are there poisenous snakes in eastern kentucky??

donnaz5(Z5 NY)August 23, 2006

i've been thinking about moving there for a afew years now, but i can't imagine gardening in an area with poisenous snakes. thanks, donna

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I just moved to Berea. I understand that if you live deep in the country some poisonous snakes do exist, but not in the cities or small towns. I came from Washington and had the same concern. Berea is a pretty great place, I got a nice house with a huge yard and the only thing of concern in it to me is the poison ivy.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:06PM
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donnaz5(Z5 NY)

cicadidae...or anyone else...what kind of poisenous snakes?? i would like to relocate to ky. to get out of the congestion here, i probably wouldn't be very interested in a village setting...what zone are you in now?? thanks, donna

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 9:35PM
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We have a really nice realtor who seems to know all of the answers. I just checked with her and she said that if you pick a house far from other houses you might run into a rattlesnake or a copperhead once in a rare while. If you buy a house that has proximity to a few other houses, the snakes are not seen because they don't like living so close to humans. She says that she has heard that mothballs keep the snakes away. (they told me that about raccoons in Washington, and my attic crawl space smelled like grandma's closet for years after)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 3:44PM
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donnaz5(Z5 NY)

thanks...i think i may re-think my plans. garden snakes scare me enough, here, much less one that rattles! i was told to put moth balls in mole holes to make them move away, (didn't work), but there was a snake lying right next to them, probably waiting for the mole, so i don't think they work for snakes, either. thanks again, donna

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 6:05PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)


Once you decide on a town or rural area, you might find out the name of the county, and contact the Extension Agent there. I'm sure they would be a great source of info.

I'm in southern rural Indiana, and see an occasional snake either on the property, or while walking the woods. I believe there may be some poisonous ones around here, but I haven't bothered to find out. Maybe ignorance is bliss, huh?

Now you've got me to wondering what there might be around here. I might just check with my agent.

While I too dislike/fear all snakes, I wouldn't let them scare me away from my little piece of 'Heaven on Earth' here.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 8:26AM
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Maybe you could try living in a small town, so that you still get the "country" feel without the threat of snakes around.

The town I live in (Midway, KY) is pretty small--one traffic light, and I have only seen one tiny garden snake here. Snakes generally don't want to live close to humans. Berea would be the about the same size/feel as Midway. There are a lot of small towns in KY that are really picturesque and "Norman Rockwell" feeling. For example, my town doesn't have mail delivery--everyone has to go to the post office to get their mail, which gives it a "Mayberry" sort of feeling. Also, the town is zoned so there are no fast-food restaurants allowed, which means that there are a lot of great cafe's and small restaurants to eat at, lots of antique shoppes, etc. Berea is similar, in that it's also a small-college town, known for its artisans and old-timey crafts.

Even some of the "bigger" cities have a small-town feel. Some examples would be Bardstown (home of "My Old Kentucky Home," Danville (home of Centre College), Harrodsburg, Georgetown, Elizabethtown, and Versailles (which is actually where they filmed the movie "Elizabethtown").

As for snakes, there are 3 kinds of poisonous snakes in KY: copperheads, rattlers, and water moccasins. I have been camping and backpacking all over the state, literally living in the woods every summer for 6 years, and now I work on a farm. I have only ever seen maybe 6 copperheads in that time--never seen a rattler or a water moccasin. And copperheads are non-aggressive. They won't strike unless provoked.

Here is a link that might be useful: This is My Town

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 9:54AM
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We relocated two months ago. We did a lot of research on the internet regarding optimal places to live considering our needs: inexpensive housing, job availability, culture, acceptance of differing ethnicities, races and cultures, etc., and holiday celebration (we wanted to find a place that likes halloween and christmas as much as we do). We were surprised when many towns in Kentucky kept popping up. We had never even heard of the state. We started visiting and the first thing we noticed was that people here, as a rule, are warm and friendly. Oh we have known friendly people everywhere we have lived from one coast to the other but here it seems the ratio of friendly to slightly distanced is higher significantly. We got this terrific little craftsman house for a quarter of what we would have paid for it in Washington. We are really happy now. There are farmers markets at least every other day where you can get anything from bread to corn and watermelon. The crafts fairs are fun and often. I think I am bragging so I will stop here.
As for snakes, I am scared of them too. The house we almost bought was way out in the country. It was a romantic log cabin overlooking a creek. I am sure there was a possibility of snakes but history told me that children and pets had lived there for years and if we had picked it, I would have found a way to de-snake it.
Good luck in your search :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 12:57PM
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Eastern Kentucky has two varities of Venomous Snakes--The Copperhead and the Timber Rattlesnake. These same two varieties live in New York State as well, fwiw, but of course if you live in a large city like New York City or its suburbs you'd not encounter them in New York. Likewise unless you live in a rural area in Kentucky you aren't likely to encounter them.

Copperheads are the more common of the two in Eastern Kentucky and if you live in a rural area you may eventually encounter one. They are not especially venomous and do not usually even require antivenin--but their bite would hurt a great deal and would require a brief visit to the emergency room for a painkiller and some monitoring. They are not aggressive and usually will not bite unless considerably provoked.

Timber Rattlesnakes tend to prefer very remote rocky areas and are not often encountered. When encountered it is usually while rock climbing or hiking in wilderness areas. Timber rattlesnakes are very non-aggressive (one of the least aggressive rattlesnake species in the US) but their bite can be serious and often requires antivenin. Bites are very rare, however, and white single men between ages 20 and 40 who have been drinking are by far their preferred bite victims (the behavior of humans being a key element in the behavior of snakes...and drunk men being not among the wisest and most prudent of humans).

Cottonmouths (water moccasins) are found in the swampy regions of west Kentucky but not in the mountains of east Kentucky.

Just as in NY most of the snakes in Kentucky will be non-venomous snakes like garter snakes.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 10:59PM
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Getting in touch with the county extension officer is a good idea, and it's a good idea to know something about the envirnoments snakes prefer, so you know when to be especially wary.

Friends of mine were surprised when they cleaned out a long-unused screened porch, by a large number of copperheads that had taken up residence.

And keep in mind, most snakes in the US are pretty non-aggressive. If they can hear you coming, and they have a way to escape, they most definitely will. And if they can't, they'll put up a big bluff while they look for someway to escape. Only if all that fails, and you seem about to attack them, would they try to bite.

Other people's dogs are a bigger danger!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 2:08PM
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Rattle snakes thrive and are numerous in areas that have been strip mined the same is true where mountain top removal has occured.

I have often hiked in the mountains of eastern Ky and found only one copperhead. I have never seen a water moccasin

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 5:07PM
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Old post, but since it pops up when Kentucky snakes are searched I'll give my experience.

I have live in Kentucky all my live, and not just in eastern.

I love the out doors, rock climbing etc etc. I have never seen a rattle snake in 24 years of living in Kentucky(only seen them at the zoo's). I have seen 2 cotton mouths in green river when fishing (they where just swimming by during the summer). I have only seen 1 good sized copper head and that was in a place with woods all around and lots of hills, rocky places etc etc. I found the copper head in a yard that was not taking care of and had junk piled all around. The copper head was under some junk i went to move. Let me tell you the copper head is very aggressive striking repeatedly if provoked. Meaning if u keep getting close to it, poking at it, it will not retreat until you leave and it will not come after you. It never moved from the spot i found him at, and strikes toward me when i moved around it (repeatedly), but i feel it was just warning me to stay away from it. That's how i felt looking at him, he just wanted me to go away and not get any closer then i already was(which i did).

I have also never seen a vit viper (are pit viper?) and i have been in the back country lots of times.

P.S: Kentucky only as 4 poisonous snakes( copper head, cotton mouth, pit viper guess the name is, rattle snakes) out of 30-32 snake that i know of. So running into one of them is very very rare in deed.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 11:04PM
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I am sorry to revive an old thread, but I made this account specifically to clear up some of the misinformation you guys have going on here. I found this page through google and it was in the top ten results for "Eastern Kentucky Snake". And the type of information you guys got going up above this post CAN and WILL get people hurt or KILLED!! No offense, well, actually ALL OFENSE, wayne222 you are/were a fool who spreads misinformation about things you have no idea about! Stop being an arm chair expert. It is obvious to anyone who knows better that not only have you never lived in Eastern Kentucky, but you must not have ever been to or known someone from here either. If you had spent as much time in our vast natural wilderness like you say you have, then you would know better.

Not only do we have a very very large poisonous snake population here in Eastern Kentucky, but it is a very serious problem. We may only have 4 types, sure. But there are so many of these types that living here you will deal with them regularly. There are three types of snakes you will see a lot of and those are yellow banded king snakes, not a threat of course as they kill and eat other poisonous snakes, then there is the PIT viper (yes PIT viper wayne222 named for the heat seeking pits on the front of their heads) and copper heads. The pit vipers in question are Eastern Diamondbacks. There are so many that the folks around here have different names for the different colors they come in.

The people here know that if you go through the woods being loud and talking, stomping or whatever you will likely drive off any rattlers. BUT the copper heads DO NOT RUN!! They will try and blend themselves in and hide. That is why they are dangerous. If you get too close they are very very aggressive. A rattle snake will only run so far as well. If you get too close to where they are hiding BAM they may or may not rattle first. NEVER go into the woods without a stick and/or pistol. NEVER put your hands or step where you can't see. My step dad was digging for roots this year and didn't pay attention in a black cohosh patch. He was bit on the thumb by copper head and lost a sizable chunk of flesh from it.

I am an avid gardener and raise a sizable garden every single year and I have been doing that since I was old enough to swing a hoe. I kill at least 10 rattlers/copperheads every year. Why do you guys think we have so many snake handling churches here? And let me tell you, there are A LOT of snake handling churches. Just this year alone, two of my dogs were snake bit in my own yard. One happened recently and looks like she might not pull through. I have already had a snake church come through and catch a hand full of snakes on my property, and I have killed my usual 10 or so. WE ARE OVER RUN!! WE NEED ST PATRICK!!! Let me tell you this. If my dog dies, you will be hearing about a new St Patrick movement right here in the good ol blue grass state.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 1:29PM
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