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  • Copperheads

    Has anyone else in NC noticed an increase of copperheads this year? I have killed a baby in a hay bale, my BO has killed 3, and there is another one slithering around the barn area that we have seen but have been unable to kill.

    Any way (other than a shovel to the head) to keep them away from my barn? I'm terribly worried about kids who wander around the yard in flip flops and the dogs/cat getting into them
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

  • #2
    Geese will wipe out a snake population. Of course, then you have geese to deal with, which may or may not be a problem!


    • #3
      Moth Balls seem to annoy and repel them from enclosed areas.
      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


      • #4
        I've seen more snakes around our place this year in TX. I think it's due to our drought though. I've heard mothballs for scorpions but I can't decide if it's worse for our house to smell like my grandmother's clothes or deal with the scorpions.
        Good luck - let me know if mothballs work.


        • Original Poster

          Moth balls seem easy enough to try. I'll get back to ya on whether they work!
          Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
          My equine soulmate
          Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


          • #6
            Geese are evil, evil creatures. I'd so much rather try to attract some non-venomous snakes that eat venomous snakes (sorry, can't think of them off the top of my head...but clearly I just finished reading the loooooong snake thread!).


            • #7
              I believe you're thinking of king snakes.
              And yes, I agree, far more desirable (not to mention quieter!) than geese.
              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


              • Original Poster

                We've actually got a few HUGE rat snakes (like 6'!) and at least 1 king snake I've seen that supposedly eat copperheads. I don't want to wipe out the entire snake population (as much as I hate them!), just the poisonous ones.
                Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                My equine soulmate
                Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                • #9
                  Copperheads are born in the fall - not really a "live birth" but not out of a nest of eggs either.

                  Black snakes hatch in the spring and I think are not a true black when they are born so you might not be killing copperheads.

                  (You really don't want to know how I know this either)


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by KnKShowmom View Post
                    Copperheads are born in the fall - not really a "live birth" but not out of a nest of eggs either.

                    Black snakes hatch in the spring and I think are not a true black when they are born so you might not be killing copperheads.

                    (You really don't want to know how I know this either)
                    It had the bright yellow tail that wikipedia (lol) says baby copperheads have?
                    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                    My equine soulmate
                    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                    • #11

                      Hmm, yellow tail sounds right but wrong time of the year - maybe another species with yellow tails??

                      I know the nest I was unforturnate enough to uncover had about 30 babies and it was in September - didn't stick around long enough to check tail colors.


                      • #12
                        I have noticed an increase in Copperheads this year, but I live in Georgia, and the heat wave has come MUCH earlier than it should. My brother is in Afghanistan (for another week,) and his yard guy that is helping him out e-mailed him to tell him that he had killed EIGHT Copperheads in his yard when he went out there....in one day....and in a yard that is 0.50 acre! These were definitely Copperheads. The lawn guy has been around enough and sent a picture.
                        If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                        DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                        Originally posted by talkofthetown
                        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


                        • #13
                          Well the adult copperheads are an easy id - there is a reason they have that name -

                          But this time of year, I would be concerned that the babies are really black or king snakes which when grown will keep the copperheads away.

                          I had a go-round with copperheads in my barn and my husband knows if he touches any of the black/king snakes we have now that divorce papers will follow!

                          Maybe someone at your extension office can help you.


                          • #14

                            Saw a baby snake when I was on the mower the othe day, but it did not have the distinctive triangle head (do they have that when young?). I let him go, thought he was probably a baby blacksnake, which I have come to tolerate.

                            But still, yuck.
                            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                            Spay and neuter. Please.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KnKShowmom View Post
                              Copperheads are born in the fall - not really a "live birth" but not out of a nest of eggs either.

                              Black snakes hatch in the spring and I think are not a true black when they are born so you might not be killing copperheads.

                              (You really don't want to know how I know this either)
                              No, baby/young black snakes are gray with black markings. I used to get them in my old rental house.
                              "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


                              • #16
                                We haven't had any in our yard (SC in large neighborhood, but ours backs on to woods), but apparently a couple weeks ago the guy next door (who has two kids) told us he'd seen two copperheads in his backyard so far. Also had a friend who lives in the upstate post photos on FB today of one she saw in her suburban neighborhood.
                                Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


                                • #17
                                  At our other farm in NC there were many feral cats which we would lightly feed to keep them around but they were terrific hunters. we had no mice and they also killed the snakes and voles. When we bought the place there were two families of cats about 12. You couldn't catch them with a trap or get near them . Maybe cats this wild do a better job of keeping down the rodents and snakes.
                                  I now do not have cats now as I am making this farm a bird haven, it has large pond , lots of frogs so lots of snakes. when I go in the garden I have the hose on full blast as this saved my butt last year when i almost touched a full grown copperhead while weeding. The snake hated that water blasted in his face and left quickly. So just my experience but the hose worked well and I've stopped weeding, not worth it.


                                  • #18
                                    We were all having a BBQ on the back deck at my parents house...talking about snakes in the area. Not a few minutes later, my mom stepped off the porch and onto a copper head!!! My dad and his friends killed it (dont remember how) then they injected it with alcohol, put it in a jar of alcohol and my mom put it in her classroom (taught 1st and 4th grade). The kids LOVED IT.

                                    That said, I have no clue how to get rid of them!
                                    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                                    • #19
                                      Thought of this thread this morning when I saw one of 'my' black snakes -

                                      I won't say that I love snakes, its a live and let live relationship and but I am very grateful for their help in controlling the unwanted critters on my farm.

                                      DD on the other hand can't even look at one.....


                                      • #20
                                        Mint. Plant lots of it anywhere you can. Snakes hate it! I understand how important it is to have blacksnakes around, but last summer a good friend who runs a boarding farm had a strange hematoma(sp?) show up on her mare's chest. This friend runs a boarding facility on 40 acres and I used to do some work for her every now and then for lessons. Her back 18 acres (about 1/2 a mile from the barn) had some huge blacksnakes on it, so we assumed there were no venemous snakes around. When vet came out to look at hematoma, he said it was actually a snake bite, likely from a copperhead (though the swelling was a result of bacteria on the fangs rather than the venom, since horses have resistance to snake venom).

                                        A month later she pulled the coke machine (that's directly in front of the mare's stall) out to pressure wash the barn aisle. Big mama copperhead and a bunch of babies rolled out hissing and striking. Now every flower pot and patch of dirt around the barn is full of fresh mint. And the great part about mint is a little goes a long way. It's like kudzo; it spreads quickly and is really hard to kill. I'm not sure why snakes detest it, but it seems to work really well.