snakes

capenewfsFebruary 28, 2014

We are moving to southwest Florida and both love gardening. We heard about Burmese Phythons and other poisonous snakes and are worried a bit. Has anyone been gardening outside and seen poisonous snakes? Is there any kind of fencing to avoid them?

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

The pythons are damaging to the native animals of Florida but harmless to humans in any real meaningful way. They are not poisonous. We do have rattlesnakes here and coral snakes but there is no reason to worry about them. How many reports do you see where people are killed by them? Other than giving people that don't like them a fright they are good neighbors.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:24AM
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aputernut

We live in SW FL. 34 yrs. and have always done our own landscaping etc. still do and only saw one poisonous snake however we do see a wish to see black snakes, they are great to have around the outside of any home, they keep all others away! We have seen other varieties as well, but all non poisonous. And have lived in 3 diff homes in 3 diff neighborhoods. The poisonous snake was a rather large cotton mouth moccasin from a nearby lake, DH had to kill it as it was right at our side door to the gar. In general I would say do not worry!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:55AM
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writersblock

Also, there isn't any kind of fencing that will keep snakes away. I have a 6 ft wooden fence around my courtyard and the black snakes love to climb up there and bask in the sun.

But as the others have said, you don't want to keep snakes away. They're very good to have around. It exasperates me that a winter visitor who rents my neighbor's townhouse takes a golf club to every snake she sees. Then we get rats, which the snakes would be eating otherwise. They also help a little with mosquito control.

UF page on FL snakes and getting along with snakes:

Here is a link that might be useful: UF guide to FL snakes

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I'm not in SW FL, but rather Central FL. However, I can safely say that I saw more poisonous snakes in SC, NC and VA (about 1 or 2 per year, mostly cottonmouths and copperheads) than I have here (none so far in 4 years). Mostly what I see here are Black Racers and Eastern Coachwhips, both of which will much rather slither away rather than risk confrontation and both of which hunt lizards, insects and other snakes. Even the few water snakes I've seen have been of the non-poisonous variety (I think cottonmouths are mostly in the northern edge of FL, as are the land-based copperheads). So you really need not worry about them too much. However, if you're anything like my Mother-in-Law, every snake you might see will instantly be a Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth), though my F-i-L says they have never seen one actual Water Moccasin in the 18 years they've been here, its just been her over-reacting to anything that slithers... even, sometimes, anoles.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

I see Black Racers in my yard often. Although I've never loved, nor hated, snakes, I think they're a pretty neat snake.

I've seen is a Florida Banded Water Snake and maybe a corn snake or two.

I've been down here a little over three years and in that time have seen nothing venomous. Maybe tomorrow though, never know.

The only snake that really frightened me turned out to not be a snake at all, but a Glass Lizard.

I don't know about over/down there but if it's anything like here, worry about the Fire Ants, not the snakes. :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:31AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Had to smile when I read your post . When I first moved to florida my uncle told me "There's nothing there but poisonous snakes disease carrying mosquitoes and alligators " This July have lived here for 37 years though have seen all the creatures was warned about I'm still alive lol I think the crime rate is MUCH more of a concern?? lol gary

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:10AM
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wisconsitom

During my Dec. visit to Ft. Myers and surrounding area, I had the pleasure to darn near walk right into a large eastern diamondback rattlesnake in a natural area parking lot. The shock factor was considerable, given the size of this thing-perhaps 8 ft. long-and the fact I had just completed a whole morning's hike having seen only the little black racers in the woods. But that shock quickly changed to pleasure as I'm a snake enthusiast. And I too really hate the way so many people can only seem to think of one response to seeing a snake-kill it. that's really a shameful thing.

That big snake immediately slithered under the car I was about to enter. Using a palm frond, I was able to eventually convince it to move on towards the nearby treeline. A good outcome for all concerned.

+oM

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Rattlesnakes are one of the few snakes I have not seen in the wild. I have lived all across the South and have always kept an eye out for snakes and turtles. And I have seen quite a lot of both. Just not rattlers. I'm sure if I went out actively hunting them I could find one, but in just day-to-day life and lazy wildlife observation, I have yet to see one. So that may say something about their scarcity. I would love to see one of those 8 ft monsters I've heard about. In the wild that is, captivity just isn't the same.

This post was edited by Leekle2ManE on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 14:05

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:02PM
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diane_v_44(Z6)

Lots of notes re snakes Was interesting for sure
I am down here winters past 14 years and have not seen many snakes in my gardens. Would like to do so
Do have a little not so little creatures that has been here a number of years A Salamander I think it is
Have not seen him or her this year yet but hope to do so

You would not be coming down from Newfoundland in Canada would you?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 4:59PM
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shuffles_gw

After many decades wandering around the SE USA, I have ever seen only one rattlesnake, a pigmy - and it was sleeping. One time I was wandering around a gulley in the SD Badlands and a friend walking several yards behind me said, "Hey did you see the rattlesnake you just passed?" I walked back and said, "You mean this one?" He said, "No, this one." There were three or four in holes along a short section of that gulley. I have no idea how big they were as they were in holes and had only their heads sticking out.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 5:02PM
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wisconsitom

That big one down at the CREWS hiking trail parking lot was a beautiful animal.

Diane, not sure if you're asking me, but no, I'm in WIsconsin. No rattle snakes out and about today!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:30PM
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oriole6(9b)

We live about 8 miles west of Disney -- in 15 years here, we've encountered about 8 pygmy rattlers in our backyard and that of our next-door-neighbor. Their aggression makes up for their smaller size! We've caught them all and relocated them in a non-residential area.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:45PM
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