Found baby Copperhead in Garden - HELP!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MsPacMan, May 18, 2005.

  1. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I found a baby copperhead -- about eight inches long -- underneath a flower pot in my garden this afternoon. When I picked it up, it ran under my squash leaves somewhere - or maybe into the mulch - and I never was able to find it.


    I'm an organic gardener, so poison is not an option.


    What should I do?
     
  2. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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    Last year a rattler was in my garden. My 1st thought was to get a gun, which I did. :no:
    Problem was I couldn't find it when I went back. From then on, I used a hoe to shake everything before I got into the green beans ect. If I had seen him again, I would have chopped him up. :eek:
    I have heard moth balls will keep them away but I don't know if it really works.
     

  3. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    First of all be absolutely certain it's a copperhead. No need to panick over a corn snake or some other vermin killer. Since you're an organic gardner, you would be happy to have some kingsnakes and gartersnakes around.

    If it is absolutely a copperhead and if you absolutely do not want those around, get guineas or, my choice, peafowl. They're both loud and they both will do anything for a snake dinner. My peahens, when I had them, would jump right over the 6 feet high fence to chase down a snake in the neighbors yard. Guineas probably won't scratch as much.

    There's even a good book to read, "Gardening with Guineas."
     
  4. ttryin

    ttryin Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    For snakes in the wall of a building I was tearing down, I left moth balls out and the snakes never came back. First I used half of a 1# box along a 16 foot wall and they left at night but came back during the day for the shade. The whole box poured right on where they were laying did the trick and they didn't come back at all. They were local yard snakes, definitely not poisonous and they moved under a nearby rock wall. The moth balls evaporated or somehow disappeared after a couple of weeks and so did the smell.

    Good luck.
    t.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Try to remove as many snakey places around your garden as you can. That upside down flower pot is a nice snake house; so is a woodpile or mound of decaying leaves; moist areas in general. The more you are in your garden (without snakey places) weeding, raking, harvesting, hanging out, etc. the greater the chances the snake will leave to go find privacy elsewhere. Venomous snakes are good rodent control and copperheads aren't known to kill humans. The greatest bite threat comes from surprising a snake, so if you work with tools, shoes, and gloves and are prepared to disturb a snake you should be fine. They won't go after humans. With proper precautions, an informed gardener can leave the snakes alone and might be surprised how peacefully he or she can coexist on God's green earth.
     
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm all for carrying a hoe and scaring them more than they scare you. <shudder> Snakes are scary! Didn't know we had rattlesnakes until AFTER we bought our land -- then found a great big ol' 4 1/2 footer sunning himself on the back stoop! That one we did kill, but we try to live and let live. They want to be around us way less than we want to be around them!

    As for the moth balls, you probably don't want them around your garden. First, they are poison, and second, the vegetation will pick up the taste/smell of the chemical.

    All the best to you for safe, vermin-free gardening. :)

    Pony!
     
  7. Mary in MO

    Mary in MO Well-Known Member

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    I encourage snakes at my house since up here we don't have any poisonous ones. At the property it's another story. We just walk carefully and never pick up anything with our hands without moving it with a stick or something to check under it. Just pay attention to the damp, shady areas and take a stick with you to poke around under the plants before you go to them. Stomping on the ground a lot lets them know you are there and they'll move along. The more activity an area has, the less likely they will hang around. The only exception I've noticed is when they are sunning themselves. A good sunspot is hard to get them to give up :haha: They are an important part of our ecosystem and I generally don't like the idea of killing them. Exceptions are if they are in the living area or impeding our way out the door...and only if they're poisonous. Otherwise I am the official snake catcher of the family :D and I relocate them.
    Mary
     
  8. it ran under your squash leaves!!!! Are you sure it wasn't a lizard? Cause lizards do have legs but snakes don't! :D
     
  9. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Carry your hoe with you at all times & keep a close eye on the ground.
     
  10. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    R.H.,


    I gave you the abbrieviated story. Actually, I had a good 45 seconds or so before I grabbed the shovel to examine the little snake closely (it froze, and so did I), and it definitely WAS a copperhead. Also, when I used the word "ran" it was not a careful choice of words -- it actually slithered away, to be precise with words.
     
  11. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    Seems like I heard a while back that the plant Lantana was poisonous to snakes?


    Anybody know about that?
     
  12. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Well, just rest assured that copper heads really aren't agressive. However, stepping on one would raise it's ire, I'm sure.
     
  13. Janice 1064

    Janice 1064 Member

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    I've never read or heard anthing about it being poisonous to snakes, just animals and people with ingestion, just haveing the plant around won't stop the snakes. A few years ago during trimming a large lantana next to our deck, DH came along and save me from getting struck by a small copperhead sunning itself on the top of a brick firepit that was located at the back of the lantana. I'm pretty sure the snake used the lantana to attain this height. I have also seen other snakes slithering toward the shrub at other times, so I would not give any credit to claims as a snake repellant either.
     
  14. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Tango is right, the other thing you can do is ask your neighbors if they have any big old black snakes that like to sun themselves and plop that baby in the garden


     
  15. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Many people want to relax in their garden while they work. I understand that and I am not trying to be a jerky kind of person but if you don't have children running around there you might just want to leave the little guy alone if you can still enjoy being in the garden with him/her there. The snake just wants to eat things that are going to cause your garden trouble and the last thing the snake WANTS to do is to bite you. If you never lifted the pot you might never have known the snake was there all year and you both could have had a nice summer.
    If you can't live with the snake without being in terror the rest of the year then I guess he/she has just got to go. Getting rid of little snake houses is a good place to start as Tango said. If you can just think of the snake as organic pest control and not be upset by it you might want to put a couple more flower pots out there for its brothers and sisters. I don't mind snakes at all, but I know people that can't stand them. Every person needs to make up their own mind what type of natures creatures they can live with.
    Good luck and with any luck you might never see that guy again.
     
  16. hesmith

    hesmith Active Member

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    Where we live snakes are common. I usually do not bother them and they do not bother us. We are careful to keep the good hideing places cleaned up and watch where we reach. Copperheads are not aggressive but they will scare the heck out of you if you are not expecting them. They do a great job of rodent control.
    There are several products on the market that claim to keep snakes away and can be purchased at most Home and Garden stores. I do not know if they work because I have never tried them.
     
  17. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

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    Dh killed a copperhead this weekend on our place when we were brush hogging. Oh myyyyy they are so ugly!! :( It was fat and pretty long. I have been told that they mate and stay with their mate for life?? So when you kill one you will need to look for another? Has anyone else heard this about the copperheads?

    Dh doesnt kill snakes-- with the excepton of the poisnous ones. The fact is they will bite you if you reach for something or step on one or next to one and scare it.... and you will get very sick and be in the hosp. We have 3 dogs, 3 barn cats, 3 young boys and us running around the place. We would rather kill the copperheads then to take a chance on one of us getting bitten by one. We know there is a large black snake on the place (ran into him in the well house), some brown snakes and alot of ring necks we saw this weekend. eeeewwwwwww but dh left all those guys alone.

    I am terrified of snakes. lol Especially if I know they are around and I cant see them. I hate that feeling.
     
  18. TnTnTn

    TnTnTn Well-Known Member

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    We found and killed a 29" copperhead on our place yesterday. My wife had found a terrapin along a grown up fencerow and got it to show to the kids. After they were through watching it come out of its shell etc., she took it back to place it where she had found it. When she put it down she noticed a little movement and saw a 'snake'. Our 5 year old ran to get me where I was using chainsaw and I grabbed a mattock and ran over-it was a copperhead so I killed it. And it was a pretty big one too. There are copperheads and timber rattlers on our property but we don't find too many considering how much we are outside poking around. We have lots of 'black snakes', 'blue racers' and the such and never bother them. In fact Wesley(5yo) found and caught a little non poisonous snake later in the day and after 'playing' with it for awhile he and Tristan built it a little 'snake house' and released it. They checked for it 1st thing this am and it was gone of course.

    We have lots of snakes and don't kill them as they are beneficial. However I do kill the poisonous snakes when I can. I try to decrease the risk of snake bite to our boys and ourselves. Snakes, bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are a hazard to country living but they are risks that I understand and I feel much safer for my family than I would in the 'city'. TnTnTn