compost pile and snakes : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi, I'm new here at the forum and I have a question. I have started a compost pile (because I feel bad when I throw away vegetable matter)and I want to know if it will attract the copperheads I see while I'm walking on the mountain side a few miles from my house. I want to know what critters you all might see around your compost piles, I've read that snakes like the warmth of the piles. Is it true?! Jayne

-- Jayne (, April 12, 2000


I don't know about copperheads, but garter snakes do seem to be attracted to the compost piles.You could try turning it often, and be ready with a shovel or hoe to kill the snakes if you see any.

-- Rebekah (, April 12, 2000.

I noticed last year when we opened up our big pile, and after I spread it out into beds, within days there was 5' pine snake that took to sunning himself on one of the beds. I had to chase him out three times before he got the message. I'm guessing it was the heat that attracted him.

-- john leake (, April 12, 2000.

You might.. I know here in VA they like any kind of pile to hide in. My friend who lives in town had on in her kids sand box last yr. guess be preventive and act like they might. Good luck.

-- Bernice (, April 12, 2000.

If you have any critters, ants, snakes, roaches in the pile than you don't have it working right. When I turn my pile, which is really no more than taking the bottom outside and pitch forking it up onto itself, the inside of the pile is hot, certainly to hot for a snake to live in. If it is dry out then water it some. If you have the right amount of manure in it than the pile will stay hot. It also has to have a lot of vegetation like grass. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, April 12, 2000.

I once found a large milk snake enjoying the warmth of the compost pile. He was sitting right on the top, all curled up. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, April 13, 2000.

I haven't found any full grown snakes, but found eggs when I was putting compost on a flower bed. I think they were garter snakes. Gave me a start when they started moving around. The pile was 6 to 8 months old, & usually gets turned with the bucket on the tractor. Good Luck, Kaye

-- Kaye Reno (, April 13, 2000.

Am I missing something? I thought MOST snakes, like garter snakes, are beneficial critters. Why would anyone want to kill them?

-- paulette (, April 14, 2000.

Thank you all for these excellent answers. I do not expect to kill any creatures hanging around the compost pile, and with your answers I kind-of know who to expect now...

-- Jayne (, April 14, 2000.

I have a life-long aboslute, go through the roof screaming and running and knocking down anything and anyone in the way fear of ANY snake. The chicken snake eats my eggs, and my 3 cats eat the mice. My guineas eat the snakes as well as the chiggers and debug my garden. They once in a great while cross the road to the neighbors. I have asked if they mind, although there isn't much I can do to stop them, and they said not at all. They have acutally been putting food out to get them to come more often and they enjoy visits from the peacocks as well. They even call when eggs are laid in their shed so we can hatch them. I am famous for taking in the animals, I even got called once when a pregnant deer was hit to see if I could save the babies and the game warden even calls when they find stray dogs to see if I can help. I am not too fond of stray dogs around my sheep. But I will help find their home or a home if possible. What I am saying is I'm don't make a habit of being cruel to animals but I don't want snakes or possums. And they love the compost pile and the hay bales.

-- Susie (, April 17, 2000.

If I recall correctly, garter snakes are livebearers so if you found eggs (and if I am correct) they wouldn't be garter snake eggs.

I'd rather find a snake, poisonous or not, than a rat anyday.

-- Chris Hedemark (, February 27, 2001.

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