snake bite

suej41(8Bmt)July 10, 2003

Sunday morning a friend woke up not feeling well at all.

She slept on & off all day. Monday morn. she woke up & her foot was a little swollen. As the day progressed it swelled even more, toes turned blue, pain was excruciating. Was taken to Dr., he found two puncture marks on side of foot. She was told it was NOT a spider bite, but didn't know what else could be. Can you be bitten by a snake & not know it? And would it take 24 hours for venom to take effect?

Any answers???????


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YES - the pilot rattler is a small, really really mean little SOB that is native to this area. It doesn't often use it's rattle, bites with little provocation (Napoleon complex). Another possibility is a juvie of another species. In either case, the punctures would be close together. My advice? Take your pet (if you have one) with you when you garden. Dogs and Cats are quite effective at spotting the nasty little varmits.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 6:59AM
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BlueMntn(z8 SC)

I have a friend that was bitten by a small snake that was in a potted plant that had recently been purchased. She neither knew that she had been bitten at first. She got quite sick from it. The snake was later caught and identified as being prevalent in Florida. The plant came from Florida. Sorry, I don't remember the type snake nor plant.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 3:00PM
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There was a story in the Dallas Morning News this morning about a man who was bitten by a snake. He said he felt the bite, but it was so slight, and it didn't hurt afterwards, so he forgot all about it. Yada, yada, five days later he went to the doctor as his lower leg was swollen and turning black. It seems he had been bitten by a copperhead. And that's no pygmy rattler. So I suppose it depends on how hard you're hit and how much venom gets in you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2003 at 3:10PM
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Only been bitten by a snake once (so far), and it was about a 1 ft. little bitty thing, but I felt it. What's more, it didn't just bite and let go, it stayed until I pried it off my hand. Snakes do strike and release but I find it hard to imagine being bitten by a snake and not knowing it, even a small one. Hope you friend gets better. If there is a university of zoo nearby, you might try to contact someone who deals with reptiles to get more information.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2003 at 4:38PM
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redhanded1(Z7 SC)

Being bitten by a snake would be quite noticable. I agree that some strike and release, but often when a snake does this, it releases very little venom. A strike and release bite means "leave me alone". Venemous snakes won't (in many cases) waste much venom on defensive strikes. I have been bitten by non venemous snakes and they didn't just release; they chewed for several seconds. Sounds like she was bitten by a spider (probably when putting on her shoes). Sounds like it was maybe a Black Widow.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2003 at 9:26AM
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shellyshelly(z8 SC)

i personally think she should have seen a different doctor...


    Bookmark   July 19, 2003 at 11:46AM
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shellyshelly(z8 SC)

"Subject: snake bite on garden web page
I am not a member of the garden web site but wandered in by accident. I guess since I'm not a member I couldn't post a follow-up to Sue's question about a friend's possible snakebite. If you could post this, I would appreciate it. I apparently was bitten just above my left ankle by a copperhead snake last week in San Antonio. This occurred either late Tues. or Wed. morning while we were walking around the missions. I had no idea I had been bitten. My ankle swelled a little on Wed. night. By Thurs. night I had fever, but it was not until Saturday morning that I actually found the fang marks. My fever became very high on Sat. night and Sun. and my left ankle was very swollen. I called the poison control center and saw a doctor on Sun. who said that I indeed had been snake bitten. She said the full impact of the venom usually doesn't hit for four days. So yes, you can be bitten and not know. Fortunately copperheads are not that dangerous. Alice in B'ham"

    Bookmark   July 30, 2003 at 2:39PM
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Somebody help! I thought copperhead snakes were very venomous, however I have never been bitten by one and hopefully never will. Comments, please

    Bookmark   July 30, 2003 at 3:42PM
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Ray_Scheel(z8b/SS31 E. TX)

Copperheads are "not very venemous" in that you are unlikely to die before seeking medical attention, even if its delayed for a few days. You *will* get very sick and may half-heartedly *wish* you had died at some points during the intial days of dehabilitation.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2003 at 5:01PM
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copperheads are the least venomous of snakes native to the u.s.a.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 6:55AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Copperheads only kill the very young, the very old, and the very sick. I find it hard, but not impossible, to believ that you can be bitten and not know it. I have had the misfortune of being bitten by several snakes in my life ( all non-venomous) and being struck in my snake chaps while quail hunting by a BIG rattler. I can tell this much: when the common brown water snake bit me in my forearm, well, it felt like I had been struck by 3-iron with John Daly at the helm. Bruised for 2 weeks the size of a baseball.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 8:41AM
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Nell Jean

According to the Florida snake expert I heard on PBS, snake bites, like bee and wasp stings, can be life-threatening even if it's not a venomous snake if you're allergic to the venom.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 10:32AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Huh? I think you mean can be life-threatening if they are allergic to the venom...but it'd have to be posionous to have venom! I see your point though....some people have can go into anaphalayctic shock after coming into contact with it bee, spider or snake...and suffocate to death if not given prompt emergency medical attention.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 2:42PM
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LoraxDave(z7B Alabama)


    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 7:49PM
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SouthernBama(South Alabama)

Having dealt with copperheads, the smaller snakes have a "light" bite usually. But still, I don't know how you could miss being bitten. They usually just make you sick. However, if you get struck by a Eastern Diamondback, you will definitely know it. They strike like a sledgehammer, and with a full dose of venom, they can kill if untreated. I would be concerned, but it is hard to treat with anit-venom if you don't know the species of snake. I see a lot of copperheads around my home and area. They often hide in leaf litter and in flowerbeds. They love amphibians such as frogs and toads. Watch out in the yard if you have them in your area. I killed a one-footer in my yard about a week ago.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 10:56AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

SouthernBama : It was an Eastern Diamondback that struck me in Decatur County, GA, ( about 60 miles east by southeast from Dothan, AL) in December of 1987 while quail hunting. I am 6 feet tall and was struck in my snake chaps about one inch from where the snake chaps end at the top of my thighs. I was almost knocked of of my feet, but did get knocked back several feet and stumbled. My brother killed the snake and we measured it at 89 far the largest snake I have ever seen in the wild.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 1:39PM
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SouthernBama(South Alabama)

Wilmingtom Islander, I live in the Dothan, Alabama, area, and I can say there are some huge Eastern Diamondbacks around. The snakes aren't as prevalent as they once were, but it is not uncommon for six-plus foot snakes to be spotted on a regular basis. Sounds like you had an unforgettable experience. I love to bird hunt, but I am very cautious when the temps are above 60 degrees. Those snakes can be very tempermental when shedding there skin. Like you said, they pack a strong punch.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 10:24AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Dothan is a fine little city..the "Circle City"....nice RTJ golf course there as well. I love the eastern diamondback, and unless it strikes at me, I leave them alone. Canebrake rattlers, cottonmouths and copperheads I kill on sight! Best of luck to you gardening and hunting.....

    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 10:49AM
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SouthernBama(South Alabama)

Yeah, Dothan is not a bad place. I work in Dothan and live in Enterprise. The RTJ courses are one thing the State of Alabama has done a good job with. Highland Oaks in Dothan is a nice course. I play there alot. Take care and good luck with your gardening and hunting too!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2004 at 11:05AM
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BEWARE!! My grandchildren were looking for frogs to use in a frog race at school!!!! A young child was bitten twice, once on the face and once on the neck before an adult could get to him..they were not me. The child is in Vanderbilt ICU very ill. It was a Copperhead..Betcha mine will not be out looking for frogs anymore in the creek. Told them to come to their Nan's house..I have plenty of frogs.
Hate snakes, big ones, little ones, esp. live ones!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2004 at 12:14PM
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Applegate(Atlanta, GA)

Yikes! I have two very bad gardening habits: (1) not wearing gloves and (2) reaching into places to pull weeds, etc. How many other people think what I think? ...if you don't see a snake, it ain't there. Doh ..

Thanks, ya'll, for the great stories/reminders!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2004 at 7:52AM
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ladybug24(z8 AL)

I am from Headland(just down the road from Dothan), My dad got bit by a "baby" diamondback that was in his fig tree about 7 years ago. The "babies" are much more poisonous because they do not know when to stop biting, therefore, most of there venom is released into the bloodstream of the victim. So sometimes the yonger snakes are more dangerous than the adult snakes. This information was given to me from a doctor at a hospital in Arizona where they recieve more patients from snake bites than any other injury.By the way, my dad is okay. It was the anti-venom that almost killed him though.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2004 at 10:26PM
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Let me clarify and build on ladybug's point here:

Baby snakes and adult snakes are equally venomous in the sense that their venom has the same potency (potency is how strong the venom is per amount of venom injected), but adult snakes are more dangerous in that they have a higher venom yield (venom yield is the amount of total venom a snake can deliver---the bigger the snake the more venom).

So technically the larger the snake the more dangerous BUT (and this but is the point ladybug is alluding to)..practically speaking juveniles can be more dangerous and adults less dangerous because..

Adult snakes often regulate the amount of venom they inject and rarely deliver their full yield and in fact many adult venomous snakes (approximately 1/4 to 1/2) inject no venom at all and deliver a dry bite.

After a snake injects venom it takes time to regenerate venom and snakes need the venom for prey items and adult snakes apparently have learned that wasting too much venom on the drunk guy messing with them at the camp picnic means no venom left over to eat mice for a while. Thus typically unless an adult snake is really agitated and scared they won't give you their full load but will regulate the amount of venom that they deliver (but mind you a big snake can still conserve a fair percentage of its total yield and still deliver a hospitalizing blow)

Juvenile snakes rarely regulate their venom so while they have less of it than adults, they generally give you the full load of what they do have.

Ladybug also makes a good point about antivenin. It can be as bad as the bite itself in some cases and, in fact, is no longer recommended for the more mildly venomous species such as copperheads.

The most dangerous snakes in the United States based on the combination of venom potency and venom yield are the Eastern Diamondback, Western Diamondback and Mojave Rattlesnakes. Antivenin is usually required for a wet bite from any of these snakes. Even bites from these snakes are very rarely fatal. In an average year no more than 5 of the 8000 venomous snake bites in the US are fatal and these include pet owners with deadly non-native species like cobras and members of religious groups which handle rattlesnakes and refuse medical treatment if bitten based on their interpretation of a verse in the bible.

Coral snakes, by the way, while having a very high venom potency, have a very low venom yield and contrary to conventional wisdom are not as dangerous as the species of rattlesnakes I mentioned above. That and its really hard to agitate them enough to bite you.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2004 at 2:36PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Well said and completely accurate, Wayne.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2004 at 8:48AM
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Booo(z7 East TN)

Watch VenomER on animal Planet. Tuesday nights at 8:00.
Although it deals with most species native to the California area, its a very interesting and informative show. Dr. Bush is one of the few experts on snake bites and the human body. (MOst importantnly- how they effect the body.)
He is not just a "realty show" star. He lives this stuff and is considered an expert in the field.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2004 at 8:39PM
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Just found this thread after doing a little copperhead research on the internet. Wanted to share my experience from an hour ago.

I was running out to wheel the garbage can from the driveway to the curb just as the truck was pulling up. As I tilted it and started pushing I just happened to catch a glimpse of the copperhead coiled underneath. As I almost placed my bare foot on him I did some sort of dance, spin, jump move to get out of the way. Luckily I missed him, watched him for a second, then RAN to the curb and back. In the 15 seconds I was gone he was gone and the only place he could have possibly made it in that time was the now open garage door.

So after screwing up my courage I got in, found some shoes and started looking. Luckily he had only made it a few feet in and found a pile of scrap 2x4s to huddle up under. I was able to dispatch it with a shovel - I am guessing it was 20-24 inches. Makes me wonder what else could be living in the garage - especially worrisome since I have two small children and a cat.

We killed two babies in the last month and hopefully this is the mom and there are no more on our property. Guess we will know next summer!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 12:31PM
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gary_ms(z8 MS)

Interesting thread. I'm surprised not many mentions of water moccasins, aka cottonmouths. Any experiences with them?.

P.S. an 89 inch diamondback is one hell of a rattler. Thankfully, their range is supposed to end a little east of where I am at. We do run into canebrake, aka timber rattlers, fairly often.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 12:07AM
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Evelyn3170(z8 SW GA.)

Wayne...Snake ID..... I live in SW Georgia.....About three years ago I saw a black snake with an yellowish--orange belly cross my driveway.....since then I have had to get 2 baby snakes like this out of my pool skimmer. They probably got thrown in the pool by the weed eater ... it was right after my grass was cut...I had put down new sod around my pool and watered it like crazy so the roots would grow and the grass was kinda high both times... Do you have any idea what kind of snake this is..... I live in an area of Lee Co. Georgia where the houses were built approx 25 years ago and are all on about an acre of land if that helps ID the snake... I worry about my 20 pound dog being bitten....Thanks, Evelyn

    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 10:01AM
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Sounds like a Plainbelly Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster). They are nonvenomous and harmless. They will bite if a dog picks them up in its mouth or persistently agitates them, but their bite is little more than a scratch and will not do the dog any real harm.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 12:51AM
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johnpoole(central sc)

bitten one by a water moccasin, (spelling) and beleive me i knew it, was about 12 and don't remember much about the next three days. my grandfather cut the bite and sucked out the poison, but it still took weeks before i had any engery. i read of a man that was bitten at a nursery while inspecting a tree and thought it was a thorn. he lived but was in the hospital over night. when i was biten the snake didn't release until i removed his head. the bite was very painful

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 1:14PM
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julesnega(7B/NE GA)

Whew! don't know why I read all these postings. Guess it is like watching a scary movie, afraid to watch, but curiosity...any way found it most informative. I live in rural NE Georgia, mountains in back, creek in front. Have seen lots of copperheads, but steer clear of them. My cats have been bitten a few times, but lived thru it. Like Applegate, I too garden without gloves and pull weeds without paying much attention to what may be underneath. I'll be more careful in the future. Thanks to you all for the nightmares I will have tonite.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 2:25PM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

I live in southeast Louisiana surrounded by the Mississippi River, coulees and bayous. I have learned the hard way to always begin my gardening by using a long stick to stir up the flower beds or bushes. I can't run as fast as I once could so it is best to get the snake away from me than for me to try to get away from the snake.
We have water mocassins galore and because of new housing developments and destruction of so much of our woodlands, the snakes are looking for a new habitat. I am deathly afraid of snakes and respect the damage they can do to a human and pets.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 3:03PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

I find it interesting that there isn't much mention of cottonmouths, either. It is been my experience ( and as a lifelong outdoors man I have a lot) that the cottonmouth is by far the most aggressive venomous snake we have in the US...and one of the most dangerous. Here's a couple of MY experiences with them: In 1987 in Laurens county georgia I was fishing on the bank of a pond/lake and just happened to look down at my stringer of bream...and a 4 foot water moccasin was half-way done with the lead his jaw was unhinged and he was "caught", he was easy to dispatch. In 1996 in Cross County Arkansas while duck hunting one unseasonably warm November day, I stepped one one that struck..and then my 5mm neoprene waders...again, easy to dispatch. In the spring of 1997 in cross county Arkansas while crappie fishing with a firend, I had one make a beline for my jon boat from about 100 yards away...after firing at him with a 22 about 10 times as he got closer ( I know, I know, I should have had a shotgun but I didn't!) and missing, I was forced to "walk the plank" so to speak, by taking a "backward scuba plunge" as the water moccasin ROSE UP AND CLIMBED INTO THE BOAT ( my water entry was far more graceful than my friends' was, trust me!) THe snake stayed in the boat for probably 45 to 60 seconds before exiting...and swimming right at me ( I am now about 20 feet from the boat in the water, waiting for him to exit). I dove and that was the last I saw of him. But For sheer terror, nothing comes close to my experience of a water snake dropping into my boat from a low hanging branch and then biting me...but that is another story for another day.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 10:32AM
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I am originally from South Alabama and have had my run-ins with cottonmouths. They love to eat fish on a stringer. When you look down and see them it can scare you to death, not a pretty site but I rather them eat the fish than me. Which brings me to my scare- I was about 8 1/2 months pregnant and miserable. I love to "pond fish" and my husband, being the sweet soul he is, decided to take me fishing to lift my spirits. Which it usually did. Nothing better than sitting on a bank or drifting around in a boat waiting for that tug on your line. We loaded up our gear and off we went. We were having a good afternoon and it was getting dark. As my husband sculled around the edge I would cast up under the overhanging brush. As I did my lure got hung. My husband was going over to un-hook it and just as we got about 10 feet from the bank a BIG cottonmouth fell out of the bush and started swimming for us. Now, you have to understand, I have this terrible phobia about snakes as my Mother did. I have nightmares about them, cant watch them on TV or in the movies. They scare me to death- they are evil looking creatures to me. I know some of you love them and find them intriguing, and thats ok, but not me. Anyway, it scared me so bad I started crying and screaming and my husband was yelling for me to turn my rod loose which I had a death grip on. Therefore, he could not paddle us away. He finally took a paddle and knocked the rod out of my hands and paddled like crazy to get us away from this HUGH snake coming for us. When he finally got us to the bank I was hysterical and would not get out of the boat. He had to pick me up and carry me to the truck. I cried all the way home and he even called his Mom to come over. He was so afraid I was going into labor because of the snake. I still to this day dream about that little adventure- I guess I was traumatized.
I have been told a mature snake can judge from the intruders vibrations when they are approaching how much venom to excrete. For instance a large bear is approaching, the snake realizes he does not have enough venom to kill nor could he swallow a bear. So the strikes and bites but does not release any venom. He is only trying to scare off the bear. I have also been told that rattlesnakes have fangs that are independent. If they strike and hit bone with one fang the snake can withdraw that one fang and re-insert in a different area to be able to release venom. Just a little trivia I have heard and wonder if its true.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 7:09PM
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gary_ms(z8 MS)


I agree with your observation that the cottonmouth can be aggressive. I've had a couple of scary moments, but none as bad as the one that got you out of the boat.

When a friend of mine goes fishing in Louisiana bayou country, he carries a 38 Special revolver filled with "snake loads" (each round filled with shotgun or BB pellets), just in case he has one come at him in the water, like yours did. He tells me the load can be effective out to 15-20 feet.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 11:02PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Thanks Gary. After that incident I did indeed begin carrying a 5 shot 38 snubnose filled with "snake shot", "rat shot", or my favorite, as my Dad used to hunt with his 38, "quail shot", which as you know, are all the same. His eyes and reflexes aren't what they used to be, but it was quite a sight to see my Dad nailing the quail with a pistol. I haven't had the luck to run up on one of those bastards since I began carrying it, and now no longer do as my fishing escapades are all in salt water now, where thankfully, there are few snakes. After all of my bad encounters with snakes, the funny thing is, I am not scared of neighbors all call me for snake catching and removal! Now a spider on the other hand, would make me run out into the traffic on 1-95. THEY, freak me out.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 9:16AM
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Over 40 years ago I went pond fishing in Lowndes County, Alabama, with my family. We had a picnic afterwards and about dark my father told me to go down and get our stringer of fish. As I pulled the stringer out of the water, I saw a big water moccasin wrapped around the fish. I threw the stringer of fish down and went screaming up the bank. My father had a gun of some sort in the car and shot at the snake as it went swimming away, fish still in its mouth. I still have chills thinking about this and occasionally still dream about it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 7:09PM
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I live in "Snake-a-sota (Sarasota) County" Florida. They say that if you walk through an acre of undeveloped land here, you just passed 17 snakes and didn't know it. We have every poisonous snake in the south here except the timber rattler, which is only found in northern Florida.

We used to go to my grandmother's house on an island in SC every year, very remote, very undeveloped. My cousin and I, ages 12 and 9, would put on our bathing suits and our tennis shoes, grab a stick to beat the head high grass and weeds down, and head down the road to the plum orchard. We were always told that if you made enough noise, a snake would run from you. Must be true, because we never saw one, except for the 6 foot diamondback that was killed when her grandfather was clearing his lot next door.

Fast forward about 30 years, and my sister moves to the house where my grandmother lived. She has the back lot cleared, and the guy tells her he dug up a ball of rattlers, so she'd better not go into the back yard for awhile. She was shocked, and he told her that if she knew how many snakes there were on her property, she would never leave her house.

Anyway, she must have left the house, because she got bit by a copperhead about six months later. Now my sister and I are not bosom buddies, in fact, we don't speak. My mother told me about the copperhead bite and I asked if she had died. She said "no" and I said "too bad".

I've had water moccasins fall into my boat when I was fishing a blackwater creek in SC, and we just threw them out with the oar. They didn't really want to be in the boat, they just fell asleep in the tree and fell out, and we happened to be there. But the day here in Florida that I saw one on my back swale, I was scared. I went inside and stayed until I figured it had left.

I've seen water moccasins chase rabbits and dogs. I've seen them make a beeline for a person fishing on the shore when they're in the water. I'm much more afraid of them than I am of eastern diamondbacks. A diamondback will warn you, and if you stop and start backing up very slowly, you can usually come out of that o.k.

Unless you're stupid enough to step over a log or rock in the woods without looking behind it, or go into high grass without a "snake stick", you will probably never see one except in a zoo.

I have a healthy respect for snakes, but I wouldn't say I'm afraid of any but the moccassin.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 1:30AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Hear, Hear, bruggirl. I've had them invlountarily "relocate" me from the banks of many a pond after seeing me and deciding to come for a better look. They must have the most testosterone of any snake out there. They simply, much to the chagrin of hard-core animal activists and snake lovers everywhere, are aggressive and , to my mind, worthy complete extinction ( I know, I know, I am NOT God, and wouldn't be "playing" him either). Several types of water snakes would fill the vaccumm the nature so abhors...I don't think the frog population is going to explode into biblical proportions on us if we kill everyone we see. I respect snakes and only kill posionous ones ( except the E. Diamondback...and except for the moster of one that bit me). I simply hate cottonmouths.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 9:13AM
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tysaroe(Florida 9a)

I've kept snakes and it's totally possible to be bitten and it not feel like much, I think alot of people might just think they brushed a twig against their leg. I know better and anytime I'm in the scrub and a twig or something wipes up against my leg I always glance down to make sure it's not a snake. Even if it was just a little pop, some people can be allergic and even relatively minor amounts of poison can be dangerous. And if you think snakes will always run away, that is wrong, a few times I've almost stepped right on a snake which just sat there after I stopping walking and my foot is still right over it (black racers, even!)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 1:19PM
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Something that a lot of people are unaware of: snakes are deaf! They lack ear connections that would warn them of humans approaching. They only feel vibrations in the substrate they are on, so yelling and screaming are ineffective.
They are also extremely nearsighted, so might move toward a human that they can't see (range of sight limited to 3-5 feet) thinking they are escaping the encounter.
Regardless of facts, most humans I have met, engage their emotional God complex and eradicate what they consider dangerous in spite of the proven good they do.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 11:17PM
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I was raised in Fla., and we had a large swamp at the back of our property. If you think Fla. has snakes now, should have been around when I was a kid! You never went a day without seeing snakes. My dad killed a diamond back that was longer than the bed of his Ford truck when I was about 9 years old. Snakes in the garage? Probably followed the scent of a mouse there. Cottonmouths are the meanest and I have seen them try to fight you to keep a stringer of fish. I now live in NC, while camping in the Huwarrie a couple of years ago, my husband left his rod baited with a whole brim laying on a rock. Next morning he goes down to the water and he yells, "Come here, I caught one of the biggest water snakes you ever saw." All the way down, I'm saying i betcha money he's not the biggest I ever saw, remember you married a gal that spent her childhood in the swamps. I almost fainted!!!! One of the biggest Cottonmouths I had ever seen,(been here since 84 and never seen one) swallowed the fish and HOOK, and my husband is standing very near him. I screamed GET BACK just about the time that snake put up the fight from hell. Of course the snake was scared to death, but so was I since my husband had no idea what he was near. I promise you the snake looked as though he was standing up he was jumping so high, and fat as could be. You get one of them scared or mad and he'll fight. We too have had them swim straight to the boat, once years ago that happened with my Popa and me and I was about to jump out the back of the boat, he yelled, "You better not jump out of this boat, there's more Gators out there than this one snake!" He killed him with the oar and I had to wee the rest of the day in the minnow bucket, no more getting out on the bank for me to go to the bathroom!!!! I was just a kid and scared me half to death. We were always told as kids that a Coral snake had to chew on you to get venom in you, is that true Snake Man? They'd always warn us when we had to get up leaves. One time we had a Moccasin in our bathtub!!! My Moma chopped him with the hoe. I could tell you snake stories all day about when we were growing up, always was scared of the poison ones but I still catch the nonvenimous ones for my grandsons, they fool with them awhile and we let them go. Yes, they know the rules, Ganny catches it or you don't touch it! Scares my husband to death:).

    Bookmark   August 8, 2004 at 7:49AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

You sound like a good my own that was born and raised in Decautur county, GA, on the Florida Line. I have a feeling this thread will one day reach its limit of 100. I hope so. I love snake stories.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 9:13AM
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plantaholic(zone 8a AL)

i live in a wooded area in central alabama....and over the past 22 years ive encountered many snakes in my garden. i have recorded 14 species and amazingly none have been poisonous. i give credit to the numerous king snakes for keeping the rattlesnakes, copperheads etc...away. i dont mind them at all. many help keep the vole and mouse population at bay.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 12:18AM
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maine_gardener(Z 5 Me)

EEEEEEEEkkkk mental note to self. Don't leave Maine! These snake stories are scarey the worse we have here in Maine are green garter snakes!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 9:38PM
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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

Now a note from U.P.Michigan. After the scare from the "maybe" copper head in my Alabama garden shed last winter, I am spooked. Yesterday I was walking down our garden walk and there layed a brown snake. (Must have been at least 3 feet long to my eye, but turned out to be 12 inches) Anyhow as all we have are garder snakes and grass snakes, this brown snake was not suppose to be here. (my way of thinking, did we transport it here from the south, like the green tree frog that we found in the trailer awning) With hoe in hand one whack and he was a gonner. Looked it up on the net, and found it was a red bellied harmless snake that eats slugs. Now I feel bad about doing it in. But when it comes to snakes, of late, I am afraid I will continue to Leap before I Look.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 9:11AM
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Linda_e(SW LA z8b)

I grew up in southwestern Louisiana, on the edge of the "Big Thicket" with swamps for a playground. I'm terrified of a snake, any kind. And I lived for 20 years in Central TX out in rural areas where it wasn't unusual at all to see diamond back rattlers. Have had them on my porch as a matter of fact and tried to squash one by skidding my vehicle on it, but it was so big, I couldn't kill it.

But I too fear a cottonmouth more than any other type of snake. They are vicious, no doubt about it. A rattler will at least warn you and a copperhead and coral snake will try and get out of your way, but not the cottonmouth.

The largest timber rattler I ever saw was down near the river bottom (Sabine River) and it was huge. And the largest diamond back was the one I tried to kill by skidding my vehicle on, but couldn't. And I've seen a lot of big cottonmouths right around here, but thank God, none these last few years!!!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 2:08AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Keep them coming. Most all of us have a snake story or two!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 9:11AM
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gary_ms(z8 MS)

An observation I would make about Copperheads is that I've killed several on cold winter days. I always thought that snakes weren't supposed to be out in the winter.

I have always heard that you can sometimes smell a cottonmouth if you walk near one. Anybody agree? Is this also true for rattlers?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 8:50PM
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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

Gary, My copperhead was enjoying the warmth from the grow lights we had in our garden shed. Bad Idea I had there.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2004 at 8:43AM
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My grandmother's family was quite comfortable financially in the early part of the 20th century. Her father farmed and owned a combination sawmill, gristmill, cotton gin on a creek in the Alabama black belt near Greenesboro. As she told it, in early November every year, after the crops were laid-by and the first cotton had been ginned and baled, great grandfather drained his mill pond (before the winter rains) and held a fish fry on the banks of the creek. They cleaned out stumps and logs from the pond, repaired the mill house equipment and picked up fish for the fry. My great uncle was hard of hearing due to scarlet fever and he didn't speak very well because he couldn't hear well. They invited everyone from church to come by for the fish fry. My great uncle ran his hand up under a stump in the drained pond, hoping he had found a cat fish. He pulled out a very mad mocassin. Uncle Downs was known for using foul language and starting hollering for someone to get a shovel, hoe or gun and take the snake, using some of the bad language to punctuate his pleas. Finally, he threw the snake on the bank and it was killed. Now Grandmother would tell the G rated version of the story. Her sister, a great aunt, who was the "black sheep" of the family would tell the whole, R rated version. Needless to say, the church crowd was appalled at what happened.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 12:08AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Good one. ANd yes, you can smell a water moccasin...or least I can.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 9:38AM
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I have a house on a lake in East Texas. Two weeks ago, my neighbor was reaching for his water faucet and thought he'd been stung. His finger and armed swelled up quickly so his wife rushed him to the E.R. The dr. said he'd been bit by a copperhead. He was in considerable pain and a week later was still needing to rest. Now I have another neighbor who thinks putting mothballs around his property will help keep the snakes away. I told him I thought he should move the wood and rock piles away from his house and use a stick when he's doing anything in tall grass or leafy areas as the moth balls don't work and are toxic. I think that's what I've learned on GW in the past.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 7:24AM
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I know I will have nightmares tonight about snakes. I live on a farm between Dothan and Enterprise, Alabama in a little area called Wicksburg. We do have our share of snakes. The Little Chattwahachee River borders our farm. Several summers ago when my boys were small they decided to take our john boat down the river. I told them it was too dangereous with all the moccicans(sp) around. They went anyway. Needless too say the showed back up at the house running and out of breath. My younger son had paddled the boat right up under a limb where a hugh cottonmouth was sunnying. They jumped out of the boat and walked on water to the bank then ran home as fast as their legs would carry them Never did find that boat and they never memtioned going down the river again. As our area is rural and wooded rattlesnakes are always a threat. The big ones and what is called the ground rattler.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 9:26PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

I know where you are exactly. And I know Jack Deloney, the artist, who is down your way. You probably are far enough in SE Alabama to have Eastern Diamondbacks...or your "ground" rattler may be what we call the "canebrake" rattler...and some folks call it the "timber" rattler.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 9:56AM
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Whatever they are I just hope I don't run into one. This time of year can get rough. It is nearing peanut digging time and when those tractors bring the plows and combines in the rattlers start traveling. My house is surrounded by peanut fields.

Jack Delony is a very good artist. He has moved in old houses and made a little shopping center on the north side of Ozark. I do have to admitt that it has been years since I have been up there.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 11:05AM
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Linda E, many of the diamondbacks in south Georgia do not warn you. Over the years, rattlesnakes that warned were more apt to give away their positions and be killed before they could strike. This took them out of the gene pool, and the non-rattling snakes produced more offspring, which also do not rattle before striking. I think the non-rattlers are now more common in Georgia.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2004 at 7:00PM
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My son and his wife travel all around the US. They live in a 5th wheel and some times they park in our driveway. In the wheel house lives my son, his wife, their 18 month old son, 2 cats and 3 snakes. Two Ball Pythons and one Red Tip Boa. One time while they were parked by our house my son had the 3 snakes out in the grass where he had given them their meals. One rat each with a mouse as desert. He forgot about them as he was fooling around with the tractor and could only find the 2 Ball Pythons when he remembered they were out there loose. Well he looked and looked and was never able to find Hissy. A few weeks later they left for other parts of the country. Then about 2 month after Hissy disapeared I got a phone call at work. It was my husband, and he said guess who I found sunning in the window of the green house? Hissy!! That ment I had to stop at the pet shop on my way home to get Hissy a rat. I did have some really big tree frogs living back there, but I havn't seen them lately. I guess Hissy ate them. I'll hold the Ball Pythons but I keep my distance from that boa. The first time I saw him he struck at me and I took off the same way I do when I see a roach.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2004 at 5:45PM
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just a quick question. i caught a garter snake that is quite large yesterday for my daughter. of course the thing bit me in the hand. i know the garter is supposedly non venemous but does anyone know what if any affect the bite may have. also , any info . on the care of it would be helpful. thanks

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 2:30PM
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my 1 and only snake story. In 1968 my family moved to El Paso Texas from NYC. My father had recently returned from Vietnam as an Army Doc. He had to finish his Army obligation of another year and was sent to William Boumont Army Hospital in El Paso. We had just gotten to El Paso and were staying in a motel style apartments. I was 5 years old and this particular night I was sick with a fever and was sleeping in between my parents in their bed. In the middle of the night I nudged my mother because I was thirsty. She faithfully got up and went into the kitchet to get me a drink. She opened up the fridge and saw something strange. The light of the fridge illuminated what looked like the big area rug rising in the air!! She soon saw a rather large snake pissed off and raising its head to strike. She jumped on top of the cabinetts like a cat petrified. She somehow managed to voice enough of a cry to wake my father who, after the initial shock killed the intruder. Having a lot of experience with snakes--both growing up and in Vietnam he chopped its head off with a sword. Turned out that the snake was from the apartment/house next door. The next door "neighbor" was in special forces who had served a couple of tours as a Green Beret in Vietnam and apparently had lost his mind as his hobby was collecting snakes. All kinds of snakes from all over southeast Asia. And this guy kept them in cages throughtout his apartment. Don't ask me how he got them back in the states--I have no idea. This particilar snake that my mother encountered and my father killed was a 9 foot King Cobra. Yes you heard me right. The next day we moved out of this motel from hell but even that was a hastle. The SOB owner of the motel refused to let us leave without losing our deposit, owing him more rent etc., but my father had had enough and whatever he told the motel owner he not only let us leave but did the packing. That's a true story.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 6:43PM
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It could be a scorpion bite...Scorpions live in zone 8...Your friend should spray her house especially inside her slippers and shoes. Inside drawers, under her bed, inside the box spring, inside cabinets, and under the house if there is a crawl space.

I was bitten by something a few years ago..The bite mark had 2 little marks. Drs never figured out exactly what bit me. My calf swelled up. The area where the bite mark was started to open up and it swelled to the size of a soft ball ouchy...

I went to the Doctor...He gave me a antibiotic shot..a prescription for antibiotics, and a tetnus shot...I was also told to stay still and put ice packs on it..And he told me to come back if it started to turn black...(it never turned black) When the Doctor left the room the nurse told me to get some garlic pills and take 10 of them everyday until the pain and swelling subsided. I did that and 4 days later the pain and swelling were gone....I do not know if it was the garlic that helped or the combination of the Doctors treatment and the garlic or just the Doctor's treatment that worked..

The bite left a scar that was present for over a year but did eventually heal.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 12:52PM
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Additionally: Mothballs chase snakes away. I had a problem with copperheads. A neighbor told me to throw out mothballs near the nest...POOF no more snakes...Apparently mothballs interfere with the snakes sense of smell and irritate them so much that they move away..

Remember mothballs are poison and shouldn't be used if there is a risk of a child getting hold of them.

I hope your friend is okay.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 10:28AM
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I was once walking in the piney woods in East Texas, outside Cleveland. As I approached a creek, I spotted a large cottonmouth about 10 feet away on a small sandbar. He was stretched out, sunning himself. When he saw me, he gave out what I can only describe as a fairly loud "bark", and shot back into the water. The owner of a local reptile shop was of the opinion that I was nuts. He says snakes cannot vocalize. I say they can hiss, why not bark (possibly expel air when startled and somehow make a sound like a bark)? Doesn't matter, I heard it! Any comments?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 11:03AM
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Do water moccasins(sp) jump? My sons were walking in our pasture near our pond when they came upon a snake they stopped about 4 feet away from it and ofcourse froze when my oldest age 14 and very reliable outdoorsman (who was in front) went to move back and to the side the snake JUMPED at him. He said it went right past his chest about 3 feet up barely missing him. He said it was about 4 feet long solid black and thin in shape. It then raced toward the pond. This is the 2nd time this week we have seen a snake that is solid black and thin. We live in north central Florida but are new here from Alaska and not familar with snakes.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 1:02PM
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Well, when I was a teenager, I worked at the Marine Education Center in Biloxi (now Katrina-gone) and my job was to feed the fish and reptiles. I was bitten many times, only once by a venomous snake. Snake fangs are tiny and they can strike and recoil very quickly - you could well not feel a bite. Nonvenomous snakes tend to be constrictors, so they catch food by grabbing with fangs to hold while wrapping coils around prey. People are not prey, and the snakes know it, so I have rarely had snakes bite and hold on me. Water snakes and black racers are the exception - I think they are just dumber and have nasty dispositions (not very scientific, but that's my impression). Banded water snakes also have nasty saliva that can give you a bad wound and infection even though they are not "venomous."

Venomous snakes are not constrictors by trade. I've seen them eat mice and rats many times, and it's pretty spooky. I was told that's where the expression "kiss of death" comes from. After the strike (venom delivery) and instant recoil, they curl up and wait. When the animal dies, the snake approaches and smells it all over, appearing to "kiss" the prey in many spots, before swallowing it.

If a person recoiled or otherwise moved while a snake is biting, it may appear to hold on, but the snake is actually "caught" on you by a tooth. I've seen this.

The severiy of a venomous bite is affected by species of snake, individual snake, age/size of snake, where you are bitten, how deeply, how long bite lasted, etc. So that's why so much variety in bite experiences - instant vs days and so forth. I would go to an emergency room, but I would not expect much there. Doctors don't see snake bites much. Pit vipers are the norm here (North America), unless you live somewhere warm enough to have coral snakes. (Coral snakes have nonretractable fangs so I've never heard of a human bite - where would you be bitten - webbing between thumb and index finger maybe.) You can definitely die from a snake bite, though it would be very unusual. I've heard of all sorts of treatment - antivenoms usually not stocked, local tissue removal used to be the norm for big cottonmouth bites where I grew up.

Lots of times you don't see fang marks. Even though doctors may act like they know, they see snake bites rarely, and I suspect that they say snake bite when it's usually spider bite. ALL spiders are venomous to one degree or another(that's how they eat) and spiders encounters are way more common. I have noted that the site af a pit viper bit can blacken (I'm no doctor but probably have as much snake bite experience as most.), like a brush of tar was put on skin rather than 2 fang marks. Take an antihistamine as soon as possible. Go to the hospital. If what they tell you doesn't sound right, go to another doctor. At least make them give you an antibiotic, because infection is not unusual.

I saw on some documentary that the earth would be knee-deep in rodents if all the snakes suddenly disappeared. I believe it. They eat my mice and voles. Snakes are useful and usually shy, retiring, and harmless.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:04AM
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txgardengal(Zone 7)

A scorpion bite ? I have been stung and it hurt like the devil and we have little brown ones that come into our house every summer but I have never been bitten by a scorpion ! As far as snakes go - we have some pretty good size rattlers that live on our property but we kill them if we see them and so far no one has bitten (thank goodness).....I know spiders can bite you and you don't know it but I can't imagine not knowing that a snake bit you.....well, now that Im completely creeped out, Im going to go check on my gardenias *grin*

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 5:56PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

I have always been told, when I gave a description of a snake I was suspicious of, but only saw from a distance that it wasn't a cottonmouth if it wasn't fat. In other words, I don't think they have a 'thin' body shape. Thankfully, I don't think I've ever seen one.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 1:37PM
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Yep, I'm pretty sure Stephanie's snake is a harmless Southern Black Racer by the description of both snake and behavior.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:42AM
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Hi, I am new to the site after searching for information on copperheads. We live in Guntersville, AL, and we have many natural rocks, uneven terrain, etc... We have seen a good many black and yellow snakes, but I didn't become alarmed until my husband almost stepped on a copperhead in our driveway right by the house Saturday evening. We have two girls who had just been out there with us. After reading all the posts under this topic, I must say, I am quite frightened. I have a few questions. There were several who mentioned having the snakes in their house. How do they get in the house, and how do you prevent it? Our home is on a crawl space, and is 1 1/2 years old. I bought stock in Moth Balls today...just kidding...but it does look like it snowed outside in places. I put out quite a bit, but I was too scared to go under the house. Also, would they go up into the house to get away from the moth balls if I put them in the crawl space? Someone mentioned having them in their car? How do they get in the car, and how do you prevent it? How did the copperhead get in the lady's laundry pile? I would honestly have a massive heart attack if I found one in my house or yard. I have been afraid of snakes since I was a child, but continue to garden and enjoy the outdoors cautiously. However, I thought it was a phobia that I could leave at the door when I was inside the house or car. As a mother, I naturally want to protect my family so I am seeking to educate myself while taking all necessary precautions. I would appreciate any information or advice. I am conquering quite a few phobias living at this address. We have a rock cliff behind us. I have seen, in the last two weeks, a bobcat, a wild pig, raccoons, copperhead snake, black and yellow snakes, a fox, a prairie dog, and countless chipmunks(they don't bother me). I have lived in Mississippi and Alabama my entire life, but this address is like the Wild Kingdom. It's beautiful...we even see bald eagles...but the copperhead shook my cage so to speak. I would appreciate any feedback or advice. Dana

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 10:08PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Sometimes people get bitten by coral snakes and don't even know it right away as this could be the case with this lady. I was bitten by a very small copperhead when I was a kid and sucked the poison out myself and was afraid, my dad, a Medical Doctor would be mad at me for messing with it. My hand was swollen and I felt like crap for 5 days, but I lived. The wound on my finger had a black hole in it where the fangs went and it didn't completely heal over for 6 months! I have respect for all snakes and reptiles, so whne I come accross a poisonous one I just leave it alone. Snakes kill lots of rodents that would otherwise spread illness and ruin crops. I think it is wrong to kill them just because they are there. I move them into the woods when I come accross them on my property.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:59PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

Yep its a good idea to stir around in a flower bed before crawling around in it to plant plants! A few years back I was out close to the road on our drive planting some cell pack annuals and I had been crawling around in the pinestraw planting the plants for 45 minutes I know!!!! I lacked 2 plants from having them ALL PLANTED on that side when all of a sudden I dug the straw back and was digging the hole and there it was right there where I was digging UNDER the pinestraw I HAD BEEN CRAWLING AROUND IN! Needless to say, I didn't finish nor did I do the other bed that day! It was a small rattlesnake and I managed to kill it with my hand shovel and a big rock. I didn't know they would get in the pinestraw like that!!!!!! It scared me so bad that I wasn't fit for nothing the rest of the day!!!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 1:12AM
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kathyinalabama(7b Montevallo)

Someone mentioned that snakes would 'run' if you made enough noise or disturbance...hmmm
I had driven my car down a dirt path to reach a small fishing pond tucked behind a wooded area (near Auburn, AL). Upon leaving, stretched across that car-wide dirt path, was a HUGE rattler that was making NO effort to move out of the way. I honked the car horn several times and finally decided to just run over it, but my son didn't want me to. So....we get out of the car and throw a few rocks his way. Still doesn't move. Finally, I find a sturdy tree branch and gave the snake a whack. He quickly scooted away from me only to coil-up and rattle his tail--looked like he was ready to battle rather than move off into the trees. YIKES.
Anyway, I lost my desire to fish that little pond after that--and it held some big hungry Bass. :(

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 5:20PM
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You're son is awesome for sparing the snake and you too for bravely and noblely obliging!

As far as snakes in the garden, making a disturbance will work if by making a disturbance one means stomping your feet, it will not work if one means yodeling, honking a car, or blowing a whistle.

Snakes do not have mammalian senses and are deaf so noise isn't useful unless what makes the noise causes vibrations. Snakes also have lousy eyesight, fwiw. Vibrations are useful because snakes can feel them. They also have great smell and can stake out a place under leaf litter or next to a log that has rodent scent trails a week old, or locate a den site by following their own pheremone scent trails from weeks ago.

One of the tricky challenges we humans face when we confront snakes is that it is easy to assume that they are working with the same general sensory apparatus, motives and reasoning skills that we are. Their smell-based view of the world is so different than ours that it's like an altogether different critter.

My experience is pretty much the same with moving rattlesnakes off roads. They will move initially but after a couple seconds if they are still on an exposed surface without holes to retreat to they will turn to try and figure out where the predator attacking them is coming from by sticking out their tongue and smelling. And it takes them a while to figure out where you are so they get pretty defensive, scared and irritable when they turn too.

I've found that what often works is to tap them with a stick and then step away. They'll stay and defend for a while and after they think you are gone, they'll head for cover. My guess is the reason they turn to defend is because as long as they think you are there, they don't want to leave their flank exposed to what they assume is a predator looking to harm them.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 3:48PM
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This has been an interesting thread. We live in Arkansas, and have a pond at the side of our house in our pasture. Just about every year our pond gets infested with Water Moccasins. My dad kills them. Sometimes, he catches them when they are only half in the water. He grabs their tails and just pulls them out of the water. Then, he either slings them to break their necks or throws them on the ground and cuts their heads off with a shovel.
We ain't seen many Moccasins around this year.
A couple years ago, there was a HUGE one in there. Dad tried so hard to get that one. One day, it just sit out of our reach in the water and it would fling it's tail in and out of the water. I think dad eventually got a branch and hit it, or caught it.
Dad has never been bitten. I don't know how he managed it, but he has. Thankfully.
I just thought y'all would enjoy that little story. I have a few snake stories. Never been bit though.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 1:19AM
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Well I figure I could share a couple more stories while I'm in here.

When I was little my Mama and I would go to our barn to feed the horses. When I was 5, my Mom met my step-dad. One day, he decided that he would go feed the horses with us, and it ended up saving my Mom. My Mom was about to reach into the feed sack like she always did, but she never thought to look in the sack first. Dad, however, said, "Here. I'll do it." So mom didn't stick her hand into the sack. Instead, Dad looked into the sack before sticking his hand inside, and saw eyes. He took the sack outside and dumped it. I don't remember what kind of snake it was.

Another day, Mama, one of my cousns, and me were waching our horse. I was about 5. Mom told me to go inside to get something. I was walking backward to listen to her and walk at the same time. All of a sudden she yelled, "Stop!!." I looked down and I was walked backward right over a green snake. Not thinking, I jumped back over the thing to get to my Mommy!! HAHA...

There are more, but I guess that's enough for now. I already shared 3 stories.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 1:33AM
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My little Shi Tsu "Roxanne" just got bit tonight by a juvenile copperhead that was underneath my chair in the yard. I never saw the snake until after she walked away acting kind of funny. I'm lucky I didn't get bit. Took her to the vet with the dead snake. Got to go back tomorrow morning. She is not feeling well now. I hope to God that she will be all right.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 11:16PM
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I live in a beautiful wooded area in florida with hundreds of acres of ferns all around us. Heaven, SNAKE HEAVEN. Last summer my 6 yr old boy called to me, "mommy, i have a surprise". If you have ever had an adventurous 6 yr old, you know this means move it. I went outside and he showed me his Snakey on a stick. Still alive, but not by much, looked like maybe the cats got it. My hair turned white and fell out as I got closer and realized it was a pygmy rattler on the end of my sons stick. I reasonably demanded he drop it and step back. Bye Bye snake. I went to the book store and bought a great book on snakes to help my son and self understand and identify these creatures. I have seen 5 rattlers in 2 years here, so I try to be aware and cautious as I am always outside doing something in the weeds.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 10:29PM
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Eleven days ago, I was bitten by a Copperhead on my right big toe. It was a young snake, as it still had the blue tail. Both fangs found their mark. I certainly knew I was bitten before I saw the snake and began to feel the effects of the venom before I reached my front door, only 25 feet away. In the ER, it took morphine to ease the pain and I generally have a pretty high pain tolerance. I had considerable swelling and bruising from the foot to the groin area. I am very grateful that at this point in time, it seems there will be no permanent damage.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 9:24AM
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carex(USDA zone 8a)

There is almost a correlation between Rattlesnakes and copperheads in urban or residential sections. Most rattlers will leave after human encroachment but the opposite is true for copperheads. They love structure(i.e. piles of lumber or woodpiles or laundry piles) principally because their prey is in these areas as they are small rodent consummers. I agree with someone above who said let them be if you can. I came home yesterday and my cat was acting suspiciously in one of my beds. Soon he appeared with a snake in his mouth about 8-10 inches long. I never got close as my cat knew I would take it from so he skedaddled . Probably a DeKays brown snake or something else I don't know. I have a degree in Zoology and I know a good deal about snakes as I used to work with them. Have been bitten numerous times by harmless rat snakes (only harmless in poison) that flat out hurt so I think it would be hard not to notice a snake biting you..

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 3:47PM
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I believe the "ground rattler" is a common name for the pygmy rattler. You can add me to the list of people who have seen a person chased by a moccassin.

My brother and I were taking turns 25 years ago floating in a small inflatable boat on a brackish bayou when a snake chased him for 15 feet or more, swimming with its head held above the water. My brother screamed like a girl and you never saw so much foam and fury as he thrashed that tiny boat back and away from that snake.

I am told that only the moccassin swims like that. Killed a small one once with a shovel that ended up on my fathers doorstep after a heavy rain.

I recently killed a small timber rattler on my rural property where I am about to build. He was crossing the road onto my land and I decided he would not be allowed to live and breed where my neices play. I love snakes, and often upbraid the rednecks who proudly claim to have just killed a "moccassin". Invariably the snake in question turns out to be a common water snake. But poisonous snakes will die if I find them on my property.

I saw a beautiful four foot corn snake on my land last summer. I wonder if I were to buy a few king and corn snakes and release them on my land, if they'd stay and compete with the poisonous snakes and even eat a few of them? Fill the niche.

The little harmless brown Dekay's was common in the leaf litter around my Atlanta apartment.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 11:27PM
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In my country snakes are really rear, but many people bread them as pets. I actually know a breader having app. 60 snakes - beautiful green tree pythons. A glamorous view in his basement .. well he was bitten many times. Python attack is not so dangerous but the it can get badly infected. Another friend has a website, a blog actually, dedicated to snake bites, venomous and mostly constrictors. Great to watch these movies!

Here is a link that might be useful: thesnakebite tv

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Needless to say - I'm totally freaked. :(

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 12:57PM
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I was bitten by a copperhead snake. My foot, ankle, leg starting swelling monstrously after aout thirty minures. I was in the hospital for three days. Still have some damage in my right ankle where the snake bit me.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 2:31PM
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My 70 lb Golden Retriever was bitten by a Copperhead last week and despite more than 24 hours of medical care he died. I've since killed 2 Copperheads, but the ones I killed were in the front yard - not the back yard where he was bitten. I've been searching for plants that are said to repel these snakes and have found references to "Rattlesnake Master" and "Wormwood", but can't find any info as to whether or not these plants are poisonous to dogs. Any help out there?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 12:22PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

plants don't repel most snakes, that is an old wives tale. in reality you want to eliminate thick plants and piles of junk. copper heads prefer to get in/under wood piles, pile of bricks, etc.

and just because they were in front means nothign. snakes travel long distances hunting food. i have moved a water snake 1 mile down the road and watched him swim back down the ditch and right back to where i picked him up!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:23PM
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There is a snake repellent product called BioDefend. It has a money back guarantee. I know the company and it is a well estbalished, 60 year old firm which is customer oriented. Go to WWW.BIO-DEFEND.COM

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:05PM
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Growing up we lived in SC and on around through all the Gulf tates and also Az, Ca, and Ore. Most of my snake experience was with the Texas Diamondback. I've stood on one foot as a 6ft rattler crawled by under my upraised foot.
Anyway I ihank my Dad for my laack of fear of rattlers. "Son" Pa said "always look out for rattler. They're good eaarin'." Soooo, I learned to be alert for them but not out of fearj
The best controls l've found siamese and burmese cats. They've thouuands of generations of breeding to keep the cobras out. My first siamese was addicted to rattlers. She would get one every couple of days untill she was bit by a Chevy at age 19.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 6:11PM
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