Snake=yuck : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Today, my husband killed a 4'8" snake that was in a nest in our hen house. He enjoys stuff like that but since I saw the snake I'm really afraid to even walk around outside at night. I've heard that you can do something with sulfur to keep snakes away. Has anyone heard of this or know of some other way to keep the snakes away? Eagle (my husband and I both use Eagle as our name).

-- eagle (, April 24, 2000


Only yuck? Activity helps quite a bit but it won't get rid of every one of them. Animals, people, vehicles. My husband kills the ones around the house where I spend a lot of time. He encourages the ones in the pastures to move to the farther reaches. Some one has suggested sulpher as a tick repeller, so it might be worth a try. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, April 24, 2000.

Was it a poisonous snake? If so try to bring in a bull snake they will take care of the poisonous ones. If not, then I suggest putting in a outside light, watch were you walk and get used to them. They are great for eating mice and rats.

But, I know how you feel. I used to feel the same way. "The only good snake is a dead snake." Till I moved outside of town and found I had new "neighbors" (snakes). My children and I educated ourselves on snakes (always running to the library to check out the snake book) and began to feel comfortable with them. But, I DRAW THE LINE on snakes in the house (has happened). When they cross the threshold, or threaten to, they are dead meat.

A cat or dog might help keep them at a distance if the snakes aren't poisonous.

(We both use Vaughn as our name, too)

-- Mrs. Vaughn (, April 24, 2000.


There are snakes to be afraid of and snakes to appreciate. Know which snakes are poisonous in your area. Others are generally very helpful. They may be keeping rats out of your henhouse!!!!! There are lots of snakes you want to encourage at your homestead. Become familiar with the different breeds and their habitats, most snakes are much more frightened of you than you are of them (and frankly they have alot more to fear than you do!!).

This isn't meant to sound unfriendly or like a lecture. Overcoming any of our fears is not easy! Kim

-- kim (, April 24, 2000.

Eagle, I am in complete support of you! Our snakes are just little garden snakes but they just about give me a heart attack to see them- leaves me feeling shaky and weak kneed for half an hour sometimes. First, get yourself some knee high boots. There are places, like Cabela's that sell snake proof boots- even if a rattlesnake strikes at the boot it cannot penetrate. When I lived in Arkansas, I felt a lot safer with tall boots like that. Also, the female snakes come out first in the season, and several weeks later, the males emerge and all flock to the females to mate. That means that if you can either kill or move the females when they first come out, the males will not be hanging around your house, and there will not be as many baby snakes, either. My husband won't let me kill them, but I have my boys catch all the first snakes and put them at the farthest part of the property, where I rarely go. If you can keep the grass very short where you walk, they will be less likely to be there- they like more cover. And if they are there you will see them. I have found that snakes seem to like certain things, such as compost piles, rocks, tall grass, water, and they have a den under one of our trees. I try not to leave any bare rocks near the house for them to crawl under or between. Ducks seem to like to eat baby snakes, guineas will kill them, so will pigs. Goats are said to deter them somewhat, but I had one living right in our goat barn, so I don't know if that's true.

-- Rebekah (, April 24, 2000.

I suggest a gaggle of geese they worked for me and they make a good alarm system.

-- Lorin (, April 24, 2000.

We don't have poisonous snakes around here, but we do have a lot of garter snakes which I kind of like, actually. But here's a little story: My husband decided to move a small woodpile that we had one time. Of course, it had been covered with black plastic in the winter to keep the rain/snow off it. So, in spring, he removes the plastic and starts grabbing splits of wood to move. You guessed, it! Long dangly snakes start just dropping off his armload! So in surprize he drops all the wood, and freaks out for a couple of minutes. He then decides to kick over the wood pile, wait a couple of days, hope that the snakes have dispersed by then, and attempt the process again. So he goes out to do it again, sees no snakes (whew) and loads up a wheelbarrow, and walks over to dump it. As he gets ready to unload, tons of snakes appear in the wheelbarrow! So he tosses the wheebarrow, forgets moving the woodpile (guess who got to do it later?) and to this day, isn't interested in poking around under plastic, or into woodpiles or rockeries. Kind of Indiana Jones-ish! Me, I like 'em best if I can see *them* first!

-- sheepish (, April 24, 2000.

When we built our house 3 yrs ago we had snakes. Someone told my husband to sprinkle sulfur around the house and it would repel snakes. He did that and since then I've only seen 1 in the dog house. You have to refresh the sulfur every now & then, especially after a rain. Good luck. We're now dealing with scorpions!

-- Sherrie Holcomb (, April 25, 2000.

I HATE snakes! God put this 'thing' between man and the serpant and I ain't forgot it either. I'll thump everyone I see-I STILL HATE them. I had a little rat terrier [Jesse James] that took care of them. Now that he's dead and gone, the 12 ga. pump does the job quite nicely-- but you can only kill what you see. As far as rats, mice and such--I think de-con and bar bait does a decent job on those filthy things. Matt. 24:44

-- hoot gibson (, April 25, 2000.


Mix equal parts of moth crystals(mothballs)and sulfur.
Sprinkle around area where you don't want them.
The critters will not cross it.
Just make sure that the snakes are out of the area or they will be trapped in the area.

-- Rich (, April 25, 2000.

Eagle, saw this tip on a gardening forum. Lay sisel rope around the perimeter you want to keep snakes out of. Sisel is a natural fiber and rough and the snakes won't crawl over it. (they won't crawl out of it, either, so make sure the snakes are all out of where you don't want them). I personally haven't tried it yet, but we have a wood pile that needs moved, and after we move it I'm going to give it a try. Still going to be cautious at first just to make sure! If it works like they say, it would be good around a chicken coop, because of no chemicals for the chicks to eat. I'm also scared to death of snakes, any kind. Have found 2 baby snakes this spring (don't know what kind of snake, though). We have copperheads in our part of the country, yikes! But have heard from local people that if you have black snakes you won't have poisinous ones around. Must be true, we have plenty of black snakes, but have never seen a copperhead. Yet!!!

-- Anne (, April 25, 2000.

(This is Mr. Eagle. My wife, Mrs Eagle wrote the initial msg.) Thanks so much for all the responses concerning the snake. He (or maybe she) had a kind of yellowish background with brown & black markings, no rattles or anything. I probably killed a "good guy" but it was in the nest easting eggs about 2:00PM so I don't feel bad about killing it. There were 4 big brown eggs in the nest and I shot it with a 410 shotgun and didn't break an egg. I did leave a hole in the back of the nail keg that was the nest. Last night, I left another egg in the nest overnight and something ate it during the night so I still have something out there. Actually, we have lots and lots of eggs that we really have no use for. I just enjoy the adverture. I am retired and I like to sneak around out there at night and try to find something. Weird Huh? Where would I get some sisel rope? I thought about the mixture of sulfer and mothballs but I have a goat that will eat just about anything. Once, he ate a whole box of rat poision and was sick for several days. Someone suggested just sulfer. Maybe I'll try that. Thanks again for all the good responses and advice. Eagle (Mr.)

-- eagle (, April 25, 2000.

Reference the typing error on my previous msg. The snake was not really easting the eggs. It was eating them. Sorry. Eagle

-- eagle (, April 25, 2000.

Dear Mr. and Missus Eagle,

Place a marble or heavy wooden egg in the nest box that eggs have been disappearing from. Snakes usually swallow the eggs whole, then beat their bodies against the ground to break the shells. I did this, found the snake, dead, half way into a hole that we didn't even know was there. The egg was about 8 inches down his body. Had to cut the nasty, stinking thing open to retrieve my egg, but no more snake-thieves in the hen house either! I originally bought the egg to use as a nest egg to encourage the hens to lay in a certain place - bought it locally, I think at a craft shop!

-- Polly (, April 26, 2000.

How about putting golfballs (I can't think of any other good use for them) out for the snakes to eat. What a belly ache the snake would have!

They eat eggs them whole, then wrap their bodies around a post are rock to break the egg inside of them and finally regurgitate the shell.

Good Luck,

-- Rich (, April 26, 2000.

Turkey`s,, raise and run a few hardy old Heritage breed Turkey`s around your place.. they Love to eat snakes!!!


-- Bergere (, April 26, 2000.

Thanks for the further suggestions. I'll try some of them and write something about what I did. I got a book about snakes and I think I killed a big bull snake. I might have let him hang around if my wife wasn't so afraid of them. I have a frig. with 280 nice big brown eggs in it so don't really need the eggs and could share one every now and then with the snake if it could promise not to bring in a mate and start a family and a community. As I said in an earlier msg, I'm retired and enjoy having something to mess with. This is a really great discussion board. Thanks again for the replies. Eagle (Mr.)

-- eagle (, April 26, 2000.

If you live in the country, you will find snakes, except for the Olympia pens., area in Washington state...Im told. Down here in east texas we have snakes..rattlers, some but mostly chicken snakes- a loose catch all for a variety of non-poisonious ones I killed three last year, all about 5'. One was in the pump house, one sitting on a nest of duck eggs and one by the chicken coop. We also killed a cooperhead. My rule is live and let live but if they are eating eggs...There are a few rules to follow if you live in snake country. Actually, if you do not follow simple guidelines, your chances of being bit are quite high. Never pick up wood any thicker than your little pinkie without first turning it over. Do not locate wood piles near a coop and if possible keep it away from the house. Treat each pile of material as if there was a snake in it. Use thick gloves or a hoe to separate boards. Keep grass around house and sheds short. Fowl has apparently chased the snakes away this year. One more thing... watch yourself around the feed bins. p.s. Most folks around here are more concerned with scorpions... they love to nest under bark so watch out

-- scott wyatt (, April 29, 2000.

Snakes! I hate them all! My friend told me this little ditty to remember which snakes are poisionous: Red touches black you are Okay, Jack. Red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow. I personally will not be taking the time to examine them. I am sure there will be plenty more where that one came from. Mom5

-- Lindy Rogers (, April 29, 2000.

Come on, people! Get a grip!

I can't believe that there are so many of you willing to execute a snake without the snake's having done anything to hurt you; in fact, many of them are even HELPING you. give the snakes a break, for petes sake!

Sure, I jump a mile when I come close to stepping on one, especially if it's a gopher snake,, which look too close to a western rattler, or a king snake, which looks a lot like a coral snake. But I'll never get rid of all the snakes, even if I WERE so hard hearted and mean, so I figure I might as well just deal with it. So they make me jump, so what? I'll bet I scare them as much as they scare me. When I see rattlers, which is one every couple of years, all they want is to get AWAY from me--THEY ARE SCARED! They don't want to bite. so I usually try to catch them and put them way up in the mountains. If I can't catch them, and I think they are a potential hazard to my family, because they are near the house, yeah, I kill them, if I can. But it's sure not something I do lightly. After all, if you are a religious person, the snake is one of God's creatures. If you're into some other philosophy, let's just say that they are just fellow travellers on this rock, doing their snakely thing, and tryig to earn a living, just like we are. And they aren't destroying the environment, like we are.



-- jumpoff joe (, April 29, 2000.

I agree with Jumpoff Joe, but then, snakes don't bother me unless they are poisonous ;-). Actually, I've hardly ever lived where there were any poisonous snakes, which may partly account for my lack of squeamishness about them. But as we contemplate moving, possibly to a state where poisonous snakes are common, I must admit to some concern, especially for my mentally handicapped daughter, who doesn't know enough to be afraid of anything unless she's actually seen or experienced problems from it. So I have been reading this thread with interest, hoping that I never have to use some of the advice that has been given!! (For those of you who might be wondering, I'm not afraid of spiders, either -- about the only things I can think of that really bother me are heights and riding with someone who drives too fast for the road!!)

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, April 29, 2000.

I was in Lost Wages (LV) a short time ago and stopped at a pet store. They were selling Eastern Garter Snakes for $30 each. How do I sell the ones I catch? I truly hate when one crawls across my foot or hand when I garden, when I don't expect it.

I wish I could put bells around them so hear them coming. I like them in the garden, they eat lots of insects. If I know where one is I'll grap a grasshopper, stab it with a twig on offer it as a treat to the snake.

I have always caught snakes and had them inside the house, though I couldn't tell my mother after the nighttime frog in the toilet incident, I'm just glad we both survived.

Snake do a good job at keeping the insects and rodent problems in check. If the insects or rodents weren't there the snake would continue on its' way.

Rattlesnake and copperheads, I generally catch them and relocate them.

-- Rich (, April 30, 2000.

"And never the 'twain shall meet!" I do NOT LIKE snakes. I tolerate snakes, and they tolerate me. Here in the far reaches of Maine we have no "poisonous" snakes. (See - what we really mean is venomous snakes, not poisonous snakes! You can eat them all, and you won't be poisoned. But some can "bite" you, and inject venom. Much like preaching the difference between concrete and cement. But, as is my wont, I again digress!). I have to agree with the minority. Snakes are mostly good guys. Some aren't. But try to figure out who you are bashing with the big golf club (my only use for them) before you bash. Many snakes are very beneficial, unless you are a big friend of vermin (rats, mice, bill clinton). Skunks are good guys, too, and are so friendly that I have released one from a leghold trap intended for a rat, and the skunk not only did not spray, but I THINK I heard him say "thanks!" (Skunks don't capatilize). Go ye forth and hug a snake. Well, how about, go forth and don't bash the good guys? GL!

-- Brad (, May 01, 2000.

I am so glad to find this web page discussing the 2 topics I have been so interested in this past year. I also share the same fear of snakes as many of you, but have tried very hard to educated myself about them. I have several books on them, and catch as many things on them on television. I must say education has truly helped, but I still really don't want to run into any if I can help it. I am fairly new to living in the country, will be completing 1 year this month. I feel I am better off now than when I first moved out here, having read as much on them as I possibly can. I am told by people that live out here that they have never seen rattlers or copperheads. I myself have only seen a hognose and several garters and one huge chicken snake. I am always on the look out though. I have 3 dogs and 2 cats and I often fear for them too, but I think for the most part we are in a pretty safe area. My other fear is scorpions!! Won't get into that or I may never quit typing. Enjoyed reading all of your responses!!!

-- Marty (, May 01, 2001.

Having lived in rattlesnake country, I've found parts of this thread quite humorous! I had them so bad one year, we were throwing them on the grill ~ if mama nature's gonna provide, we consumed. The tourist traps sell all kinds of junk that's supposed to keep snakes away. Never saw anything that worked except the numbers went down when my cats numbered 25. Outside cats. Lived out in the boonies and it seemed everyone dumped cats on my place. The cats don't kill them; I think it's their smell. Had a resident roadrunner that did an excellent job, also.

Sure used a lot of brass while living there! -LOL-

I sure hope you folks who believe in live and let live don't have childen. Snake bites aren't pretty, and it's worse with the death of a youngster.

-- ~Rogo (, May 02, 2001.

Rogo, do you think it's possible that the cats did not keep the snakes away but consumed all the rodents so that there was no incentive for any snake to come and hunt them down? Living in S Central TX, we have lots of snakes, poisenous and otherwise. During my first summer I felt like a lot of you and killed 16 snakes that were more or less in the process of eating eggs and baby chicks. The lost eggs I may be able to live with but I got angry about the chicks. Two rattlers that endangered one of my cats and my goats I also killed. But since then I have come to live with them, more or less. True, lots of activity by different kinds of livestock will reduce snake appearances, but they may still sneak in at night and get a few eggs. I am making sure that any baby chicks not protected by their mother are well off the ground in a safe area before nightfall. But I am now sharing some of my eggs. My chickens range free and don't all lay in the nest boxes, so I don't always gather all the eggs even though I know they are in the outerlying areas. Any non-threatening poisenous snake can usually be encouraged to go elsewhere. They most certainly have a place in our world and perform a very necessary service.

-- karin macaulay (, May 02, 2001.

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