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Snake repellent??

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  • Snake repellent??

    Some of you may remember my thread from July 5 where my dog Megan was bitten by a 5' rattler here at the farm and unfortunately she did not survive.
    I have always heard that rattlers are territorial and if you see one you don't usually see another, at least for awhile.
    Well, just about half an hour ago I was headed to feed and bring the horses in before the storm. The dogs had been in the house with me for a quick nap after I got home from riding.
    We all went out the back to the barn and what was all stretched out across the front of MY barn, was a 4' rattler. Not his barn, MY barn dammit.
    Thanks to my 16 ga he is no longer with us. Chalk one up for Megan. Good dog.
    What is up with this? Is there something i can put around my farm, repellent or something? Some folks say mothballs, does it work or just stink up the place?
    I have no climb fence all around so the places where a decent sized snake can get through are fairly small, but there are gates and my neighbor has field fence along our property line (the kind with the bigger squares).

    what to do? Any suggestions? I don't mind the target practice but this is very upsetting.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

  • #2
    Territorial or not, I have killed as many as five rattlers in my yard in the same year.

    There are some things sold as snake repellents. People speak of moth balls. I don't think any of these things are anything but scams and old wives tales.

    Doing your best to remove places where rats, mice and rabbits can live is the best way to reduce rattlesnake population, as rattlers feed on those critters.

    Also, put dog/cat water bowls in places that are high up and not snake friendly, as a snake appreciates a good, cool drink of fresh water as much as Fido does.
    "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      see, we've done all that. Everything is mowed, the dog waterer is about 18" on the side of my husband's workshop, I don't have a mouse or rat problem (not seeing any evidence of them, nothing is chewed up). No piles of stuff all around, I Just don't get it.
      The only water they can get to that I can think of is the baby pool for the dogs. I can get rid of that though if it might help.
      Is there something going on with them right now that they are all moving around? We've had a decent enough amount of rain but theres not flooding or anything that would be making them move to higher ground.
      "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

      Comment


      • #4
        I remember your post about Megan, and I thought you were quite brave killing the thing.

        I don't have any suggestions, but what about contacting your county cooperative extension to seek their advice regarding snake repellants or reason why your farm right now seems so attractive to them.

        I have read sulphur is good repellant, but that is just this northern person trying to read about how to keep snakes away from my southern farm. I have no idea if it works.

        Do you have any bodies of water nearby? If so, I would make a line of sulphur between my farm and the body of water.

        Good luck, and I hope someone has some good ideas.
        save lives...spay/neuter/geld

        Comment


        • #5
          Didn't we have a thread on here somewhere that showed a picture of a black snake eating a rattler? Maybe you need to get some "good" snakes to scare off the bad snakes? Not sure how you would go about doing that, it was just a random thought.

          Sorry to hear you are having these problems.

          I have seen some snake repellents online for sale. I would not use mothballs, since they are made from napthalene, which is toxic to dogs.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            Eau de Weasel, maybe?

            So sorry about your dog, though. What a shame.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              My neighbor in his infinite wisdom dug a pond last year and it is close to and at an angle to my barn. We actually had two otters in my pasture from it last year.

              MM, we had a couple of big black snakes but I don't know what has happened to them. I didn't bother them but maybe the dogs upset them and they left.

              Sublime, if I could set up the cast of Meerkat Manor on my farm I would do it in a heartbeat. This is war now. I'm not losing another dog. Not like that.


              5horses, I guess I was brave, I felt very helpless at the time, which is not something i am used to. When I went to see my husband after that, we were watching "Backdraft' on TV. There is a scene where the firemen have lost control of the hose and one fireman goes in to get it. There is flame all around, and the hose is upright and undulating and swaying, it looks just like a snake. All of a sudden I started to cry (even surprised me), and when my husband asked why, I said that was exactly what the snake looked like to me the day megan died. I am absolutely terrified of snakes. I still am really not all the way ok yet from losing Megan. I don't think I will ever get over it, but instead will just learn to live with it.

              Went to Wallyworld, I learned that people look at you really funny when you have 2 packs of underwear, a case of beer and 15 boxes of mothballs in your cart.

              I'm going to crunch them up tomorrow in a big bucket and put them around just outside my fence line and around the barn and tack room, and if I have any left go from there.
              Last edited by Jaegermonster; Jul. 30, 2009, 11:21 PM.
              "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I do have to say that it was very satisfying killing that snake today. I feel bad saying that, I would never hurt or kill any animal on purpose, but it just was. I felt like it was one for the good guys today.
                "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jaegermonster View Post
                  I do have to say that it was very satisfying killing that snake today. I feel bad saying that, I would never hurt or kill any animal on purpose, but it just was. I felt like it was one for the good guys today.
                  If I had experienced what you have been through, I would have the exact same feeling. You were doing your job to protect your animals and your family.
                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks MM.
                    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree, this is war. I am a live and let live, but when it comes to killing my animals, well, watch out.

                      I am even somewhat tolerant of the foxes and coyotes that kill my chickens. But a couple of years ago, I was losing my geese to the coyotes. I had one goose, Emily for almost 20 years, and he scarfed her in broad daylight right outside my home office window. I was too late. I had my neighbor shoot the coyote, and about an hour later heard its mate calling to it. Talk about feeling like shit. But, they took Emily and crossed the line. Snakes, no problems for me killing the poisonous ones especially when they are around my barn. I don't mean to say "I" could do it, but I guess we do what we have to do.

                      Glad to hear you are afraid of snakes and can still kill one. I think Megan had your back on that.

                      Sometimes the strangest things will remind us of an event. It is good you can cry and even better you recognize the triggers. That was very traumatic what happened to your Megan.

                      Check out sulphur too, I swear I heard that was good for deterring snakes from crossing over.
                      I also think, unfortunately your neighbors pond isn't helping things.
                      save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some very good information on this website, including how to build a snake trap.

                        http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/06501.html
                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                          I agree, this is war. I am a live and let live, but when it comes to killing my animals, well, watch out.

                          I am even somewhat tolerant of the foxes and coyotes that kill my chickens. But a couple of years ago, I was losing my geese to the coyotes. I had one goose, Emily for almost 20 years, and he scarfed her in broad daylight right outside my home office window. I was too late. I had my neighbor shoot the coyote, and about an hour later heard its mate calling to it. Talk about feeling like shit. But, they took Emily and crossed the line. Snakes, no problems for me killing the poisonous ones especially when they are around my barn. I don't mean to say "I" could do it, but I guess we do what we have to do.

                          Glad to hear you are afraid of snakes and can still kill one. I think Megan had your back on that.

                          Sometimes the strangest things will remind us of an event. It is good you can cry and even better you recognize the triggers. That was very traumatic what happened to your Megan.

                          Check out sulphur too, I swear I heard that was good for deterring snakes from crossing over.
                          I also think, unfortunately your neighbors pond isn't helping things.
                          I think my job helped me there, I have been really scared at work and had to work through it, so that helped a lot.
                          I would even be willing to let us all coexist peacefully here if they would just do their business and not bite my dogs. Or me, or the horses for that matter. But they won't so we cant.

                          I'm so sorry about your goose that had to be awful. I would have felt badly too about the coyote but sometimes that's just how it goes. he should have stayed where he belonged.

                          I actually took the shotgun with me today when I went to fill the water trough. I hate making my farm look like an armed camp.

                          Couldnt find any sulphur at the store today but did get lots of mothballs so we'll try that and see how it goes. I wish I knew where they were coming from and what is so attractive here. I keep the placed mowed down, no piles, no mice. If we do get a mouse now and then the dogs take care of it, the dogs are too big for the snakes to eat. So why are they coming here? Grrrrr.
                          "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            MM Somehow I don't see myself trapping a rattler. then i would need someone to come get it and/or let it out. Yikes.
                            "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've seen more rabbits and frogs this year due to all the rain. Big snakes like rabbits and frogs and suposedly they are shedding their skin right now, which makes them move. About the time you lost Megan, I stepped off the porch to see a 4' rattler coming straight down my walk toward me. Even though I screamed, he never slowed until I grabbed the only weapon within reach, a garden shovel, and hit him with it. He veered into the flower bed leaving me fearful of leaving the house after dark. My dogs had preceeded me out of the house by only a few seconds but they headed for the grass, not down the walk. Thank goodness for that because the golden retreiver male loves to play with snakes.
                              The next day one of my boarders saw a 5' rattler in the riding ring. She was sure it was bigger than the one I saw.
                              The next day at the feed store I inquired about snake repellant and they said that snakes hate the smell of sulfer and don't like to cross a line of sulfer. They stocked large and small bags of "snake repellant" and said that hunters use it more than anone else. Well, i figured that it is safe around animals and cheap so I bought enough to make a ring around my barn, house, dog kennel and cover my walk.
                              I don't know if it worked but I haven't seen another snake since although I have not stopped looking.
                              YOu should be very careful with the moth balls around the dogs, cats and horses, to say nothing of the other wildlife. They are useful stuffed in the outdoor electrical outlets to keep the ants from shorting out ring lights and outlets.
                              I haven't owned a shotgun in years but I'm thinking I need to get one again. When I first move here I killed several rattlers and water moccacins. Best of luck.
                              Piney Woods

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Jaegermonster View Post
                                MM Somehow I don't see myself trapping a rattler. then i would need someone to come get it and/or let it out. Yikes.
                                I'm with you on that one! I had never heard of such a thing before. I would not even know who to call to come get one.

                                Knocking on wood here, I have not seen any deadly snakes in my yard or field yet, and I hope I never do. I learned at a young age about rattlers growing up in Albuquerque, which might have contributed to my snake phobia.
                                There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Where can you buy sulfur in bulk? And will you get funny looks when you do it?

                                  I saw this a couple of weeks ago going to work:

                                  <img src="http://home.hiwaay.net/~thrasher/images/drivewaysnake/drivewaysnake1.jpg">

                                  (If that didn't work go look here: http://home.hiwaay.net/~thrasher/ima...ewaysnake1.jpg)

                                  That copperhead was about 20' from where my horses cross through the woods to the pasture. I wish I had at least tried to squish it with the car but I wasn't sure it was a bad snake.
                                  "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    I think that one is a corn snake or rat snake, not poisonous. Definitely not a rattler. I wouldn't go trying to pick it up or anything but it's not a rattler.

                                    Piney I remember you told me about that snake after I lost Megan. that's really scary. I have been peeping out doors when I open them to check first and everything since Megan. I've been extra attentive since then, which i guess is good.
                                    I took the shotgun out with me to feed today, just in case. I probably should get a sling for it. I hate to make the farm look like an occupation but it's a pain carrying it everywhere.

                                    I got that Snake repellent stuff at Lowes once before, but it was really expensive and basically is just mothballs. I will be careful with it though.
                                    No new sightings today.
                                    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Unfortunately mothballs are an old wives tale....the Snake Repellant that is offered in hardware/feed stores says its guaranteed...but you have to make sure the snakes are out of the area you are trying to make a perimeter around or you could trap them in instead of keeping them out!
                                      I have researched this very well...as I live in an circa 1712 barn and am PETRIFIED of ANY snake. We don't have rattlers around here that I know of, but did see my 1st copperhead a couple of weeks ago...didn't have 22ga, but a can of BEARMACE in the Rhino!!!! just make sure the wind isn't blowing in your direction!!!! whew...you would drive past there for a week and still start choking! but lots of satisfaction watching copperhead writh around...before we came back w/ 22ga...now i've learned to "tolerate" the black snakes a little more...as truly for the last 2 years that's all I saw, this year hadn't seen 1/2 as many blacks snakes then this copperhead shows up!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        From the link provided by MunchkinsMom, above: "Several potential home remedies were evaluated to determine if they would repel black rat snakes. Treatments tested included gourd vines, moth balls, sulfur, cedar oil, a tacky bird repellent, lime, cayenne pepper spray, sisal rope, coal tar and creosote, liquid smoke, artificial skunk scent, and musk from a king snake (they eat other snakes) (San Julian and Woodward 1985). None of these remedies repelled black rat snakes.
                                        Currently, there is not enough conclusive data to recommend these repellents for snakes.


                                        So reputable research from a major university pretty much poo-poos the idea of an effective substance for snake repellent.
                                        Save your money and buy a .410 pistol, popularly known as a "snake gun". It beats hauling a long gun around and can be used to get rid of other varmints as well.
                                        "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

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