Snake in the Greenhouse

tsmith2579(7B)July 2, 2005

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! My apologies to Jim Nabors of Gomer Pyle fame for using his famous line. This evening, about 7:50 p.m., I found a snake in the greenhouse. I went inside to plug into the electrical outlet to drill holes to hang a planter. I dropped a piece of chain and had to move a cap block to reach it. When I move the block, there was a beigey-brown snake in the crack between the floor pavers. It might have been as fat as a first grader's pencil. I could not get it to come out to kill it. Smart snake, eh? It crawled along the crack and under the footing. I thought it was too hot in the greenhouse this time of year for a snake. Tomorrow I'm going to fill the trusty old pump sprayer with insecticide and kerosene and I'm going to spray the cracks and inside the footing blocks and the foundation very good. Will it help? I don't know, but it will certainly make me feel better. Next, I'm going to buy a bag of mortar mix and fill in those cracks. Does anyone have any experience in exorcising snakes from your greenhouse? I've been working on the pond and removing rocks from around it, which is just a few feet away. Now I'm very wary about that job. Shiver-Shiver!

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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

I don't know how to get rid of them, but two years ago I had a (I think) copper head in my greenhouse. But later folks convinced me it was a Rat Snake. At the time you advised me to BE VERY CAREFUL. It also slithered under the footing. We put moth balls all around the place and haven't seen any snakes in there after that. And believe me I keep a sharp lookout. How did you come up with the kerosine idea? Is that supose to work?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 8:43AM
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I am being very careful. I have a number of 5 gallon buckets of loamy soil stored in the gh and every time I move one, I do it VERY carefully. I have not seen him but the one time. Sunday afternoon I put a gallon of kerosene in my pump sprayer with 3 tablespoons of poison and sprayed into all the cracks. I needed to do this because of ants and roaches but I hope it helped get rid of the snake. Why kerosene? Well, I remember when the rattlesnake rodeo in Opp, AL was a BIG thing. They used to put a piece of garden hose down the hole and pour in gasoline. The gasoline fumes irritated the snake and he came out of the hole. Gasoline is too volatile and dangerous but kerosene is very smelly and has many of the same properties. I thought kerosene might be a suitable substitute, plus the poison might soak through the scales into his skin. Hopefully the kerosene and poison will leave a sticky residue on the snake. My biggest fear now is he may be a small mocassin, although the color doesn't match. The gh is about 10 feet from the pond. I've been removing rocks from around the pond preparing to build a waterfall. Plus, I have a stack of rocks to use inm building the waterfall. Needless to say, I haven't worked on the pond project this weekend. I'm going to buy some mortar mix, sweep it into the floor cracks and wet it down. As Larry the Cable Guy says, i've got to "Git'er done!"

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 9:35PM
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Padinka(z7 Central AL)

My parents killed two on their property last week where the grandkids play. We bought a product called snake-away. I did some research and found some university studies that actually support the effectiveness. It's not 100 percent but it should help.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 2:44AM
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jttcrs(north ala.)

yea look uut if it was brown chanches are it could haven a copper head not usley deadley unless youre health not good but will make u sick as crap and can kill if wasw black they are good rat traps

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 6:23PM
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jttcrs, thanks for the advice. I had thought about a copperhead, even though it was very light in color. Copperheads can vary greatly in color. After this heavy rain from Hurricane Dennis, I'm going to be very cautious since the snake may be flooded out from his hiding hole and may come inside. I hope he was just passing through the neighborhood and will keep going.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 7:50PM
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If it was only as thick as a pencil I don't think its likely it was a copperhead. They are medium to heavy-bodied snakes. Copperheads have a very distinct pattern with large hershey kisses extending from the base of the snake to or toward the top of the snake.

The pencil thin description makes me think Midland Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi wrightorum). They are a small harmless snake that eat snails and earthworms. They're a good candidate for finding their way into greenhouses.

I've linked a photo of one below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Midland Brown Snake

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 9:49AM
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yuccapatrol(Alabama 7)

IT could also be just a garter snake. Here's an eastern gartersnake. They can vary from black with yellow stripes to one that is mostly brown like this one

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 12:13PM
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Thanks, Wayne. Your picture looks more like it than YuccaPatrol's garter snake. I'm familiar with garter snake markings and my snake did not have any discernable markings. I am pretty familiar with our snakes here but I am not aware of Midland Brown sankes in these parts. I sure hope it was a harmless snake. I have seen him again. thank goodness. We had lots of rain from Hurricane Dennis. Tghe footing he crawled under was on the low side of the gh. I hope he got his fill of water and left.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 12:47PM
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If the snake was in the gh on a hot day.. he smelled food...I live on 5 acers south of Montgomery and have seen very few snakes...but I do have two..1 6ft. and 1 7 ft. in my house...ha ha ha they are my sons...I have always believed to let things live...even a 4 inch spider in my bathtub...called my husband to come home to get IT out..happy to say IT is living in my neighbors field..think of all the bugs IT eats...less bugs.. less holes in my flowers...

Have a garden green day

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 4:03AM
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I had one in the yard the other day and I think I've identified him as an Earth Snake. "Unfortunately," I killed him -- they are supposedly helpful snakes but I have a dog who is very curious and I didn't want to run the risk of her having a bad encounter with a poisonous snake. Anyway, here's a picture of an Earth Snake -- they fit the beigey brown description.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:25PM
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may the poor thing rest in peace....hope you dont get more mice....

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:24PM
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Hi. This snake would be no help in the mouse area. It was only large enough to eat a large cricket. I've only had one rodent problem, ever. That was 25 years ago. The lady across the street was a crackpot. She never cut grass and her house and yard was a shambles. She moved to a nursing home in November, just as it was turning cold. We and our next door neighbor were overrun with huge RATS which left her house. I've never seem any sign of mice or rats in the greenhouse. Of course common sense tells me that any uninhabited out-building will almost certainly have them. This snake would be no help in the mouse area. It was only large enough to eat a large cricket.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 8:08AM
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fernaly(z7 AL)

I snickered when I read this. As punshment for seeing humor where there was none, this afternoon I rounded the corner going to my greenhouse and there on the brick walkway laid a black snake. I can't tell you what kind it was, I didn't stick around long enough to find out. I screamed and ran the other direction, the snake panicked and slithered into me greenhouse!!!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 5:43PM
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HI, FernAly. What, you laughed at my situation? I wasn't so funny when it happened to you, was it? LOL! I am reminded about the TV sitcom 'Maude' from the 1970s. She used to say, "God will get you for this." Seriously, be very careful in the greenhouse.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 9:43PM
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fernaly(z7 AL)

Well, yes. I laughed at you, but more at how I know I would have reacted to a snake in the greenhouse. I scream when I see a lizard or a frog. Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was right at how I would react. I am terrified to go in to what I have always considered my private domain. I made my son go out there with this evening. My son and husband have gotten a real ha ha at my expense. They insist that it was probably just a rat snake. I, on the other hand, consider the only good snake a dead snake!!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 10:22PM
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When we were doing work on our new house before moving in, the man who worked for the old owner told me there was a big snake hanging out in the Virginia creeper covering the garage. He said it was lazily hanging off the roof watching him, and it was six feet long he estimated. I have been very careful while clearing out the garage since that time. Even though we agreed it was likely to be a king snake, which eats vermin and other snakes, I could hurt myself getting out of its way!

One of the things I found very interesting was this very very long shed snakeskin, hanging from one of the rafters. It hung down four feet on EACH SIDE of the rafter! I left it there, and hope the snake which shed it has found good quarters nearby. Without a doubt it could eat most moccasins, the snake species which worries me the most, since we live on a riverbank and have a boggy place in our yard. I am not one to kill snakes indiscriminately, however, because they do a good job on rat patrol.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 11:46PM
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BJ, I see you are on the bayou in the Mobile area. I am reminded of family friends, actually more like a step-uncle, who was raised by my grandparents. They were living in Lake Charles, LA when hurricane Audrey came through in June 1957 (I was 9 y/o). They came to Birmingham to stay with family during the evacuation. When they came home for Christmas, they told us about people in Lake Charles who came into their flooded houses after the waters went down and when they picked up a mattress or sofa cushion they would be bitten by mocassins. I urge you to be very careful on your bayou property. Cottonmouths can be very aggressive.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 8:27PM
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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

The plot thickens: Couple of weeks ago our son, (in Georgia) had to get a black snake out of their linnen closet. No idea how it got there, unless it slithered in while the had the door open??? (They have a very large cat, so I guess that blows the cat/snake therie) Grand daughter spotted it while getting towels for her shower. Guesss there was a lot of screaming and dancing going on about then, followed by a thorough search of the house. My son trains the National Gard, and I think about that I would have been calling them in. LOL

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 11:34AM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

This thread reminds me of a conversation I overheard in a restaurant.

This woman was telling this man about a snake she saw in her yard and he was telling her, "Well, it might have been a rat snake, garter snake, black snake, etc."
Her response,

"Well, I don't care. They all have the same last name!"


    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 7:23AM
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fernaly(z7 AL)

My sentiments exactly!!!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 9:53AM
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No, snakes don't all have the same last name!. I am not comfortable with snakes but I am trying to learn to identify them.

This 5'+ beautiful Gray Ratsnake was taking a nap in one of my 2 gallon cans ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Reptiles & Amphibians Forum

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 5:44PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

have to say i don't think any snake is beautiful unless it is dead.....nature lover, but not to that extent! If they are good snakes, they better stay out of my yard!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 11:14PM
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This fellow took up residence in my bandsaw. Image my surprise when I turned the bandsaw on, and it didn't work. Opened said bandsaw to find out the problem. I have to say, it susprised both of us.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 11:29PM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

terramadre -

LOL= Laugh Out Loud - Used to indicate a joke since no one can hear (or see) you laugh on the internet.

the reference to all snakes having the same last name:
Black Snake
Garter Snake
Rattle Snake
Rat Snake

See the last name is "Snake" for all of them. At least they are to the woman I was talking about. Very unlikely that she would be referring to the scientific name (Elaphe obsoleta for the Black Snake, etc.)

I like snakes of all kinds, myself, having raised several as a child. In fact I was very upset to find out recently that my wife had killed one in our yard, thinking it was a venomous one.

Imagine my surprise to come home and find she had killed a gorgeous 5-foot Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria). It must have escaped from a neighbor's herpetarium or something. She didn't care that this was a $400-500 exotic snake!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 7:44AM
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raccoon(cntrl AL)

If you can take one more snake story. Last week I had taken my basket out to my pepper patch to pick some green chili. When I came in I was so tired and did not feel like roasting and putting the peppers up, so I set the basket in the frige to deal with it the next day. I tended to the peppers the next day, but that night when I went into my kitchen there was a little black snake about 14 to 15 inches long sticking it's head out from the bottom of the frige. Needles to say I was shocked. Ran to get the broom and a glass jar. I tried to get the snake to come all the way out and then got the bottom of the boom on it and coaxed it into the jar. Ran out my back door and with my elbow opened the garage. I flung it so hard on to the driveway that I'm sure that little snake had one heck of a headache. When my husband called that night I was frantic about how could a snake get into the house. I remembered the next day that while I was picking my peppers I had set the basket down on the ground to reach under a pepper plant. That rascal must have gotten into my basket and was in for a real surprise when he wound up in my fringe.

I hope he was all alone. Snakes don't run in packs do they? I still get upset when I open the frige.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 4:22PM
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Raccoon, are you still dodging the frige. Enjoyed your snake story. Endorphinjunkie, the snake in the band saw was great....looks like one of my dear friends. The KING snake. Was it? Nice picture....nice snake.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:04PM
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