I don't know. Most snakes are harmless, but knowing for sure is a plus. Not sure, but the black snakes you refer to are possibly rat snakes. Totally harmless and more beneficial. They actually feast on mice and rats, keeping the population down.
Well I don't know about harmless. The bit won't poison, but it can make you sick. I don't believe I have any black snakes. But I have seen a garden almost 3 ft long. I put some of that powder that is suppose to repeal snakes around my shed, and it didn't work. I went out to the shed one day, and the snake was laying right on top of the powder. The only thing that powder does is make me hungry, it smells like peppermint candy.
 
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Old 08-01-10, 04:01 PM
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I see my chickens fighting over young snakes they pull from the grass. I don't recommend getting chickens if you are in an urban setting, though. My wife throws human hair from brushes, etc. at the opening of the chicken house to keep critters out. Now that works for possums and most of the other 4 legged threats. Not sure on the snakes, but I'm not trying to repel them.
 
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Old 08-02-10, 04:40 AM
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One problem with trying to deter or harass them enough to move away is that many snakes spend very little time out in the open and active so you rarely see them. Depending on the temperature they may go weeks without eating. Once fed they go back into hiding not to reappear for days or weeks.
 
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Old 08-02-10, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
One problem with trying to deter or harass them enough to move away is that many snakes spend very little time out in the open and active so you rarely see them. Depending on the temperature they may go weeks without eating. Once fed they go back into hiding not to reappear for days or weeks.
Is there something they really don't like. I have heard moth balls, but that didn't seem to work. I bought this powder, and I saw a snake lying right on it sunning. I just can't win. The other night it got down in the 40's. I went out early before it got to warm to check under my plywood before it got to warm, nothing. It is like they know when I am looking for them, and they are not there. But go to sit in a lawn chair and they are there.
 

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Old 08-03-10, 08:00 AM
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Edward, Just to give you another option, I have seen snakes accidentally trapped in pits where they could not climb the sides. One was in a window well and others have been in holes with steep dirt sides. My suggestion would be to consider installing some pvc pipe or other smooth surface on the inside material that was deep enough so the critters couldn't reach the top. You could protect the top so small kids can't fall in, but located where the snakes travel, you might just get lucky. Boards could also be used to direct them to the pits.

Sounds like you are getting desperate, so I'm getting inventive .

Bud
 
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Old 08-03-10, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Edward, Just to give you another option, I have seen snakes accidentally trapped in pits where they could not climb the sides. One was in a window well and others have been in holes with steep dirt sides. My suggestion would be to consider installing some pvc pipe or other smooth surface on the inside material that was deep enough so the critters couldn't reach the top. You could protect the top so small kids can't fall in, but located where the snakes travel, you might just get lucky. Boards could also be used to direct them to the pits.

Sounds like you are getting desperate, so I'm getting inventive .

Bud
I'm not really getting desperate, but I am getting tired of hearing about it every day. My daughter when to spend a few snake free weeks with her grandmother in the city. And my wife and son won't go any farther then the drive way. I got a feeling they are living under my deck, which is maybe six inches at it highest point of the ground. And no way to get under it. I can't even jack it up, it is bolted to the back of the house on one side.
 
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Old 08-04-10, 08:27 AM
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Think about lifting some deck boards. Screening will keep snakes out.
 
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Old 08-04-10, 08:50 AM
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You will have to be very thorough if you try sealing your deck. They can fit through some incredibly tiny openings.

How many or how often have you seen snakes in your yard? Is it a real problem or more of a perceived problem?

If the summer is shot now that a snake has been sighted I would not go to the trouble of pulling up deck boards and screening under and around your deck. After doing all the work you will probably have a difficult time changing their perceptions.

If you are truly seeing snakes more often than you would like I would make sure that the lawn stays cut nice and short. Keep all the weeds trimmed around the deck, house and make sure you have no overgrown areas or piles of "stuff". Snakes and their prey/food love nooks & crannies and unkempt areas.
 
 

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