Snakes in the garden

reddingJuly 7, 2011

Okay, everyone, heads up. I've found more than one snake in the garden over the past 10 days. Some are non-poisonous, but others are not. It's true that I live about 15 miles from town, in an exclusively rural area between Shawnee and Norman, but in a year like this, it's not unusual for the snakes to travel good distances to find a cool and damp place to escape the heat. I would say that anyone who lives in even an outlying subdivision would need to be aware of the problem, wherever you might be.

I had one get into the strawberry bed where it was trapped by the bird netting, found a copperhead under the flowers when I was weeding yesterday, and there have been more. My neighbor found little diamondbacks on his place.

I just thought I'd post this warning for anyone who might not be aware of it. I'd hate to see any encounters with an unsuspecting gardener.

Pat

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mulberryknob

Been lucky here so far; the only snake we've seen so far is the garter snake that too up residence in the garden last year. I keep hoping he'll thin out the gophers; Iknow he has thinned out the frogs which I would just as soon have.

Last fall DH moved some sheet tin and found two copperheads coiled together. One was the biggest one we had ever seen almost 4 ft long. 2-3 ft is the norm here. Copperheads are found even in cities and suburbs, so everyone be careful. I accidentally ran over a speckled King Snake about a month ago with the lawn mower and hated it, because I've seen one wrapped around a copperhead, squeezing it to death on two occasions.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:15PM
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MiaOKC

Now I'm afraid to leave my house. :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:24PM
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redding

What a shame about the kingsnake, Mulberry. I'd love to have one around here. I don't know about any of the other poisonous ones, but they will kill a rattler. Maybe the garden snake is also cleaning up any stray mice. There is always that to consider.

Mia, I'm not afraid to leave the house or go out into either the flower garden or the veggies, but you can bet I'm a whole lot more careful about where I put my hands and feet! Anyplace that has some nice deep green shady cover has my full attention. I've already been nailed by scorpions 3 times, and each one was worse than the last. I don't need a snakebite to add to the list.

Pat

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 5:37PM
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biradarcm(7b)

Out sweet potato growing really really crazy, covered entire bed with thick cover, I just afraid snakes should not be hiding in the sweet potato jungle? -Chandra

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 5:48PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I sprayed my back yard under the elm because Copperheads love cicadas; I have also seen one chase a June bug. Carry a flashlight in the evening and look where you walk. I have garter snakes catching tadpoles in my stock tank. I think they interesting and beautiful; copperheads are not appreciated at all. They will lay just outside your back door and let you step on them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:12PM
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redding

Chandra, it sounds as if the sweet potato vine might make a good cover for snakes. I really don't know. A lot depends on where you live, and whether there are other places for them to hide. Be careful, just in case.

Helen, I don't even try to go into the actual 'garden areas' after dark. The pasture is one thing, but I'm not about to walk into any sort of ankle-deep (or taller) cover when I can't see what might be there. Since my veggie garden is at least waist high, it's definitely off limits once the sun begins to go down.

I did find a snake repellent product for my henhouse at Atwood's. It's a cedar dust that you just sprinkle around in areas where you really don't want them. It's supposed to last for several weeks, and it apparently does not bother anything else. It's safe to use around my birds. I don't know whether it's really working or not, but we haven't caught any snakes in the henhouse this year like we usually do.
It's called Snake Stopper, put out by Bonide. Other stores might have it also.

Pat

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 7:04PM
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