We've been building a cabin in WV and I'm planning on going out in July to start painting the inside.
What I'm concerned about are snakes, Copperheads to be exact. We were out to the cabin a few weeks ago to do some work and my Hubby was weed whacking. When he got up near the road he smelled cucumbers. They tell us that's what you smell when there's one around. He didn't stay there long.
Snakes are out mostly at dawn and dusk and they are shy, if that makes you feel better. I would do weeding at some other time, because I bet snakes are hard to see in the weeds.
If you do see a snake, freeze, and then slowly back away. They don't want to bite you unless they feel threatened. No offense, but you are not yummy. They are very happy to see you go away.
If you do get bitten, just go to the nearest hospital. Do not cut exes over the wound or suck the blood out or anything like that. If the nearest hospital is pretty far, call and see what your doctor recommends. The doctor may know the location of the nearest place with antivenom. Keep a map to that place in your glove box.
Ideally, whatever part of the body is bitten should be raised in the air above the heart and the victim should be kept calm and quiet. You want to keep the poison from being pumped through the bloodsteam too quickly. Of course, if you get bitten on the ankle, it's hard to hop around calmly with one leg in the sky! After moving away from the snake, lie down with something or someone to hold your foot in the air while people are deciding what to do, and try to figure out a way to elevate your leg while someone is driving you to the hospital.
I don't know this to be fact, but I have heard that snakes don't like moth balls. So it wouldn't hurt to try scattering moth balls around outside.
I live in a mountainess area where their are copperheads and Rattlesnakes. I agree with the other post.I always make sure I have High-top shoes on when outside working and I wear leather gloves to do yard work .Always be careful where you step or stoop .Snakes like to crawl under things like black plastic insulation, stacks of wood,etc. The only protect you have is knowing snakes are there.So always watch and keep paths well lighted.
I heard they don't like the smell of cedar.
Read up on snakes in your area, and learn to identify them. Most snakes would rather retreat than stay and strike at you. Just always be aware of the possibility of encountering a snake. Carry a walking stick when you are out walking, and bounce it on the ground as you walk. The vibration alerts the snakes and they will vacate the area ahead of you. I always do this when picking wild blackberries in the woods. As for repelling snakes, we use mothballs, and they do work Just make sure that you scatter fresh ones from time to time...especially after the rain. Cedar apparently does not work. We use Cedar Chips as a bedding for our outdoor dog pen, and have a snake problem in the pen unless we scatter mothballs around the fenceline. Some years are worse than others for snakes. Keep down weeds and litter. And be careful when entering tool sheds, etc. They like cool concrete floors in the heat of the summer.
One thing about the mothballs...if you have children be careful with them. My Mom scattered moth balls in the garden to keep squirrels away and one of the grandaughters ate one of them. (She always has been a little different.) She had to have her stomach pumped. YUCK
Correction to the post on what to do if bitten, DO NOT PLACE THE BITTEN LIMB ABOVE THE HEART! That only makes the posion spread faster. Place the limb below the heart to slow the blood flow from that limb.
I haven't even read anything yet. What is this about""
Copperheads don't smell like cucumbers.. It's a myth. I just read it here http://www.fish.state.pa.us/copprhe.htm a few minutes ago. Scroll down to the myths section. This also gives good information on Copperheads and how to distinguish it from non-poisonous snakes that look similar to it. Hope this helps!
Copperheads and cottonmouths do smell. I grew up in Texas around a lot of snakes and could always smell the snakes before I saw them. This is a skill that also came in handy when traveling in Costa Rica and Thailand. They do smell musky. Cotton mouths sometimes tend to smell like a sick dog to me. It is a sweet, putrid, musky odor.
Is it true that moth balls will really keep copperheads away, or is this a myth?
Copperheads do smell like cucumbers. I live West Virginia. I've had to handle them before. :(
I had a copperhead problem for years in my backyard until someone told me about sprinkling sulphur around the fence line. If a snake tries to cross it, it burns up their belly. I tried it and it worked- no snakes for an entire spring/summer. I was concerned about what sulphur would do to my kids playing in the yard, so I tried another recomendation-crushed moth balls. So far no snakes. I've heard that Tide POWDERED detergent also works because of some ingredient found only in Tide. I haven't tried that since the moth balls are working.
These snakes are usually secluded and don't like to come into contact with humans. You should be fine because when you are walking in the woods, where there are copper heads you come within striking range of about 5 copperheads and never know. They freeze when they sense danger and are not aggressive unless they they are stepped on or handled.
I live in Texas and I do agree that some of the remedies that were mentioned do work... but poisonous snakes are not shy (like copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes). They will not run away. I have personally been chased by copperheads and cottonmouths they do not care about you they want to defend themselves, if you are in their territory they are most happiest when they bite you, because they know that they possibly have just killed you.
Rattlesnakes have a longer degree of striking distance (ex. Their striking distance is equal to their length) In conclusion they beat way to keep snakes away is buying or already owning a .22 or a shotgun... you're welcome!