How do I get rid of black snakes in the yard and keep them out?
By Barb from FL
Guinea hens and sulfur would do the trick. Keep the yard mowed. Also, I've heard of Snake Out. It's made from the same thing mothballs are made from. To get sulfur one would probably have to order off the web or go to a feed elevator in a farm town and ask. I face a rattlesnake problem. With sulfur one must get a big bag and circle the yard. Nothing can stop a snake from coming and going except to ultimately eliminate their food of rats, so keep out rat poison. (04/01/2010)
If they are not poisonous, rescue an indoor-outdoor cat or a dog. My cat kills snakes all the time and has chased off all the moles in our yard, too. Plus you will be giving an animal a needed home. Terriers were bred to dig-out rats and snakes to keep the farmers crops free of pests.
Watch out though, my cat brought a live snake into our home last year and it got away before we could catch it. We never did find the nasty little bugger! (04/02/2010)
Get several cats. You'll never see another snake. (04/02/2010)
I used to manage property in subtropical Florida that had a nice wet creek running through it and countless oaks with lots of leaves to hide in. It was SnakeFest USA and many poisonous snakes besides. After a few run-ins with coral snakes, we had a herpetologist come to help. They explained and it makes sense, that most venomous snakes are sluggish animals who move slowly. They go where there is the most prey. But, here's the catch about snakes, the non-venomous snakes are faster moving (that's why they call 'em racers).
If you kill the harmless snakes just because snakes scare you, "freak you out", etc., you are creating a better hunting/living-for-good environment for the slower snakes. You are inviting in the worst, venomous snakes, by removing the best. Garter snakes, king snakes, and whatever larger non-venomous snakes you have eat the same things the poisonous snakes do, and so by eating all the good stuff first, they "corral" the poisonous snakes into smaller territories. So, I have learned to recognize my local snakes and I never kill a "good" snake. They can have that shrub, that corner, those rocks so long as they keep the copperheads away, and with a preserve behind me, we have lots of snakes.
Around here (Virginia, where we have three kinds of venomous snakes), the suggestions from animal control are: 1-sulfur. But, it has to be spread around the perimeter in a thick and high line. Sulfur allegedly burns a snake's belly or some such, and because it will absorb into the earth, it's supposed to work for a long time. 2-the mothball suggestion and "Snake Away" both contain the same ingredient. My next door neighbor who is "freaked out" by snakes uses it every year. He sees more snakes than I ever have. 3-last suggestion is crushed seashells. Snakes don't like going over sharp things. I find that unlikely since I saw a gorgeous eastern Hognose come from sand dunes and cross hot asphalt last year, but I suppose if it was fine and sharp enough it might makes sense.
The absolute best thing you can do is: Keep wood piles, rocks, etc. away from the house/shed/etc. Don't make a home for rodents, grasshoppers, and frogs because their predators "will" follow and don't kill the animals who are working the hardest to compete with venomous snakes, non venomous ones! (04/03/2010)
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