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  #1  
Old 06-02-2009, 09:31 PM
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If so what is it and where can I get it? I will be moving to a new house on a little over a half acre lot that borders the woods in a secluded subdivision (a sugar cane field is on the other side of the woods). I have been warned by the neighbors to be aware of cottonmouth snakes that sometimes get into the yards in the area. I have a three year old boy who, for reasons beyond my comprehension, is unafraid of snakes. I will be doing everything I can think of to keep the snakes away while at the same time try to teach my boy that he can't go near snakes (at least until he's old enough to know which ones are which). I have heard things like put a lime barrier down along the fence line, but I'm unsure if that works or is just a wives tale. Of course I will keep the grass cut low and avoid creating areas to make them feel at home, but I need all the info I can get.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:33 PM
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Willy Peter round.
Repeat as needed.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:19 PM
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.357 mag shotshells have always repelled 'em when I used 'em.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
I have a three year old boy who, for reasons beyond my comprehension, is unafraid of snakes.
He's NORMAL!!
Children learn from their environment. He's had nothing to prejudice him against those cold legless critters. As a former three year old who has grown up without a fear of snakes, I attribute it to my parents who were sensible about them. I also learned by 6 what was venomous and what was not. I would worry more about an unsupervised three year old outside being snatched by a member of our species.

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I have been warned by the neighbors to be aware of cottonmouth snakes that sometimes get into the yards in the area.
Cottonmouths live in an aquatic/semiaquatic environment. You don't mention creeks, ponds or swamps in your neighborhood. And if there was a close examination made of the snakes killed by the neighbors, most if not all would be nonvenomous. If I were you, I'd get a bunch of king snakes and turn them loose. They not only eat rodents but also other snakes, reducing your threat risk. Of course you have to educate your neighbors as to the benefits of having them in residence.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:46 AM
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As a former three year old who has grown up without a fear of snakes, I attribute it to my parents who were sensible about them. I also learned by 6 what was venomous and what was not.
So tell us about the learning curve between the ages of 3 and 6.

I've never been afraid of snakes, although my mother is rabidly phobic. I credit her with not passing that fear on (spiders are bad enough).

Teach your child that all wild creatures should not be approached, venomous or not, because they will all bite or sting to protect themselves.

If he'd like to get up close to a snake, take him to a pet store with tame ones.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:59 AM
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I second the opinions of MWTDVM and Barb my back yard butts up to about 50,000 acres of swamp we find snakes in the yard all the time and once in a while in the house. I have never seen a poisonous one in the yard or house yet.
lots of people around here think any dark snake is a Cottonmouth, usually they wind up being harmless mud snakes.
Snakes can be beneficial keeping rats and mice away. I have lived next to sugar cane fields for many years, Guess What, when the sugar cane is harvested and the fields burned all the mice living there will be looking for a nice place to live (like your house). Maybe a few king or rat snakes, both are non poisonous, hanging around will keep them away.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries have some good posters and information on ID'ing local snakes. By learning which is which you can keep the good ones around and get rid of the bad ones, if any.
Having said all that I have heard that mothballs help keep them away, my wife is scared of snakes she put mothballs in the flower beds. I have also seen snake repellent sold at Lowes
Good luck!
Steve
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:04 AM
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I would hazard you will have more problems with copperheads than moccasins. The biggest problem with living around cane fields is when they harvest them, you are going to have a rat problem.
Keep the grass cut and avoid any kind of piles (brush-wood whatever) in the back yard. Also having a dog helps- I actually live in town but about 4 houses from Bayou teche and occasionally we get a non venomous snake in the yard-Dog lets us know pretty quick, wife goes apesh!t, I go out and throw it over the fence and we're back to normal
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:06 AM
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Old timers say that sulfur keeps snakes away. I don't know how true that is or exactly where to find sulfur, but Lowe's sells a repellent caled snake away that i think contains sulfur along with other stuff.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:29 AM
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357 Mag or larger CCI shotshells or a 410 GA shotgun.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:38 AM
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Most, if not all venomous snakes, will not attack humans unless provoked or surprised. Snakes use their venom for food gathering. There have even been cases where venomous snakes have bitten and not passed any venom. Their poison sacs just don't fill right back up. This is by no means saying they don't command respect and distance. If one makes noise while outside, the chances of seeing one is remote. They're actually more afraid of you than you are of them. Hollywierd perpetuates the myth they hunt humans and enjoy biting them. Teach your child that all wild or domestic animals deserve respect and distance.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:03 AM
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Is it true that you have to actually step on a copperhead to provoke them to bite?
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:10 AM
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We have a resident Indigo Snake, bless his/her heart.
The neighbors have Eastern Diamondbacks and Pigmy Rattlers; we have “old blue”. My wife feeds the Squirrels and I the Birds, result Rats under the feeders, they keep “old blue” here, he /she does not like competition so he eats them.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
I have a three year old boy who, for reasons beyond my comprehension, is unafraid of snakes.
That's just called "survival instinct." Be kind to your childern ... someday they will have to change your diapers.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:35 AM
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Ripptrak44,
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There have even been cases where venomous snakes have bitten and not passed any venom
Just FYI, For reasons unknown to modern science aad technology, three out of five time Cobras do not pass venom. Has long been a mystery as to why.

And; since 1956 they have been trying to duplicate the Tiger Snake's immune system. To do so means we could snake proof the world. The Tiger Snake, very deadly itself, is not affected by any other snake venom. So far the only one we know of that is immune to all others.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:54 AM
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I was going to make some wise *** remarks at first till I seen you were worried about the 3 year old.
So the best protection against snakes is a ---DOG---
And two dogs is better than one!
We have two beagles.
Beagles will patrol the yard constantly .
And a terrior -JACK RUSSEL'S- is a deadly vermin killer!
We had a Rott that would catch black snakes 3'-4' long and shake his head with them in his mouth where it looked like he was beating himself with a whip!
After they were dead he would stand on them while ripping them to shreds.
The main thing is be careful.
A snake won't bite unprovoked.
The same as a bee won't sting you without reason.
Don't have anything in your yard that invites a snake to take up homesteading.
Don't reach your hand into anything you can't see.
And don't step over anything you can't see where you are going to plant your foot.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:12 AM
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The answer to one poster's question about copperheads, do "... you have to actually step on them..." before they bite? is ALMOST a yes.

But not always. I have never seen nor heard of one that was "aggressive" to the point of attacking and everyone who has been bitten that I am aware of was in very close proximity to the snake so ALMOST stepping or sitting or touching it before being bitten.

OTOH, I very much disagree with the poster who says "A snake won't bite unprovoked."

Well, maybe that IS strictly true, since I have seen Water Mocs attack for no reason I could discern except I was in the general area. (So, I guess they were provoked about that).

Mocs will come at you, will try to strike you and often strike more than once even if their victim is bitten on the first strike.

Rattlesnakes are sometimes unpredictable-a kid was just bitten near a ball field when he reached down to pick up a ball by a Pygmy Rattler (which he didn't see). But, usually, they try to get away.

But, once in a while-they will just lay there and, if you get too close-OOOPS!

Coral snakes are really rarely seen here in Florida, though a lot of other snakes, thought to be Corals, are butchered. They pose little danger unless they can get their little itty bitty mouths on your finger (a child's) or between them in the web of your fingers or thumb. They are very shy.

I recall only seeing three in the wild. And, I misspent much of my youth and early adult life in and around the woods and swamps of Florida. The ones I saw were in residential areas, in/around old sheds.

But, Mocs, well, if I never see another that will suit me fine. They are the only snakes that I am really afraid of.

That nasty, white mouth, if you see it, is a sure sign you are in for some serious trouble. I recommend a shotgun!

But, I have several non-poisonous snakes in or near my yard and I just let them alone. They have a good purpose in ridding the neighborhood of rats and other vermin.

Bob
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:35 AM
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straightshooter1 : Thank you for making that observation concerning cotton mouths or water moccasins!! They will attack you unprovoked!! I have been around various snakes all my life in Alabama and though some will warn you and some you must really provoke as they want to get away from you, it aint so with moccasins!!I have been in situations where these rascals have attacked me repeatedly and the attack was unprovoked!
Just get you a good snake dog,several have been mentioned.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:18 PM
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Milton and Strightshooter I agree 100% on the Cotton mouth. I remember has a kid shooting at one with a 22 pistol swiming while were were in a boat fishing. All I did was piss him off and he tried to get into the boat. My Dad wacked him in the head with the boat paddle
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:55 PM
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Buy a few cans of Wasp & Hornet spray (sprays up to 20') at Wal-Mart or Home Depot for about $3 a can. May kill the snake or it will relocate. This stuff will take care of bats, red squirrels etc...nasty stuff for the critters!
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:12 PM
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In the last 10 days I have killed 3 diamond backs in and around my place. One, a 3 footer, faced off with my German Sheperd after sneaking up on us while we were enjoying a cool brew on the patio. My wife and the dog saw the snake at the same time, wife went south, dog went into attack mode, I went for a gun. Snake coiled up and struck at "Max", he dodged the strike, I could not get a clear shot for fear of hitting the dog. Opted for a nearby flat shovel and dispatched the serpent. Killed the other two in the driveway with the car. We have a lot of snakes, most are harmless black snakes and we don't pay any attention to them. One fell out of a tree and hit my son on the shoulder while we were clearing brush. He was dancing around a bit, also had one fall out of the grape arbor over our patio where we drink our morning coffee. Didn't know I could move so fast at 68. I miss Alaska.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:39 PM
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I hear cats keep snakes away. Probably because they keep the rats away. A food source.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:22 PM
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Years ago I lived in Malaysia in a home near a rubber plantation. Frequently we found cobra's (black not king) in our yard. The Indian guard (Hindu) we employed would not kill them since he was concerned they may be relatives re-incarnated. I cut down all the oil palms in the yard to discourage frogs which the cobras were eating. Upon advice of the old Malaysia hands, I sprinkled powdered sulfur around the yard. This seemed to help the problem. However, before sprinkling sulfur it was necessary to insure all the snakes were out of the yard since they would not cross the sulfur to get out of the yard. Knew an older English man there who came into Burma during WW II and he told me they used sulfur to repel snakes in the Burma jungle.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by HUGHP:
Is it true that you have to actually step on a copperhead to provoke them to bite?
I really wouldn't want to find out the answer to that one. A copperhead came close to biting my youngest son, who is autistic and didn't know the danger he was in with the snake in striking position less than a foot away.

No, I didn't kill the snake...I just got a long stick and moved it off the trail. I won't kill ANY dangerous animal unless I have to...(Scorpions are the only exception to this, though)
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:34 PM
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Have you considered getting the little guy his own pet mongoose???
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:16 PM
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There are no known "snake repellents" in the sense of "insect repellents". There are effective mechanical barriers, such as woven-wire screening, to prevent entry of snakes, but no spray/sprinkle on repellents. I think it best to caution kids to avoid (not hate) and "respect" snakes and other potentially dangerous wildlife. There's a balance to be struck between engendering irrational fear, and careless indifference. Kids are careless, incautious, unobservant, so they're vulnerable. I don't know how to suggest keeping them snakeproof, but it won't be done with potions...
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:36 PM
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Lots of good info here. I deal with a lot of rattlesnakes as I work on three Arizona golf courses. Mature rattlesnakes, and I presume other venomous species, are capable of controlling their venom output. They will only put out venom in direct proportion to the threat they perceive. People often get a dry strike, a simple puncture wound with little if any venom injected. The snake sees you as something they cannot eat and thus save their venom for the next meal. The problem is if you really startle/scare them you may very well get a full shot. Baby rattlesnakes have not achieved this level of control and you will usually get a full shot of whatever they are packing.

In our neighborhood you just don't go out at night without a flashlight and shoes. I will only kill a a rattlesnake as a last resort. If after being moved (like porcupines make love...carefully), away from golfers, family or pets they return repeatedly, then and only then will I dispatch them to rattlesnake heaven (boy, that's a scary sounding place). I'm not crazy about snakes but I HATE rats and other related vermin.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:12 PM
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Very interesting thread.
When I was younger, we caught water snakes all the time. Occasionally we would get lucky and get a moccasin (in a minnow trap). They were usually seemingly aggressive, but rarely would strike. On the other hand, all of the copperheads I have run across have been very aggressive and strike repeatedly. Bear in mind, I don't handle them, just move them along out of my way with a long stick.

I was lucky enough to find a rather large copperhead in my driveway tonight. The biggest one I've seen in Georgia. I hope he gets along with the two baby rat snakes I relocated from my job last year. No rodents for me!

Vernon
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:55 PM
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Nothing like reviving a good coppermouth water rattler thread
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:17 PM
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Urine, diarrhea, and loud screams seem to be what I use...plus the sudden ability to clear a 6 foot board fence in a single leap.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:20 PM
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Default Is there such a thing as an effective snake repellent?

I bring my bil.Dont't know if he repels them ,but his rattle snake dance is very entertaining 😮
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:20 PM
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I am a big fan of snakes and have bred them for years. As a general rule I come down hard on those who needlessly kill them. That said, in my area there aren't any venomous snakes to speak of.

I have seen folks use gas in snake holes and to border an area. Raises hell with the grass, etc. though.

In your case, I wouldn't trust only using a "repellant" with children around. Sadly, the snakes in your area must be captured and relocated or dispatched accordingly.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:29 PM
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Mothballs will repell snakes -- they do not like the smell of camphor.

If you have no mothballs, less than attractive coeds from Tulane will do the trick -- I have seen them scare snakes out of bars for 20 years.

Failing that, pray to St Patrick -- he did drive the snakes out of Ireland -
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:37 PM
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Horsehair rope around the perimeter?? (I also heard that a perimeter of broken egg shells works about the same.)
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfunk View Post
Very interesting thread.
When I was younger, we caught water snakes all the time. Occasionally we would get lucky and get a moccasin (in a minnow trap). They were usually seemingly aggressive, but rarely would strike. On the other hand, all of the copperheads I have run across have been very aggressive and strike repeatedly. Bear in mind, I don't handle them, just move them along out of my way with a long stick.

I was lucky enough to find a rather large copperhead in my driveway tonight. The biggest one I've seen in Georgia. I hope he gets along with the two baby rat snakes I relocated from my job last year. No rodents for me!

Vernon
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I agree Copperheads are a sneaky ***...I collected snakes for years and handeled them....Don't ever trust a Copperhead....
That's FACT...
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
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Is it true that you have to actually step on a copperhead to provoke them to bite?
Nope.
I have been bitten on the hands more than once by one I did not see in beds.

Like Cajun said, get a dog. I prefer a long hair Jack Russell.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:21 PM
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My Kimber hold 9 rounds of snake repellent. These two copperheads bit the dust with 230 grain lead bullets, but CCI shot shells are awesome out of the 45 too.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:24 PM
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Armadillos love snakes.
Trap or kill the mice and rats and your snakes will go elsewhere.

Last edited by Skunkhome; 03-13-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:33 PM
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First off, there is nothing you can buy to put down, be it sulphur or lime or the so called snake repellent that will keep em away. Its all a false sense of security, and that will get somone hurt. Keep the grass low, and do not allow any junk to accumulate. You do not necessarily need to have water right there for cottonmouths to be around, but the water willl be fairly close. Copperheads like lumber and log piles or anyhting like that, and rattlers like to do a lot of sunbathing. I kill many rattlers, cotton mouths and copperhrads on my place every year. I have a huge swamp in the back 40, a stream and a pond. Lots of squirrels and field mice. Yes, I am paranoid with them as so far I have had 2 of my mini doxies bitten 2x each and another bitten once and then another bitten 2x and it did him in. I have some Diamondbacks but mainly Timber rattlers. They say activity will keep them away, but do not buy into it. With 10 mini doxies running around in a fenced in yard, I still shoot my fair share that is inside the yard or on the front porch sucking up the heat from the concrete. Once the weather is nice at my place you do not walk around early or late night without a flashlight. In the south snakes do not really go into deep hibernation like they do up in the more northern states, so on a nice warm day in January its not unusual to find them outside a burrow warming up. I live in south central Alabama, and the entire Gulf Coast area is prime snake heaven even in towns. I normally carry an old RG .38 spec with 6" barrel loaded with snake shot when outside, and it comes in handy fairly often. Last year I killed 13 rattlers, 3 cotton mouths and 7 copperheads. This year already I have 2 rattlers. Lots of luck and work on that youngin to make sure he stays away and gets ahold of an adult if he sees a snake.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:35 PM
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Horsehair rope around the perimeter?? (I also heard that a perimeter of broken egg shells works about the same.)
I saw the horsehair rope debunked one time. It didn't bother the snake at all.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:35 PM
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I lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills for about 36 years & we had rattlers. There is no repellent except for a .22 S&W revolver loaded with snake shot. Worked every time for me.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:41 PM
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Sorry kozmic but I hate snakes and am very afraid of them. I've seen water moccasins on golf courses around water hazards that have become agressive and chased a golfer. I had a neighbor who stepped out her front door and was bitten by a baby copperhead. (it was warming itself at night on the warm concrete) Her leg swelled to the size of an elephants leg. Baby snakes are more venomous than adults from the stories I've heard.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:56 PM
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A Mongoose!

I'm scared to death of snakes, but know the important role they play.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:58 PM
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I was once in a car and there was a HUGE rattlesnake in the center of the parking lot of a park in Louisiana.

Creeped me out.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:10 AM
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When I lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in a house fairly near a rubber plantation, I had a problem with black cobras coming into the yard. They seemed to particularly like the driveway. These are of course poisonous but not agressive like the king cobra. The Indian guard I had refused to kill them because he explained to me that they may be reincarnated relatives of his.

Everyone there told me to use sulfur to discourage them entering the yard and to kill every frog I saw. The sulfur seemed to work in that I saw appreciably fewer after putting it out. Since it rains so much there, It was necessary to apply it frequently.

They also told me to make sure there were none in the yard before putting out the sulfur.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:13 AM
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We use moth balls at the deer camp, same ingredient as the commercial snake repellent that cost twice the price. I think it is a trickle down deal-keeps away the things snake tend to hunt for. I do keep a .44 full of snake shot in a holster mounted to the push power. My Grandpa planted camphor bushes all around the perimeter of his property on the Bolivar Peninsula to repel snakes, I never saw one but wasn't really looking either.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:35 AM
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Inion plants
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:11 AM
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I would go with the jack russell idea myself. I can give you a couple of tips that I have seen work. If you get a snake in the house, throw down some sticky boards. These are the kind you buy to catch rats. The snake will stop on these boards and start rolling to get away. It will really slow one down. Keep several of these handy. Here is the best method for removing a snake out of a hole. Have someone watch the hole while the wife goes to the kitchen. Have the wife put a pot of water on the stove. When the water is boiling, bring it out and pour it down the hole. Get your shovel, hoe, pistol,shotgun, machine gun ready because he will be out shortly. Be advised, if he wasn't mad before, he will be now. PS- have camcorder ready because it is gonna be the best home movie. BTW- have plenty of ammo on hand too.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don5 View Post
Here is the best method for removing a snake out of a hole. Have someone watch the hole while the wife goes to the kitchen. Have the wife put a pot of water on the stove. When the water is boiling, bring it out and pour it down the hole. Get your shovel, hoe, pistol,shotgun, machine gun ready because he will be out shortly. Be advised, if he wasn't mad before, he will be now. PS- have camcorder ready because it is gonna be the best home movie. BTW- have plenty of ammo on hand too.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:32 AM
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The only snake I worry about is the dreaded Spotsylvania blackmouth, cottontail water rattler. That's a bad one.

All you can do is back off and nuke them from orbit. It's the only safe thing to do.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:04 AM
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Turn your yard into an ice rink and that will keep the snakes away otherwise a move to the Arctic Circle in order or the South Pole.
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