Revenge of The Copperhead Snakes.. HELP!!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TxCloverAngel, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    I posted this on the chicken site too... Earlier this week, my chickens found a copperhead nest. They LOVED eating tons of little nasty copperhead babies. I was worried bout the chickens.. but they r all fine.

    Tonight I stepped outside and found a HUGE copperhead. I have seen many and didnt think they got this big.. I have seen em 3' ish or so. But this one measured 4'3" !! it was HUGE for a copperhead. I have lived here almost 3 years and have only seen one other copperhead here.. now this... I am NOT impressed!!

    I have 5 kids... one of which is a 19mo girl... this is scary to me.

    When I was growing up in NC I remember my mother throwing moth balls out in the crawlspace under our house to "keep away the snakes" does anybody know if this works??

    Anybody have any other ideas? Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    Other than using lethal force, do you have a dog who can be trained to stay right with your kids? IMO that's their best defense in snake country.
     

  3. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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    That would scare me!!!!!!!!!!!
    I heard Moth Balls keep away wasp, mice and snakes. I went to town the other day to buy some, the lady at walmart told me they were sold out. Seems each time this year everyone buys them for the same reason. I found some at Dollar store.
    I am hanging them in knee high hose in the barn and every other out building. Keeping fingers crossed that it actually works.
     
  4. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    I don't think hanging them works. The way I've read it, they have to be tossed on the ground. Snakes won't cross over them. Something about the camphor burning them on contact.
     
  5. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Well. I have a English Bulldog who has no idea he is a dog.. I guess I could stuff some pork chops in the babys diaper.... he may stay w/ her then lol and I did use Lethal force w/ the one I found... and Thank God my chickens did too on the babies :)
     
  6. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    Research snake sticky traps. The concept behind them is a snake can't slither backwards and it likes going into small holes. this trap is inviting to the snake, full of glue at the bottom. It slithers in, gets somewhat stuck on the glue, then tries to unstick but only goes forward, thus getting stuck some more. A regular snake can be relocated (some snakes are beneficial!) by putting veggie oil on the glue and the snake works itself unstuck.

    Another option is a kingsnake. There was a fellow not too long ago searching for some on the barter board I think it was. If you do a search you might find his old thread.

    You better have someone walk around your property with snake chaps on and a gun to get the population down. Snake chaps are QUITE expensive, like 25 dollars for a pair, and they work by a hard plastic from top of foot to just over knee that snake's teeth can't penetrate. Most snake bites will be from this area or even on the foot, so you must wear very heavy boots when you are out there. Step on logs not over them. Tell the kids not to turn over rocks, and if you do, turn it so that the rock is coming towards you and not putting the snake between you and that rock in case there's a snake under it.

    Some snakes slither away and avoid a fight, other snakes challenge, and other snakes will only strike if challenged. So research your snake. Buy a snake bite kit.

    The dog is a semi-good idea but then expect the trip to the vet and possibly a loss of the dog. The fellow on the barter board wanted to train his dog to stay away from snakes as well. Call the vet and talk to them about snakes. They see plenty of dogs with snakebites. When I'm going thru the woods with my dog I go his route. If there was a snake hopefully he would have spotted it. He knows to stay away though, he just stands there and barks at it. We had one in our yard once and that's what the dog did. That one was poisonous too, a rattler. Here in MS they have copperheads and moccasins too :grump: Good luck.
     
  7. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    Snake bite kits are a BAD IDEA!
    Numerous studies have shown that snake bite kits have little or no value. Do your research.
     
  8. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

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    How did you get the copperhead to hold still while you measured him?
     
  9. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    A garden hoe is a good tool to deal with snakes. Aside from that, the sticky traps might work.I don't like copperheads either because I've had them in the house on a couple of Very memorable occasions. I just kill them as I find them. 4'3'' IS pretty big for a copperhead...dead or alive. I'd suggest more hoes & someone to keep a real close eye on your youngest.
     
  10. gleepish

    gleepish Well-Known Member

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    My DH was bit on the hand by a Copper Head two years ago between the second and third joint of his index finger. (he will tell you, yes, alcohol was involved... :rolleyes: All he was going to do was pick it up and move it out of the yard :no: )

    After the 30 minute drive to the hospital, his hand was so swollen there was no definition between the joints in any of his fingers. After two hours in the hospital there was no definition between his wrist and his arm. Two hours after that, they were finally able to get anti venom and the progression stopped half way up his upper arm.

    The doctor told us that they don't use the anti venom any more unless it looks like it will be a life/death situation because if someone has a reaction to it (fairly common) the reaction is usually severe and may actually cause death. Luckily DH didn't have a negative reaction to it. Anyway, the hospital didn't keep in on hand so the doctor had to call another hospital and 'beg' them for it--he had to prove to them that he had a life/death patient who needed it.

    24 hours later he was released from the hospital. In the end, his hand was so swollen they were looking at the possibility of needing physical therapy to help with possible nerve damage along with the possibility of needing to splice his hand open to release the pressure. Luckily neither of those things happened but it did take him two weeks before he regained enough use of his hand to return to work.

    So... my point is that you might want to call your local hospital and see what their proceedures are and what to do or not to do in the event that someone is bitten.

    The best option is listed above-elimination. However, the point about stepping ON logs-not OVER them is one of the most important things you can teach your kids. Make sure they understand that they can NEVER put their hands or feet anywhere that they can't see! This means using a stick to get a ball out of the bush--not walking through fallen leaves in the woods, not reaching into logs for that cool frog/turtle etc.

    Be carefull, stay safe and good luck!

    PS. DH now uses a rake to move snakes out of the yard...
     
  11. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    TXClover, yikes!! that is one reason I am glad I don't live back there anymore. Believe it or not, I do know where Kenefick is. Been gone a long time, and since Mother lives with us now, haven't been back. Ooops yep went back a couple of years ago for a class reunion.

    Don't know what to tell you about the snakes. Maybe the kiddos should just play on the porch. A screened in porch. I would be a nervous wreck.

    I grew up in that area, and spent a lot of time in the Big Thicket and can't remember seeing more than one or two snakes. (stepped on one)
     
  12. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    A rake is a good tool too :cool: I'm Glad that this turned out ok! I just read in National Geographic that about 75 people are bitten by poisionous snakes each year in the US & that only about 3 of them die. Lightning is much more dangerous.
     
  13. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    If YOU'RE so dead set against snake bite kits, why don't YOU offer some proof. Seems everyone here is trying to help help out a little okay? The reason WHY or a link would be helpful.

    People have been sucking out venom for centuries. So why all of a sudden are snake bite kits bad news?
     
  14. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Wow Small world! NOONE knows where Kenefick is! lol I do have some Guineas in the brooder right now.. a few more weeks they will be out and about.. have been told they are GREAT at finding killing eating snakes.. I sure hope so! If your ever back in this neck of the woods.. you should come on by for some grub! :)
     
  15. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Hi! I think there is some common sense needed here. Firstly for certain ID, this is the Kingsnake Forum:

    http://forums.kingsnake.com/forum.php?catid=63

    Secondly. Those snakes are eating something. What? What is drawing them there to that place? Rodents? What? Address that first. My guess is that you are leaving out chicken feed(overfeeding the chickens?) and that rodents are coming in and infesting your area drawn by the feed(leftover from the chickens) and the snakes are coming in to eat the rodent infestation. Just a guess. ;)

    Thirdly: Clean up your surroundings! Mow down high grasses and weeds, get rid of any piles of trash/wood, old machinery or anything else that will provide a place for snakes to hide/nest and block off any access to under buildings, all of them.

    Fourthly: Use this opportunity to edcucate your kids about snakes. Teach them NOT to handle any snake until and unless YOU give them the go ahead. Teach them that snakes are good helpers in control of insects and other vermin like rodents, but like cars, can be dangerous and stay out of their way unless you give them the OK, just like you would when crossing the street.

    As for the other suggestions I just skimmed them, but I can say the modern thinking re anti Venom is, unless there is danger of life being lost, they don't like to use it. This stuff does have a high reaction result and is very dangerous, especially the ones made from sheep. It's a tough thing to make a decision like this if your kid gets snake bit. On one hand, if there is a life threatening bite, (usually talking domestic snakes, this would be a rattlesnake) then it can be employed, but, as a parent you are the one who has to make the call as the anti venom can be just as deadly and kill your child.

    About snake bite kits. It is true the use of them is discouraged. IT's been found out now that no amount of "sucking" helps at all in a snakebite scenerio whether it's a bulb in a kit or by mouth, and indeed adds to the damage already done.

    So, lots of common sense needed. Not too hard .

    LQ
     
  16. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    Hey. Another option is to get some Guineas. They have been known to corner and attack even adult snakes. They wander off farther than the chickens do. So if there's a snake anywhere nearby chances are they'll eventually find it!

    Regarding the opinion of the kits I have different opinion that all must be done to save a child and that the err comes when it's not done properly, not that it's futile at all. No need for anyone to argue this but it's great to share the knowledge. To end any arguing, if you are in doubt then call the doctor for their recommendations and make your educated and informed choice. It does make a difference between a child and an adult.

    It's true that lightning is more deadly than a snake bite. But that's a general statement. 65 or so people get struck and die by lightning in the US every year, so if 75 get bit by a snake and only 3 die it makes the lightning more commonly deadly.

    Multiple bites are most reason not survivable where I live followed by children getting bit. It is not uncommon here for people to disturb a nest inadvertently along a creekbank or river and get multiple bit. I personally disturbed a pile of logs in our pond trying to clean it out and saw a huge snake come out of it, thankful it was just one and it went the other way cause those things move quicker than this 40 something old ladies reflexes! Plenty of stories with the locals here on multiples and no it doesnt happen every year but story definitely worth remembering!

    For snakes we have a 3 pronged frog spear stuck on the end of a long piece of bamboo. My husband spears them then whacks them with his machete. He used to eat them. He likes the taste of the meat but they are very boney. I haven't tried it. Ew yuck!
     
  17. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the invite TXClover. If I ever get back in that area I will look you up. Just about the closest I get now, is the Livingston - Segno area way out in the Big Thicket. And then it is just a short visit.
     
  18. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    I do understand that there is quite a debate about the snake bite kit... I do know what to do if there should be a bite on a human (hope to never need that info tho!) In my former life a I was a life Flight Nurse.

    and I do have some Guineas in the brooder right now :) a few more weeks and they will be able to roam free... I hope they are as good as I have heard at taking care of snakes.

    Last year we found 3 beautiful huge speckled King shakes here... we were soo happy to have em :) havent seen em sence.. but I hope they are still around somewhere.

    We do keep the area around the house very well cleaned up. keep the grass short.. and dont give em anything to hide under.. the pasture and woods is a different story... and I dont care as much if they are there.. I just dont like them close to the house.

    there are field mice around... we had em before I had chickens or feed around and I guess the'll be here long after they are gone lol.

    I think the reson they are out and about more now, is frogs.... they seem to be everywhere! and the copperhead I killed lastnight was eating one.
     
  19. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    Current first-air recommendations are what we were all taught as kids, cut, suck and apply a tourniquet, is wrong. Snakebite kits a marginally better, but marginal only. EMT's will basically do nothing other than clean and ice the wound, and get the victim to the hospital unless it is an eminent death situation. The vast majority of people who die from snake bites in the US from the rattlesnake, copperhead, and water moccasin family fall into a handful of categories lead by those who go into shock, those with heart trouble, and those who are allergic. My understanding is that if you are not allergic to bee stings, then you are very unlikely to be allergic to the poison of these snakes, they are very similar. The biggest danger to those not allergic is the shock, older individuals, or the young with a smaller body size. The cut and tourniquet techniques often spread the poisons to the surrounding tissues, cause infections, does physical damaged to the tissue, and an improperly applied tourniquet can result in the loss of a limb. Should you need to take care of such and injury the stated treatment is what is normally currently recommended, keep the victim calm, clean and ice the injury, keep the victim warm, if possible get the snake for positive identification, notify the authorities of the victim so that they can have anti-venom available if needed, and get the victim into the hands of professional medical personnel ASAP in case there is a reaction.

    TxCloverAngel, talk seriously and often to your kids about snakes. Make sure they understand that they are potentially dangerous and should be treated with respect, just like a weapon. Even the youngest, this will go a long way to helping them be safe. Those who are afraid of snakes tend to be in more danger than those who understand and respect the danger. Then I would consider something like guineas that are know for controlling these guys. Like most predators, you are not going to defeat them by declaring was on them, but with techniques like using guineas you can keep their levels down to the point that you will seldom see them. As LQ stated, I would look around and see if there is something you are doing that is encouraging their presence, more cover of food (mice and such) near the house or did you clear someplace else that may have displaced them from another location. If this is more than an isolated nest you need to see if there is a corrective action you can take from that standpoint.

    I have to examine many of these same things having found a baby timber rattler around my birds, and do know that I may have contributed. I have much more bird feed around, this draws mice and voles, thus drawing in snakes, plus we had a very wet spring that may have displaced both rodents and snakes from their normal lairs. I in general like having the critters around to help control rodents, but only when they are away from the house and birds, so I also have to get the situation better under control.

    Didn't see you last post. Yes, frogs would be a big draw for them, and likely will only be seasonal. The only two times I've come really to getting hit by rattlers is when I surprised they hunting frogs. It does really get you attention when you hear something, jerk your leg out of the way, and see the lunging snake hit the ground where you leg had just been. That day I found out this slow old boy can move pretty quick when the adrenaline kicks in.
     
  20. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    I read years ago when we first moved to WI in an area inhabited by rattlesnakes that snakes don't like to cross a copper barrier-something about the interaction(maybe electrical) between the snakes belly and the copper.

    If I remember right the suggestion was to get copper tubing & cut it or flatten it and place it around the areas where you have found snakes.
    It was mostly mentioning at the doorways of barns & outbuildings but I thought I'd share that obscure tidbit.

    Man, when we lived in KY, my son killed a true copperhead lounging outside of their cabin door among the leaves. Minus the head ;) it was 3'9 and seemed huge!! He skinned it and salted it-now it's a hatband! :D