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eldragon
04-04-2006, 11:34 PM
It's springtime in Mississippi, and the snakes are taking over. Up until today, I have been seeing only non-venomous snakes. Racers and Rat Snakes. Last Thursday, I watched a Racer eat a frog. I wanted to help the frog, but it was too late. (He was halfway in.)


A snake has to eat, too.


But, today, I saw not one, but two Copperheads swimming in a pond not 50 yards from our house. They were swimming nearest the house, in a place I walk near everyday. They were probably trying to eat baby fish, as there are fish nests in that same spot.

So, I went and got my husband, and we went back out and watched the snakes. They didn't seem shy, or aggressive. They watched us watch them.

Eventually, we watched them swim away, to the other side of the pond.

All day long, we talked about buying a 20 gauge shotgun, to kill snakes with. For the record, we are both anti-kill sort of people.

We even went to a pawnshop and to Walmart to look at guns, but didn't buy.

When we returned, I walked back out to the pond, and there was a copperhead snake again. This time, he came closer to me, swimming more aggressively than before. Was it my imagination? I don't think so.


So, my husband is on his way back to Walmart to buy an $89 shotgun.

We hate to do it, but Copperheads are venomous. We have kids to think about, and us, and cats and a dog. We have 4 ducks. (They are on a different pond, but still................)


80% of all snakebites happen when someone is trying to move or kill the snake.


Has anyone here had any experience with Copperheads or other venomous snakes?


We have rattlesnakes and Water Moccasins, too.

Joy.

awatkins
04-05-2006, 12:01 AM
Be careful; Copperheads can be aggressive. At least, Alabama Copperheads are.

A few years ago, this fellow I know was climbing into his fishing boat when he was bitten on the arm by a Copperhead. He immediately called for help and was rushed to the hospital (they killed the snake and took it along, too--it was positively identified as a Copperhead). Before they could get this guy stabilized, he almost died twice. He was in the hospital for days and had several surgeries on that arm.

I saw him a few weeks later and his arm still looked horrible. The doctor said not only did he almost lose it, but he was lucky to have use of it. Now, years later, he still has trouble with it--nerve damage, etc.

Now, I'm no snake expert, and I don't know if everyone would suffer such an extreme reaction, but that bite nearly did this guy in. So you be careful out there, Pam. And watch where you're stepping. They can flatten themselves on the ground and be hard to see.

eldragon
04-05-2006, 12:16 AM
Thanks.


So, your recommendation is to kill them, then?

Fern
04-05-2006, 12:41 AM
We have all those types of snakes where I live also. Anytime you have water near you are going to have to be careful of snakes.

Cats will kill snakes. Of course, they are more likely to get the baby ones, which helps in the long run, but doesn't do much for the adult snake problem at present.

Hogs will also kill snakes. Of course, then you have to deal with them being so smelly!

Sprinkle sulphur around areas you are concerned about, such as if you think they might come in your garage door. ..sprinkle it across the door opening. they won't cross it because it burns them is what I've been told. Of course if there is already one in there they won't cross it to get out either.

Also, someone explained how water moccasins carry their babies to me. I'd never heard this but it might be of interest in case you are trying to kill one. A man told me he stopped on the road to kill one once and when he hit it, it spewed babies out of its mouth. He thought they'd never quit coming out. Of course, babies are poisonous too, just not as much venom as Mom would have. You can imagine how startling it would be to think you had one snake to deal with, then suddenly, they are everywhere.
:Jaw:

Sheryl Nantus
04-05-2006, 12:49 AM
I'm climbing up on my chair.

right now.

eewwww...

awatkins
04-05-2006, 01:55 AM
Thanks.

So, your recommendation is to kill them, then?

You can give Fern's suggestions a try; do whatever you feel is necessary to protect your family and pets.

We have all kinds of snakes here and many are venomous. I'm not a big snake fan, but they do keep down the rat and mice population.

eldragon
04-05-2006, 02:18 AM
Well, I went out to the back pond again, and a snake was swimming right by.

About then, my husband pulled up with a gun.

He went around the back side of the pond, while I searched the front, and saw a snake, shot and killed it.

It wasn't a poisonous snake. The head was blown clear off, but it was solid black, with a yellow belly.

I saw two snakes today, one was black, and one was reddish and banded. The reddish, banded one is the copperhead, and not the one he killed.

So, my softy husband is upset about killing the snake, and now, refuses to shoot anymore.

I have never handled a gun before, and I am not eager to start now. But, I don't want venomous snakes around.

Most snakes aren't harmful to humans. When you have a gun in hand and you see a snake, you don't have time to compare pictures. Now, we don't know what to do.


Anyone want to buy a gun?

Fern
04-05-2006, 02:43 AM
I didn't know copperheads were banded. I usually look for the short stubby tail. Where are the bands so I'll know to look next time I see one?

If you have trouble identifying some that you've seen, go to a snake page on the internet and look up pictures so you will recognize them easier when time is of the essence.

Tell hubby not to feel so badly. I did the same thing once except the snake was in the yard where my kids played. All I could think was "water moccasin" because it was black and turned out it was just a black snake. I felt badly, but in my case, even if they aren't poisonous they could very well cause a heart attack. :D They just don't need to be hanging around too close.

cw37066
04-05-2006, 02:47 AM
it spewed babies out of its mouth. He thought they'd never quit coming out. Of course, babies are poisonous too, just not as much venom as Mom would have. You can imagine how startling it would be to think you had one snake to deal with, then suddenly, they are everywhere.


ACCCCKKKK climbing onto my chair and not going to bed tonight!

eldragon
04-05-2006, 03:12 AM
I didn't know copperheads were banded. I usually look for the short stubby tail. Where are the bands so I'll know to look next time I see one?


Well, they have darker colored, orangish bands and markings. I say,"markings," because, depending on their age, their pattern varies.

Copperheads aren't short and stubby, moccasins are.

Moccasins look like slugs. Black, stubby and short. And, when they open their mouths, it's white as cotton. Hence...........


Moccasins are aggressive, and copperheads aren't supposed to be. The problem is, they blend in so well, they are often stepped on, and then they bite.

I'm sure one snake I saw today, in the water, was banded. I am used to seeing the black snakes, and know they aren't harmful.

Fern
04-05-2006, 03:30 AM
Thanks for explaining. I don't know what the heck I've been calling copperheads then! :D I've been off looking at snake pages and found one where it said juvenile cottonmouths are often mistaken for copperheads so maybe thats what I was doing.

eldragon
04-05-2006, 04:11 AM
found one where it said juvenile cottonmouths are often mistaken for copperheads so maybe thats what I was doing.

__________________

I read the same page today.

Thank goodness for the internet!

GHF65
04-05-2006, 04:16 PM
ACK!

When I saw this topic I thought, "Oh, cool! A nice chat about snakes. I like snakes, so this will be fun!"

ACK!

Not fun. Kill them. We have sweet garter snakes and lively black racers, and they keep the barn mouse population at bay. They are nice snakes.

There are BAD snakes not far from here, but they stay home. If they didn't, I'd probably move.

You could move.

You could fill the pond with concrete and call it a roller rink.

Is there a snake whisperer you can call? Herpeterminator?

CW, stop pushing! That lump on your chair is me, and you're taking up way too much space. If my toe hits the floor and I get snakebit, it'll be on your head!

eldragon
04-05-2006, 04:25 PM
You could move.

You could fill the pond with concrete and call it a roller rink.

Is there a snake whisperer you can call? Herpeterminator?



I don't want to move. Not yet, anyway.

We have TWO ponds in our yard. We have 5 acres, and half of it is two ponds. They are fabulous, but FULL Of snakes. The funny thing is: we spent weeks clearing paths and cleaning bushes and brush, so that we wouldn't have this huge problem now. It helped, but obviously not much.

We bought this place as a repo, and when the realtor cleared up the land for the bank before the sale, they killed about 10 rattlesnakes in our yard.

What is it about snakes that get people going so much? I mean, my heart races, I'm lightheaded, out of breath. It's very weird.

allenparker
04-05-2006, 05:26 PM
Buy yourself a cuple of large king snakes and black snakes. The venomous population will drop dramatically.

The shotgun method works on the first generation, but you have to keep killing them. The king snake will simply make a meal of them.

awp

eldragon
04-05-2006, 06:29 PM
Buy yourself a cuple of large king snakes and black snakes.


Where do they sell them at?

And, do you just let them go?

DaveKuzminski
04-05-2006, 08:52 PM
No, you put them on a leash and walk around the pond.

Yes, you'd have to turn them loose since the other snakes aren't going to crawl up to your door and ask if the king snake is in and can they be dinner. ;)

BlueBadger
04-05-2006, 09:44 PM
My husband's kind of soft-hearted ... he hates hurting anything, and he takes it much harder than me when a pet dies. But he'll kill snakes. He grew up in North Carolina where you get the copperheads and cottonmouths, and he was taught at an early age to get them before they get you.

He lives up in southern Ontario with me now, and we don't have any venomous snakes aside from some small rattlers in cottage country. When I was a kid, I ran around and grabbed garter and grass snakes and still will if I can find them, but he's squeamish of all snakes now.

Yeah, when you have kids, pets, etc, you can't really take a chance. It's sad, but their safety is first. It's not that snakes are always aggressive (talking about the small rattlers around here, I had a friend who would fish off a pier and the same rattlesnake would curl up in her shadow every day and go to sleep), and in fact, they'd rather not waste their venom on humans. But for those handful that are bold and aggressive, some things have to be done.

The king snake / black snake idea is an awesome one. :D

GHF65
04-06-2006, 05:22 PM
No, you put them on a leash and walk around the pond.



Dave you are a man after my own heart. That sounds like something I would say. :D

Vomaxx
04-10-2006, 07:08 AM
Also, someone explained how water moccasins carry their babies to me.

I think "to me" should have come after "explained". At least I hope so--I'm sorry if water moccasins are carrying their babies to you. :)

-----------------

Jamesaritchie
04-10-2006, 08:33 AM
Leave the snakes alone, and they'll leave you alone. Snakes do not like people, and even poisonous snakes are highly beneficial. If you have mossasins, just stay out of the water. Copperheads really aren't much of a threat. I lived around them most of my life, and even a bite is almost never fatal, even without treatment.

The main things with snakes is to learn not to be afraid of them. Keep the high grass cut as much as possible, stay free of brush, and snakes shouldn't be a problem.

Your ponds should have snalkes in them. It's a sign of a healthy pond. You have the place where you live, so let the snakes have a place to live, too.
Fear of snakes is a far larger problem than any number of snakes.

Fern
04-10-2006, 05:38 PM
I think "to me" should have come after "explained". At least I hope so--I'm sorry if water moccasins are carrying their babies to you. :)

-----------------

:ROFL: I guess that's why that "preview" button is available. . .the one I, obviously, never use.

Jamesaritchie, I certainly agree with your comment about fear of snakes being the biggest problem. People just seem to have an automatic aversion to them (me included).

kristie911
04-11-2006, 08:36 AM
I am terrifed of snakes...just reading this thread has given me a creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I've been known to hyperventilate until I nearly pass out just from seeing a snake in the yard. You don't even want to know what happens if I accidently get close to one! Tears flow, screaming starts...it's not a pretty sight. I hate them. I could never live in a place that had an abundance of snakes. I say shoot them!

eldragon
04-17-2006, 04:36 AM
wow! I was just walking by one of our ponds and thought that somehow a dog leash had been moved, but looking closer, it was an adult buttermilk racer snake. Here's a photo:
http://www.agfc.com/critters/gallery/snakes/easternracer_big.jpg


The snake I saw was a good 5 foot long, and beautiful - black with white polka dots, actually.

I called my husband and daughter to come see it.

Last night, I was walking on the other side of the same pond when a glimpsed a very thick gray/black snake slithering quickly into the water. The interesting thing that happened next was that, to my left, was a black Southern racer snake, who I know is non-venomous. He was much smaller than the larger snake, but he appeared to be going after him. I love watching racers swim, and watched him until he figured out I was there, then he dipped under the water until only his head was out.

The big snake, I at first thought might be a water moccasin. But, he moved so fast, and water moccasins are supposed to be slow, and stand their ground. So, maybe he was something else.


Anyway, as often as I see snakes, it still surprises me! I'm really trying to learn the different types of snakes, so that we don't have to kill any needlessly.

Anyway, this buttermilk racer was beautiful!

BTW the photo is from the ARKANSAS state website. I couldn't have ran back to get my camera in time.

eldragon
04-17-2006, 04:57 AM
Actually, it was a speckled kingsnake, which is GREAT - because they eat cottonmouths, among other things.


http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/images/snakes/speckled_kingsnake_S.jpg (http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/images/snakes/speckled_kingsnake.jpg)

DaveKuzminski
04-17-2006, 05:10 AM
Hey, that's my snake. Tell him to get back over here and put his leash back on. It's time for his walk around the ponds here. ;)

eldragon
04-17-2006, 06:50 AM
Hey, that's my snake. Tell him to get back over here and put his leash back on. It's time for his walk around the ponds here.


Yeah! SEE? They ARE HERE ALREADY!


And what a beauty he was.


I'm just trying to educate myself about the types of snakes, and actually, they are very beautiful.

That one gun and bullets .........killed one snake that was harmless. It upset by husband and turned out to be a mistake.


As with an situation, we won't have the gun if we need it anyway. I walk around one pond several times a day, and the other pond at least every evening. I have trimmed a good, wide path around both, and constantly maintain them.

Like when I saw that snake tonight - he was stretched right across my path. He didn't move at all until I called for my daughter and husband to come look, then he slowly crawled a foot or so off. By the time they got there, he was moving slowly, but didn't seem to be afraid.

He was a spectacular snake.

Jamesaritchie
04-17-2006, 02:13 PM
Yeah! SEE? They ARE HERE ALREADY!


And what a beauty he was.


I'm just trying to educate myself about the types of snakes, and actually, they are very beautiful.

That one gun and bullets .........killed one snake that was harmless. It upset by husband and turned out to be a mistake.


As with an situation, we won't have the gun if we need it anyway. I walk around one pond several times a day, and the other pond at least every evening. I have trimmed a good, wide path around both, and constantly maintain them.

Like when I saw that snake tonight - he was stretched right across my path. He didn't move at all until I called for my daughter and husband to come look, then he slowly crawled a foot or so off. By the time they got there, he was moving slowly, but didn't seem to be afraid.

He was a spectacular snake.



Sounds like that snake had just eaten. After swalling something of any size, snakes are a lot like people. . .all they want to do is lie in the sun, sleep, and be left alone. Moving fast is the last thing they want to do, or can do.

Jamesaritchie
04-17-2006, 02:17 PM
I am terrifed of snakes...just reading this thread has given me a creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I've been known to hyperventilate until I nearly pass out just from seeing a snake in the yard. You don't even want to know what happens if I accidently get close to one! Tears flow, screaming starts...it's not a pretty sight. I hate them. I could never live in a place that had an abundance of snakes. I say shoot them!

Ah, you'd get used to snakes pretty fast, if you had to deal with them often enough. Snakes also make great pets. You just need to handle a few. Have you ever held a snake? They don't feel anything like most people think they will.

Snakes are one of the most beneficial critters in nature.

Jamesaritchie
04-17-2006, 02:21 PM
wow! I was just walking by one of our ponds and thought that somehow a dog leash had been moved, but looking closer, it was an adult buttermilk racer snake. Here's a photo:
http://www.agfc.com/critters/gallery/snakes/easternracer_big.jpg


The snake I saw was a good 5 foot long, and beautiful - black with white polka dots, actually.

I called my husband and daughter to come see it.

Last night, I was walking on the other side of the same pond when a glimpsed a very thick gray/black snake slithering quickly into the water. The interesting thing that happened next was that, to my left, was a black Southern racer snake, who I know is non-venomous. He was much smaller than the larger snake, but he appeared to be going after him. I love watching racers swim, and watched him until he figured out I was there, then he dipped under the water until only his head was out.

The big snake, I at first thought might be a water moccasin. But, he moved so fast, and water moccasins are supposed to be slow, and stand their ground. So, maybe he was something else.


Anyway, as often as I see snakes, it still surprises me! I'm really trying to learn the different types of snakes, so that we don't have to kill any needlessly.

Anyway, this buttermilk racer was beautiful!

BTW the photo is from the ARKANSAS state website. I couldn't have ran back to get my camera in time.



Are you sure the big snake wasn't a common water snake? They're completely harmless, but are often mistaken for moccasins. They're very good climbers, and often get high in trees that overhang water. They can scare the bejebbers out of you when they drop from a tree and land in the water right next to you. . .or even land on your shoulders, but they are harmless.

Sometimes I think they drop out of trees as a joke. A friend of mine had two drop on him, both about five feet long. I've never heard a grown man scream quite so shrilly. My guess is those snakes are still telling the story and laughing about it.

eldragon
04-17-2006, 03:27 PM
Are you sure the big snake wasn't a common water snake?

No, I didn't see it very well, and couldn't see its head at all. I only saw that it was fast, thick, and an ugly gray black.

It would be wishful thinking for me not to consider water moccasins, though. We have them here in Mississippi. We have only been here since October (in this house in the country) and have seen one crossing the road about 100 yards from here. My husband insisted on stopping the car to look at it, and it opened its mouth wide - with that white mouth.

We let it be.

And, there are rattlesnakes here, and copperheads. We have seen both, once each.

It's amazing how much less frightening snakes are when you see the entire body and head. When I can identify a snake, it makes me feel much better.

Jamesaritchie
04-17-2006, 05:34 PM
No, I didn't see it very well, and couldn't see its head at all. I only saw that it was fast, thick, and an ugly gray black.

It would be wishful thinking for me not to consider water moccasins, though. We have them here in Mississippi. We have only been here since October (in this house in the country) and have seen one crossing the road about 100 yards from here. My husband insisted on stopping the car to look at it, and it opened its mouth wide - with that white mouth.

We let it be.

And, there are rattlesnakes here, and copperheads. We have seen both, once each.

It's amazing how much less frightening snakes are when you see the entire body and head. When I can identify a snake, it makes me feel much better.



That sure sounds like a water snake. I live in Indiana, and poisonous snakes are rare. We have the Timber Rattlesnake, but they're so timed even hikers and campers can go a lifetime without seeing one. But they do get over five feet in length, and are thinck bodied, so when you do see one, you know it.

We also have the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, but it only gets up to abouttwo and a half feet, and is also pretty timid. Three counties have a healthy supply of cottonmouths, and the southern part of teh state has the western copperhead, and that's about it. I've seen polls showing that better than eight percent of the population doesn't even realize there are poisonous snakes in the state.

Our copperheads are almost red, and are probably the easiest snake in the state to identify.

We do have about twenty-seven species of non-poisonous snakes, so it is pretty easy to find snakes of some sort to admire. The black rat snake and the bullsnake both get up to six feet or better, and can put a nasty bite on a person. I've been bit by both, and it hurt.

The prettiest snake we have is probably either the Smooth Green Snake, or the Northern Scarlet Snake. I like the green snake. It's really beautiful.

The black rat snake also imitates a rattlesnake by coiling up next to a dry weed or piece of brush and shaking its tail against it. Sounds just like a rattlesnake, and can give you a good scare. Tell me snakes don't have a sense of humor.

eldragon
04-17-2006, 05:48 PM
I've been bit by both, and it hurt.

How did you manage that?

DaveKuzminski
04-17-2006, 06:42 PM
How did you manage that?Pretending to be dinner? ;)

Jamesaritchie
04-17-2006, 08:30 PM
How did you manage that?


By getting careless. I used to catch dozens of snakes per year, sometimes more. The non-poisonous snakes were relocated away from people's yards, or sometimes from inside their cars or homes. Many of the poisonous snakes were milked to make anti-venom.

The bullsnake bit me while someone else was holding it. I got my forearm a little too close to the danger zone while taking the snake from him, and it proved to be a little faster than I was. Bullsnakes are usually very gentle snakes, usually don't mind being handled, and make wonderful pets. Many are so placid you couldn't make them bite you. But this one was wild, had just been caught, and decided to bite me. This is not typical behavior for a bullsnake. They really do make good pets.

The black rat snake bit me because I simply didn't see it and put my hand right down next to it while picking mushrooms. I was just happy it wasn't a copperhead or a timber rattler. Both the snakes that bit me were very large snakes, and this, too, is a bit unusual.

I've been bitten several times by small snakes, but the bites didn't even really hurt, and often don't even break the skin with a really small snake. But those two big snakes really left some serious holes. The bullsnake was at least six feet, and it did hurt. But it never even tried to bite us after that one time. Probably hated the way I tasted, and bullsnakes are constrictors.

I'm a good deal more careful with poisonous snakes, though I've come close to being bitten several times while catching them. It's usually the ones you don't see that get you, and cottonmouths can sneak up on you, if you're in the water. I love swamps dearly, but it's awfully easy to get in trouble when you have to go in the water for one reason or another.

BlueBadger
04-18-2006, 03:58 AM
Is there any truth to the theory that female snakes sometimes become more aggresive towards female humans when they're pregnant? I've heard a few accounts from women (usually in tropical countries) who had snakes act more aggresive towards them when they were carrying a baby, and I think I read something in the affirmative.

Curious. :D

Jamesaritchie
04-18-2006, 04:06 AM
Is there any truth to the theory that female snakes sometimes become more aggresive towards female humans when they're pregnant? I've heard a few accounts from women (usually in tropical countries) who had snakes act more aggresive towards them when they were carrying a baby, and I think I read something in the affirmative.

Curious. :D



I've heard somewhat similar tales, but I have no idea whether they're true. I'll try looking into it. I know a couple of snake experts, but I can't say if their expertise covers tropical snakes and such tales.

Prosthetic Foreheads
04-19-2006, 04:23 AM
It's interesting that I happened upon this thread. My best friend is about to graduate with his associates degree in zoology. Reptiles are his specialty and he's on a serious snake kick right now. Seriously, he's obsessed with them. He goes out in woods and swamps with golf clubs and sticks to try and catch them. His mom was recently staying with him and he really pissed her off because he went out to "find a copperhead." He had to settle for a cottonmouth (water mocassin). He brought it back and now has it in his apartment in an old fish aquarium. Yes, he knows they're one of the most venomous North American snakes. Last night, he even told me he's been having dreams about it getting loose in his apartment. This same person is terrified of spiders. Go figure.

Prosthetic Foreheads
04-19-2006, 04:25 AM
By getting careless. I used to catch dozens of snakes per year, sometimes more. The non-poisonous snakes were relocated away from people's yards, or sometimes from inside their cars or homes. Many of the poisonous snakes were milked to make anti-venom.

The bullsnake bit me while someone else was holding it. I got my forearm a little too close to the danger zone while taking the snake from him, and it proved to be a little faster than I was. Bullsnakes are usually very gentle snakes, usually don't mind being handled, and make wonderful pets. Many are so placid you couldn't make them bite you. But this one was wild, had just been caught, and decided to bite me. This is not typical behavior for a bullsnake. They really do make good pets.

The black rat snake bit me because I simply didn't see it and put my hand right down next to it while picking mushrooms. I was just happy it wasn't a copperhead or a timber rattler. Both the snakes that bit me were very large snakes, and this, too, is a bit unusual.

I've been bitten several times by small snakes, but the bites didn't even really hurt, and often don't even break the skin with a really small snake. But those two big snakes really left some serious holes. The bullsnake was at least six feet, and it did hurt. But it never even tried to bite us after that one time. Probably hated the way I tasted, and bullsnakes are constrictors.

I'm a good deal more careful with poisonous snakes, though I've come close to being bitten several times while catching them. It's usually the ones you don't see that get you, and cottonmouths can sneak up on you, if you're in the water. I love swamps dearly, but it's awfully easy to get in trouble when you have to go in the water for one reason or another.

My friend works at a zoo and an anaconda nearly took a chunk out of his hand a couple of months ago. Those things have some crazy long fangs.

Anya Smith
04-19-2006, 05:06 AM
I like snakes, so I'd say don't kill them. But, stay away from the coppermouths and the other venomous ones. They usually don't bother humans unless they feel threatened.

eldragon
04-19-2006, 05:12 AM
It's interesting that I happened upon this thread. My best friend is about to graduate with his associates degree in zoology. Reptiles are his specialty and he's on a serious snake kick right now. Seriously, he's obsessed with them. He goes out in woods and swamps with golf clubs and sticks to try and catch them. His mom was recently staying with him and he really pissed her off because he went out to "find a copperhead." He had to settle for a cottonmouth (water mocassin). He brought it back and now has it in his apartment in an old fish aquarium. Yes, he knows they're one of the most venomous North American snakes. Last night, he even told me he's been having dreams about it getting loose in his apartment. This same person is terrified of spiders. Go figure.


I understand the obsession. (A little bit).

I'm so jumpy when I walk around my ponds, every little thing makes me jump a foot in the air. A frog, a bird, whatever. Still .........I enjoy nature.

I had to take our pet rat to a vet today, and he specializes in exotics. He also loves snakes, and has 4 or 5 large ones at the clinic. (In back).


He says they are the most fascinating creatures on earth. Perhaps they are. I'm still learning. But when I see one I know isn't venomous, like that tremendously beautiful speckled king snake I saw the other night: I admire it until it decides to leave.

eldragon
05-05-2006, 03:51 AM
I saw my first cottonmouth today. About an hour ago.

I was walking between both ponds, and there is an alcove I regularly walk down to the water at. I was thinking to myself "funny - usually something like a turtle or a frog hops in the water when I come here."

Thank goodness I didn't get any closer to the water before I saw the largest freakin snake I have ever seen ...............sitting semi-coiled in the water, right by the edge. His head was out of the water - and shaped exactly like an Indian arrowhead. VERY pronounced rectangular shaped head. He was THICK THICK THICK ..............with a pattern almost like a diamondback rattlesnake. He made the rest of these snakes I've seen look like TOYS. I only stood there a moment or two, then backed up and ran to the house to get my husband so he could see it. He grabbed his camera, and we ran out, but the snake was gone.

I looked on snake websites, and 100% - he was an adult cottonmouth.

Wow! It made me laugh. All this time, we see baby snakes and wonder "hmm......is his head rectangular?" or we see water snakes and try to decide if his head is rectangular. but when I saw one ............it was obvious. He was HIDEOUS!!!!!!!!!

awatkins
05-05-2006, 04:10 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Pat~
05-05-2006, 04:22 AM
Snakes also make great pets. You just need to handle a few.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j240/pb10220/snake.jpg

eldragon
05-05-2006, 05:26 AM
I REALLY hope that picture is enlarged.



Please say it is.

Pat~
05-05-2006, 05:32 AM
There was this farmer in Australia who couldn't figure out why his pigs kept 'disappearing.' So he ran some fencing around, and this is what he discovered the next day...

It's a big picture, but it was a giant snake.

eldragon
05-05-2006, 06:25 AM
WHAT?


Australia sure does have some big uns.

Alien Enigma
05-05-2006, 11:37 AM
To get rid of the snake population, you should place moth balls in your yard. You could do the whole border line of your property if you wanted. That should get rid of the snakes.


I read it once in an almanac, and it seemed to have worked for me when I've done it.


Jeffery S. Miller
www.freewebs.com/jefferysmiller

Alien Enigma
05-05-2006, 11:38 AM
I'll dream about snakes now, since I just saw that picture. :)

awatkins
05-05-2006, 06:53 PM
I feel faint......

skyewatcher
08-15-2006, 09:27 PM
I just found your articles on here. I also this morning recieved terrible news about my family's dog. they let him out for less than 5 minutes and when he didn't return 10 minutes later they found him already dead and stiff by the pump house where he was killed instantly by a snake. We don't know what kind of snake it was, but they have a pond in the back of the stables where they have many horses and other animals on their property here in the panhandle area of florida.
I hate snakes personally but know that all snakes are not bad. But when it comes to venomous creatures like moccasins etc. I am ready to drop a bomb on all of them!

I am really scared my lil cousin and her baby brother and other members of my family are now threatened by them cause their are so many of them right now and they are right now in mating season.

I have thought of putting sulphur all around the property for them to keep them away, dont have any personal experience with that but am wondering if that works at all.
Next was wondering about taking tree stump explosives tying a bunch of them together and blow up the pond.

anyone got any ideas?

Thanks
Skye

alleycat
08-15-2006, 09:30 PM
The best thing to do is talk to some experts in your area.

eldragon
08-15-2006, 09:50 PM
How do you know for certain that he died from a snakebite?

Just curious, because there are many culprits in our neck of the woods.

Bees, for one. Yellow jackets swarm and kill pets and people, way more often then snakes.

What kind of dog was it? Was there physical evidence that he had been bitten?

awatkins
08-15-2006, 10:49 PM
I'm very sorry about your dog, Skye. But I'm curious about the timeline; in my experience, it takes longer than that for a dog to succumb to a snake bite (and many survive). Was the dog already sick? Or was it a really tiny dog? I'm wondering if maybe something else didn't happen to it.

Anyway, my sympathies on the loss of your dog. That's always painful.

johnnysannie
08-15-2006, 11:01 PM
Copperheads blend well with their mottled colors, especially with dry leaves on the ground. We have a large number of these in the Ozarks and although I leave most snakes alone, I kill copperheads. I have small kids and pets. Adults get bitten too - both the best man and matron of honor from my wedding (a couple) were bitten by copperheads in the same year, different incidents. Copperhead bites are not usually fatal but they can have some serious after effects.


Copperheads - in my experience - are more aggressive than many other snakes, even rattles. I grew up in northern Missouri where there are more rattlesnakes but they seldom were a problem as long as they were left alone.
I have seen copperheads cross between two people on a path and then coil to strike at the next. September - when the days are still hot, the nights cooler - is one of the worst months here for copperheads.

eldragon
08-15-2006, 11:48 PM
Interesting, because everything I read about Copperheads says they aren't aggressive.

We saw one Copperhead coiled up by our back pond last August. Actually, it wasn't our back pond yet, we were here doing an inspection. I almost stepped on the snake, and while he was looking at us, he never made a move.


Cottonmouths ..........on the other hand, YUCK! Check further upthread for pictures of the one we killed some months ago. Funny thing was, that was the last venomous snake we saw here. I've seen some harmless water snakes, though.

And, unfortunately - the huge wooded lot across the street from us was bought up by some billionaire investor from Florida. He just closed this week and already the bulldozers have cleaned up several acres of trees. They are building a lake and an upscale housing development.


Anyway - we often saw rattlesnakes and cottonmouths coming out of that area, because there is a creek running through - and they like to come up and sit on the warm paved road.

I wonder where the snakes are moving to?

eldragon
08-25-2006, 01:11 AM
Right on my front porch - an adult black KING SNAKE!

I wanted my husband to see it, but the snake slithered under the house.

I guess he was looking for a cool place.

King snakes are Awesome!

MidnightMuse
08-25-2006, 01:18 AM
Yikes! They're, like, dangerous, aren't they? I mean sure, impressive to look at, but . . . ?

awatkins
08-25-2006, 01:42 AM
A king snake will be good to have around, Pam. Maybe he'll keep away those rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Have you seen any of those lately?

eldragon
08-25-2006, 01:48 AM
A king snake will be good to have around, Pam. Maybe he'll keep away those rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Have you seen any of those lately?

Nope. We've never seen a rattlesnake on our property, and have seen 2 cottonmouths in the past year, (one we killed) and one copperhead.


Kingsnakes kill venomous snakes and do not have a reaction to copperhead, cottonmouth or rattlesnake venom.

The huge property across the street from us recently sold to a billionaire real estate investor, and they are mowing it down to build a lake for a high end housing development.

I am thinking there must be alot of snakes across the street, as we have seen all kinds : rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and corn snakes (recently) coming out of those woods to warm up on the paved road.

I don't know how the snakes will like having their land disapear, but the development is happening fast.

I'm sure other animals are unhappy about it, too.

If that beautiful kingsnake I saw today wants to live under our front porch, he's certainly welcome!

eldragon
08-25-2006, 01:49 AM
Yikes! They're, like, dangerous, aren't they? I mean sure, impressive to look at, but . . . ?


No, actually a kingsnake makes an excellent pet for a beginner. They are constrictors and eat rodents, baby birds and other snakes, including venomous ones.

They are wonderful snakes to see on your property!

MidnightMuse
08-25-2006, 01:52 AM
Oh, okay cool! I know little of snakes aside from the usual Boa's and such.

Perhaps he's taken up residence under your house, and he'll show up again and not be camera shy !

eldragon
08-25-2006, 01:56 AM
That would be great!


He was about 4 foot long - shiny black with a yellowish underbelly. Pretty thick, too, but definitely not a cottonmouth.

He's the second we've seen in the past year, the other was a speckled kingsnake.

MidnightMuse
08-25-2006, 02:00 AM
Ooh, he sounds 'purdy :D

eldragon
11-07-2006, 06:40 AM
I saw a huge snake in our yard today, odd - considering it's November!

Actually, I was feeding the ducks and my dogs and noticed that one of our cats (a weirdo named Grace who lives by one of our ponds and only comes for dinner,) was staring at something in the grass. I assumed it was a mole or something.
On my way back from feeding the dogs - I saw a long black snake in the grass! It was good-sized - probably about 2 1/2 feet long and shiny gray/black. He didn't move, which was odd, because they usually scurry off.

So I ran in to get my husband so he could see it - and it sat up in a position like it wanted to strike us - so we kept our distance and watched him from about 5 feet away - to try to decide what kind he was. My husband thought it was a cottonmouth - because the snake wasn't scared at all - and his head was fairly pointy. But I figured it was something else, because his body was long and fairly thin. Cottonmouths are more short and fat.

I surmised that the snake wasn't running because the weather is cool and he's probably sluggish. We kept the cats away from him and he finally started to crawl off - back into the woods. We went inside.

I think we decided it was a rat snake. I guess they do bite, and have a fairly bad personality - but are not venomous.

We never thought about killing it. Even if it had been a cottonmouth we would have tried to get the pets away and gave it a chance to go someplace else.

I dug up a similar snake in my compost pile about 2 weeks ago. It was alot smaller, though.

Gary
11-07-2006, 08:18 PM
Two weeks ago, I killed a 15" copperhead inside our house. It must have come in through the dog door and crawled right past my wife, who was watching TV. That's the 4th one I've killed in the 9 years we've lived here. I leave them alone in the woods behind us, but when they come near the house, they are toast.

eldragon
11-07-2006, 08:28 PM
WHOA. I guess so.

awatkins
11-07-2006, 08:30 PM
:faints dead away:

frogponder
11-10-2006, 06:40 AM
Hi, new here! Was directed over from introductions.
I've done a bunch of writing about wildlife in, and around,
the pond. I'm pretty tolerant of it all. I do have one
spectacular failure... (from my blog)

A Snake Story

In an effort at full disclosure I should include one of my failures to deal effectively with wildlife in suburbia. This incident happened before we dug our ponds.
One fine day I was hauling a full basket of laundry down the stairs to laundry room when I saw, what looked like, a young rattlesnake slither down the hallway on his way to the family room. It had a spade shaped head, was about 15 inches long, a thick body and had a smile on its face, I swear. I stopped on the stairs, screamed something akin to bloody murder and hurled the laundry basket at it. Then I ran up the stairs and grabbed the phone.
I called my neighbor, sent my three young children to her house and she sent her husband to my house armed with a golf club. We searched the scattered laundry, we searched the family room, we searched every room downstairs. The snake was nowhere to be found.
I called the police.
They suggested I call my husband.
I called my husband home from work. He upended every piece of furniture in the family room, moved bookshelves, duct taped doors closed, went through every toy bucket. No snake.
We sent the family beagle into the room, she sniffed, she investigated, she ate up stray animal crackers, she chewed up a dirty sock. No snake.
I called a snake fancier's club in town. They suggested a damp piece of burlap on the floor during the night and then approach with caution the next morning. Caution, eh? So we went to the fabric store, bought real burlap, soaked it, laid it out all night, approached it with extreme caution the next day. No snake.
I went to the pet store, bought a sacrificial gerbil, put it in a glass aquarium, trained the video camera on it, filmed the poor thing all night. Watched 12 hours of bored gerbil on video tape at fast speed the next morning. No snake. Felt sorry for the gerbil. Bought it $50 worth of fancy gerbil habitat and gerbil treats and gave the gerbil to the kid down the street.
Where the damn snake sent we've never found out. No snake, no shed snake skin, no dried up snake corpse. The children are all teenagers now and one of them has his rock band practice in that family room. I think we can safely declare that the snake is gone.

johnnysannie
11-10-2006, 05:11 PM
[QUOTE=Gary]Two weeks ago, I killed a 15" copperhead inside our house. It must have come in through the dog door and crawled right past my wife, who was watching TV. That's the 4th one I've killed in the 9 years we've lived here. I leave them alone in the woods behind us, but when they come near the house, they are toast.[/QUOT

The toast plan is in effect at my house - in the woods - too!

Susie
11-10-2006, 08:55 PM
Gee, sure sorry about your dog, Skye. Maybe you can search google about what to do to protect your family. Much good luck everybody.

eldragon
11-11-2006, 07:16 PM
frogponder :I love that story!
Especially the part about buying all the gerbil stuff.


I had some neighbor kids come get me a few years back, because they had a snake in their house.

(Their parents were at work.....)

The girls were hysterical.

They were sure they had locked the thing in their bathroom, but I couldn't find it nor a way it could have gotten out.

I was sure it would have been a harmless garden snake, from where we lived at the time.

But now that we're in the country - where rattlers, copperheads and cottonmouths abound, we can never be too careful.

However, I LOVE seeing a beneficial snake!

aliajohnson
11-18-2006, 08:27 PM
Snakes do not like people, and even poisonous snakes are highly beneficial. If you have mossasins, just stay out of the water. Copperheads really aren't much of a threat. I lived around them most of my life, and even a bite is almost never fatal, even without treatment.

I agree with a lot of what you're saying James, but staying out of the water is not the greatest advice. Moccassins do, in fact, come out. Plenty. They just love getting into the trees, the garden, the pump house, and just around in general.
It is true, though, that the odds of someone dying from a copperhead bite are almost, if not completely, nonexistant. They're North America's least venomous snake--by far. I'd rather be bitten by one of those than a Brown recluse.
That having been said, we've killed two moccassins and seven copperheads in my parents new yard (on a hobby farm). There are toddlers here regularly, and we're just not taking the chance.
We're also catching king and black snakes and setting them loose here.
It really is the best thing to do in the long run. In the seven years my parents lived on their last property, I saw but one copperhead (he was being eaten by another, smaller snake.) There was a very healthy black snake population, though, and the largest King snake I've ever seen in my life. He was like a freaking anaconda. HUGE. Beautiful. And no doubt the reason we never had problems with anything venomous.

eldragon
07-04-2007, 06:00 PM
Reving this old thread because of what happened to me yesterday:


I stopped at the post office on my way to school, and there was a commotion gong on.

Two people, a woman from the college and a man driving a uniform truck, were standing by the front door, yelling wildly. There was a snake crawling by. They were yelling "Get Dennis! He needs to kill this snake!"

I immediately noticed that it was a speckled kingsnake - a beautiful, beneficial, harmless snake. I explained to the people that it was a good snake, and actually showed them how to tell that the snake wasn't venomous.

Meanwhile, Dennis, the postmaster - was out back - KILLING ANOTHER SNAKE!

I escorted the kingsnake to the woods, and then went inside to wait for Dennis. I asked him what the heck he was doing killing snakes, and he seriously didn't believe that there had been another snake out front.

We walked out together, but the kingsnake, thankfully, was gone. Dennis showed me the snake he had killed - which was a beautiful, reddish - long and thin snake. I don't know for sure what kind of snake it was, but I know it wasn't one of the four venomous snakes found in Mississippi. I explained this to Dennis, who said that "any snake he sees, he kills, because they are on his territory."

I asked him if the post office was built before the existance of snakes.

He asked me how I knew that the snake he killed wasn't venomous.
I asked him if the snake has a rattle.
"No, it doesn't have a rattle."

"Does it have pits in it's face?"
"No."
Then it's not a rattlesnake or a pit viper.

Nevermind the fact that it had a long and skinny body, instead of a short, thick body.

Dennis said "yeah, but it had a diamondback shape on it."

Most snakes have similar markings. Coloring varies, and you can't distinguish snakes on color and markings alone.

"He's still moving." Dennis said.

Yeah, they still move for a while after you kill them.

A frog hopped by. Gee, maybe that's why there are so many snakes hanging around the post office?

You think?

Well, at least I saved one snake.

I don't understand why people can't educate themselves about snakes. Most of them aren't venomous. All snakes are beneficial in some ways. But people like Dennis, a man in his fifties, just go for their weapon and kill every snake they see.

Then they wonder why they have rodent problems, and go buy hundreds of dollars worth of traps and poisons. All they had to do was let nature be.

It's sickening.

eldragon
07-04-2007, 06:13 PM
I'd also like to add how naive I was about snakes when I started this thread, as opposed to now.


I learned alot about snakes.

oarsman
07-05-2007, 06:52 AM
The snake he killed at the post office sounds like it could have been a harmless corn snake (http://wildwnc.org/af/cornsnake.html). I don't understand it either. Snakes are beautiful.

eldragon
07-05-2007, 07:04 AM
Yes, it may have a corn snake. It was pretty long, about 2 feet, and a lighter color than the one in the photo.

It's pathetic that he killed it.

MidnightMuse
07-05-2007, 09:32 PM
Aww man, I LIKE snakes ! We have nothing in my state that's harmful - just some rattlesnakes in the eastern half, but unless you're allergic, it's not that big of a deal.

I don't understand why people react that way either. I always figured if I saw a snake in a state where they may have something dangerous, I'd just move AWAY from the snake, and the snake would move on. Why kill something that isn't harming anyone? Especially if you don't have the talent to tell what type of snake it was.

Jersey Chick
07-05-2007, 09:56 PM
Eeek - snakes give me the willies! I was almost bitten by a copperhead as a , kid, so I don't want any near me at all - I get the heebie-jeebies seeing them on television.

My mom had one (we think it was just a garter snake, but no one would ever get close enough to tell) living in her front porch - it would crawl out to sun itself and then slink on back under the porch - just thinking about it's creeping me out.

Don't like 'em. Don't want to know they're there. But they are safe from me - I don't like to kill anything.

'cept creep-crawly bugs.

Tika
07-24-2007, 04:14 AM
Ewwwwwwwwwwww is right!
I'd be packing my bags!
My border collies used to kill snakes. I'd be buying about a dozen of them and pronto!

eldragon
08-06-2007, 03:13 AM
Something odd has happened this year. We haven't even seen a water snake since early May.

Last year, we saw snakes in our ponds and heard them rustling around every single time we walked around outside. This year - nothing.


Something tells me it's not good.

Jersey Chick
08-06-2007, 05:24 AM
Maybe they're just taking a round the world trip? They might've needed a change of scenery.

just tryin' to keep positive... :D

eldragon
01-21-2008, 07:30 AM
I don't usually worry about snakes in January, especially when the weather is as it has been, in the low twenties.

Today I was outside doing a lot of work around the back pond, picking up sticks, chopping wood, etc. I decided to chop into this big old felled pine tree, but after a few chops, I realized it was too much work, and I gave up.

I looked over about two feet, max, and what I saw there caused me to make a noise that sounds like the ones my husband makes when he has a nightmare about a monster chasing him.

Kind of like an exhale, grunt and cry all at the same time.

For there was a long black snake, less than two feet from me. I stood there, heart beating, and willed myself to follow that tail ....there's the middle..to the head. I really couldn't see the head, and as you all know, the head is the one part you need to know the whereabouts of!

I inched closer, ax in hand, actually thinking of swinging first and investigating later - but then I realized the snake was probably dead.

Yup. He was dead. I guess he crawled out from under his log to get some sun, and then froze to death or something.

And really, he was just a harmless black water snake. No longer than 3 feet, and I could tell he had recently eaten somebody, for there was a mouse or frog-sized lump in the center of his body.

Poor snake. But boy, did he give me a scare!

ErylRavenwell
01-21-2008, 12:23 PM
It's springtime in Mississippi, and the snakes are taking over. Up until today, I have been seeing only non-venomous snakes. Racers and Rat Snakes. Last Thursday, I watched a Racer eat a frog. I wanted to help the frog, but it was too late. (He was halfway in.)




Don't interfere with nature! What a crazy notion. You wouldn't like people taking away the food from your mouth, now, would you?

I love snakes by the way. :)

eldragon
01-21-2008, 06:18 PM
I don't anymore. In fact, I never have. My husband did a few times, but felt too guilty afterwards, so we don't kill snakes anymore.

That post is almost 2 years old.

DragonHeart
01-25-2008, 11:17 PM
People are afraid of snakes here too, even though we only have one venomous snake in New Hampshire, and it's both docile and critically endangered.

Personally I like snakes. When I was younger I'd go looking for snakes out in the woods just to watch them. I also occasionally had to rescue one from the cats. Although we have 11 species here, I've only ever seen the most common, the garter snake. Completely harmless and usually small, as they only get to be about two feet in length.

Last summer at work a garter snake got into the back room. The construction had just started, so it was probably scared of all the noise and trying to find somewhere to hide, and the back door was open so he let himself in. One of my coworkers found it and freaked out. Luckily, he took off before she could find anyone because anyone else would have killed the poor thing.

About a week later another coworker found it in an aisle. I saw it just as she freaked out and the snake started fleeing toward the back of the store. I didn't want it to be killed so I caught it myself. It was just a baby really, less than half a foot long. Unfortunately I didn't grab close enough to its head and it bit me three times while I carried it outside and let it go. I don't blame it at all, and I sincerely hope it found somewhere else to live.

~DragonHeart~