Critters

Pallida(Zone 7b)June 13, 2011

The last few days have brought some interesting "critters" into my yard, right next to the house. The Oklahoma brown Tarantula and today, a very long (about 6') black snake. Just how dangerous are they, and should I attempt to kill them when they come in so close? I fear being bitten while working the flower beds. Are they aggressive? I just gave them plenty of room, as I don't kill things, unless they are hazardous to my health, as a rule.

Jeanie

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seedmama(7)

I binged Oklahoma brown tarantula to learn it is one of the most docile in the species and makes an excellent beginner pet. Yeah. I'm just gonna take their word for it.

I don't like snakes, but I don't kill the black ones. The presence of snakes is a key indicator of a healthy ecosystem. Ick. I just got goosebumps and heeby jeebies. I've got to get out of here and move on to another thread. Spiders and snakes in one thread is too much for me.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 11:39PM
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chickencoupe

lol seedmama . ....

@Pallida Those Tarantulas are only harmful if they are SERIOUSLY backed in a corner. Otherwise, they'd just crawl right over you without a thought of harm. I agree with seedmama.. a VERY good sign of a healthy eco system and the snake, too. Snakes kill moles and other rodents. If you've the stomach grab it pitchfork and toss it into an area that won't bother ya.

This dry weather is the cause of these icky things coming near the house - looking for cool and wetness often found under objects such as rocks, bricks, under concrete. The opposite could be true, too. They might be looking for dry ground. OR you might have their favorite foods running around near your house. Finding a suitable spot for then would help keep him away from ya. One of the most common snakes in Oklahoma is the "black snake" known by many names and it eats:
Rodents and other small mammals, birds (and eggs), and small lizards.

I hope you don't have a hen house.

It's all normal but congratulations on a very healthy outdoor area.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 2:23AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Jeanie,

I love watching the tarantulas wandering around, and they are harmless. We used to see dozens and dozens every year but haven't seen nearly as many since the floods of 2007. If you ignore them, they'll ignore you.

Black snakes aren't harmful, and are helpful in one sense because they eat rodents. So, you have a black snake either because you have rodents around the property that it wants to eat, or it is searching your property for rodents because it isn't finding many wherever it previously was hanging out.

We used to have a lot of black snakes here, but the cats control the rodent population pretty well, so we don't see but a handful of them a year.

We do kill them if they are in the chicken coops or even close to the chicken coops because they are a problem in there.

The only snakes we're having any trouble with at this point is the water moccasins. They are migrating from the big ponds and from our creek because those water levels are dropping rapidly in this drought and are coming into our lily pond in the back yard. We usually ignore non-venomous water snakes in the lily pond, but we shoot the water moccasins. The walkway from our detached garage runs right alongside the lily pond and we don't tolerate venomous snakes that close to our walkway and house.

The venomous snakes we see most often here in addition to the water moccasins are the timber rattler, western diamondback rattlesnake, pygmy rattler and copperhead. Since you're just a couple of counties away, those probably are the venomous snakes you're most likely to see too. We ignore all the non-venomous snakes as long as they stay away from the chicks, but we shoot any venomous snake in the yard, gardens, chicken coop area, or close to the garage, shed or house. The venomous snakes can roam freely around the rest of our acreage as long as they stay away from the area aroung the house where we roam.

Dawn

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 7:59AM
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Pallida(Zone 7b)

OK. Feel a little better, although snakes and spiders are not my cup o' tea, either. At present, the only wet spots in my yard are the flower beds, and that's exactly where the snake was headed. Got lots of mice. No hen house. If the critters will leave me alone, I will leave them alone. Could do with fewer mice and rodents. My neighbor's Shetland pony was just killed by a rattler, even though she took him to the vet. She is broken-hearted, even though she has several horses. They have a pond, which attracts the BAD snakes. I feel so sorry for her.

Jeanie

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:17AM
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macmex

Those black snakes are extraordinarily docile. Many is the time I've pulled them out of my chicken coop, by the tail, and they don't even offer to bite. If we didn't have poultry I'd want as many of them as possible for the rodent control. The tarantulas are also beneficial.

I do morning chores by flashlight and it's really something to observe how beetle, spider and moth eyes glow in the beam of a flashlight! Spiders' eyes generally glow blue. They are so easy to locate by flashlight. June bugs' eyes glow orange.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Pallida(Zone 7b)

George,
WOW! Doing chores by flashlight. I stay inside until dawn because I DON'T want to see eyes glowing in the dark. I haven't even THOUGHT about glowing bug eyes, mostly thought about critter eyes. I'll have to admit, that is interesting. Don't spiders have several eyes? Creeeeeeepy!
You got guts, George! HA

Jeanie

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:59PM
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