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Snakes in the garden

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Snakes in the garden

Post  Rob C on 8/16/2013, 12:21 pm

I was out in the garden picking veggies and when I came across a @14" long garter snake. It was coiled up in a pepper plant  ani I urged it to move on with a stick. Call me a wimp. but I don't like snakes and my wife absolutely hates them. I'm sure they are beneficial for something but I don't want them in my garden. Anybody have a good way of discouraging them from the garden? Thanks.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  camprn on 8/16/2013, 2:55 pm

hm... my guess is once the voles are all gone the snake will move along. Snakes, frogs, toads and spiders are all great garden friends. Generally speaking, if you are quite and don't try to disturb them, all will be well.

It is simply fascinating to sit and quietly watch them.......... They are all predators, but won't harm humans.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/16/2013, 3:19 pm

Not only are we on different sides of the continent, but on different sides of the snake issue.  Personally, I encourage them to live in the garden.  yes, they sometimes startle me, but with them living in the garden, the baddies (i.e., slugs, earwigs, crickets) aren't so prevalent. Nature's pest control service.  Nonna

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  littlejo on 8/16/2013, 4:20 pm

I don't like snakes or mice, around me or the garden! I had put bird netting over the strawberry bed. It was not attached to the bed, just over it. A snake(5 ft.) tried to slither in and got tangled in the netting. I couldn't get it out, and it couldn't get out, so it died, oh well. I have taken the spare pieces of netting and put on the edge of garden, out of my way. I have seen no more snakes, but, I do have lots of bugs, but have no voles?
Jo

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  carmelita on 8/16/2013, 4:29 pm

Before your house and garden replaced the snake's natural habitat, I am sure the snake was a lot happier. The snake allows you to survive in his world, why not be nice and let him live in yours. Him? Oh, what if it's a mother snake? Be kind to your mother and everyone else's mother as well.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/17/2013, 11:25 pm

I used to be scared of snakes and my son wanted a ball python for his birthday one year.  We got him one.  I would see my son a little stressed out, put the snake over his shoulders and all the stress would leave him.  You could see the snake enjoyed my son holding him also, probably because of his warmth.  I did hold it for a bit and it was not that bad but not something I wanted to do every day.  His ball python had a mouth infection when we bought him but we didn't know it.  He wasn't eating so we took it to the vet.  He had to get tube fed and we mixed up one of his antibiotic visits with his feeding visits and he missed a feeding and died.  I felt so bad.  I have held snakes since then.  I am still not that fond of them and being startled with one in the garden would not be fun.  I used to hate spiders a lot also.  I have learned to accept them also because of their benefit in catching insects.  Now poisonous spiders I don't tolerate.  Nor do I mess with poisoness snakes.

It is a slow process to not be scared of them.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  GloriaG on 8/19/2013, 2:50 am

I truly believe that snakes are good for the garden and environment!  However, I'm not very good at identifying them and we've had "copperhead warnings" several times on the television this summer.  Apparently, because of the warm winter they are breeding heavily this year, and there have been a number of reported bites in urban areas.

It makes me very nervous when I go into the garden because I know they like compost piles and areas where leaf litter and mulch cover the ground.  In other words, ideal SFG habitats.  Their coloring also blends in very well with dead leaves and MM.  

I won't intentionally hurt a snake, but I'll be very, very happy when winter comes and they hibernate!!!!

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  jimmy cee on 8/19/2013, 10:02 am

Many years ago my son brought home a small green snake from the woods.
My son was around 12 at the time and this incident led both of my sons to become biology majors, and into deeper paths when older.
They kept this snake for a while and fed it raw hamburger meat which the snake loved,
This snake moved on to the happy hunting grounds and more snakes became house hold pets....LOL.... yep pets...
! snake was lost in the house and wound up somewhere in the walls, never found it..
A few Boa's died, inside their cages.
The snake below was force fed, ate 3 full grown chickens and 2 rabbits...want to see a snake grow fast ???
Force feed them....LOL... quite an expense also
We had 1 burmese python that wound up at 12 feet long, about 3 inches in diameter.
Snake was missing one day...how in the world does one lose a 12 foot snake...????..LOL...
It got out of cage...(4X8 glass enclosure) crawled up into the water bed and it sunk down and no one saw it till boys went to bed....
I could go on and on, however at 1 time I thought the only good snake is a dead one..
These young boys actually taught me, their dad, some important facts.
And dont think just because a snake isn't poisonous, it doesn't biite....they bite and can be quite painful..
Usually only if provoked though...
If I found a snake in my yard I would make sure he wasnt harmful, and hoped he hung around..

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  sanderson on 8/19/2013, 4:21 pm

I've been watching this Topic.  If a person doesn't want snakes in their garden area, then they don't want snakes in their garden area.  So what would I try if I had snakes in my community?  [Copperheads, rattlesnakes, Cottonmouths would give me a heart attack if I came across one!  If I'm gardening, it's for peace and communing with nature. A snake would land me on my back side, crab crawling away. Even a little garden snake would give me a start!

There is another thread about the maddening bird netting that is a mess to work with.  If small stakes were stuck in the ground surrounding the garden area, and the bird netting was long enough to reach all the way around the perimeter, I would try gently twisting it (like spinning thread) in a soft mess around the perimeter.  Leave it soft and snarly about 1 foot high.  Has anyone tried this for snakes or small casual visitors.  I know birds get snarled it it.  Just wondering. . .

PS: I have held pet or display snakes and tarantulas but I still prefer a glass shield between us.


Last edited by sanderson on 8/19/2013, 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add content)

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  camprn on 8/19/2013, 5:00 pm

This is the kind of advice that is best to get locally and a professional is the best person to answer your question sanderson. The local Extension Service or your state Fish and Game Department are the go to guys. For example, I know in my state it is illegal to harass or kill rattlesnakes. This I learned from the state F&G website.

Netting and small fences are usually deadly to snakes.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  littlejo on 8/19/2013, 6:35 pm

I was not using it for a snake deterrent, but to keep my strawberries safe.
I've been a little worried about water moccasins for they are being displaced with the rain we've had. (about 25 in. in 2 months) All the snakes are looking for high ground.

On another note. My rain gauge is only 5 in. now I see that it's not very accurate.
A full grown cardinal, was sitting on top the gauge, stuck his head down in the gauge, getting a drink!

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  sanderson on 8/19/2013, 8:51 pm

Camp, thanks for the advice.

Littlejo, Somehow I missed your above post about the snake dying in the bird netting.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/19/2013, 9:25 pm

It gives me shivers to think of a poisonous snake in my yard.  I sure don't envy any of you who have to deal with that!

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  nycquilter on 8/20/2013, 8:17 am

I love having the snakes in my garden but I try to avoid sharing the same space at the same time! I fully appreciate their role in the ecosystem--keeping mice, bugs, etc. more under control. However, when I almost step on them, I'm good for a shriek and a very high jump. Though we do have poisonous snakes around, I, luckily, have never seen one. I had two in my garden, between the raised beds, last week. They took a lot of encouragement to move--I had to touch their tails with a stick. I love watching how they move, so fast and so slinkily.

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  grownsunshine on 8/21/2013, 1:17 pm

You guys are freaking me out. My neighbor last year killed a rattler on his front door step. I'd love to have snakes in my garden, just no rattlers please! The soccer field close by checks for and removes any rattlers around the perimeter of the field before the kids soccer games. Periodically they find a few, especially when the weather starts getting hot and they come out to sun themselves. Ugh!

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  Goosegirl on 8/22/2013, 8:03 am

@nycquilter wrote:... so slinkily.
rofl Great description!  Love it! rofl

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Re: Snakes in the garden

Post  Triciasgarden on 8/22/2013, 2:44 pm

Yeah no rattlers!

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Re: Snakes in the garden

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