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Venomous snake problem
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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 04:43 AM
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HighBC
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I don't know if this is the right place to discuss this, if not please feel free to move it moderators.

Anyway, I have a little over 1 acre of property, it's rich in natural Arizona foliage, some of it is nicely landscaped, but mostly just natural with 13 Saguaro's, lots of other cacti, mesquite trees, and the usual plants associated with S.W. Arizona. We have gazillions of rodents, rabbits, gophers, couple different species of rats, mice, thus we have rodent holes all over the property. And since our property borders public land there's just no practical or possible way to remove this food source from the snakes.

But we are over run with rattlers, just within the last couple weeks alone we have killed 4 rattlers, lost 2 corals and one rattler because they retreated back into their holes. My dogs were both recently tagged by rattle snakes, fortunately both strikes were dry, so dodged a bullet on those incidents. But what really concerns me is one of my grand kids getting struck, they visit almost daily. I've been living with this natural threat for many, many years, and although I've never liked it, I've become very accustomed to dealing with it. But now it's my grand kids I'm seriously concerned about, they're kids and are always playing outside, I feel like it's just a matter of time before one of them gets nailed by one.

Someone mentioned burying the fence 6" or so with a 12" metal cloth barrier, but this would be very impractical considering the entire property is already chain link fenced, which would mean having to pull it all down in order to get it done. For what it's worth I'll probably still do this, but I'm doubtful it's going to have much if any impact on the problem. Same issue with attempting to remove or even reduce the rodent population, this is rural Arizona landscape. Odd as it may seem, during the winter, spring and fall months is when the problem really gets intense, it's rare to not encounter them almost daily during those months.

One of my neighbors down the road suggested letting a few chickens and turkey run loose on the property, he says that they will police the property and will kill or run them off. Anyone know if there's any truth to this? I welcome any other suggestion that may help also.

HBC



 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 09:21 AM
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swampshooter

 

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MOVE, or don't let the grandchildren play outdoors when visiting.
There is available some repellent. My local Home Depot carries it. Go to their garden section and see what they have.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 09:25 AM
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The Only Sarge
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When we first built the ranch we disturbed hundreds of years of Rattlesnake habitat.Boogers were everywhere.
I removed/burned/mowed all natural habitats. Found dens and poured ammonia in them. I declared war on them. Biggest success I had was destroying all their "hiding spots". They like brush/tall grasses.
I still carry when I'm out walking around. Rarely do I see one. When I do he goes to Heaven. Few and far between now.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 12:13 PM
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Ozark Ed



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I don't know anything about Arizona and snake habitat, but have you tried contacting a state wildlife agent? Some state agencies have officers that will give you guidance and direction. The bottom line is you have great habitat for them, abundant food sources and good cover. You're going to have to diminish the habitat to diminish the snake population. I don't think poultry will do it, I've seen too many black rat snakes in the chicken house to believe that.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 05:56 PM
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Charley



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There are a couple of repellents on the market registered with the EPA for snakes. Snake Away by Dr. T's I've had my people use. Active ingredients are naphthalene and sulfur. Couple others fairly new, both are about 5% essential plant oils, and sulfur. I suspect the plant oils are so it can be marketed to green dumbasses who don't know any better, but the sulfur is probably the major repellent.

Trouble with repellents is they don't last for more than about two weeks, under most conditions, and must be reapplied. Can get pricey.

As mentioned above, the biggest issues you have are habitat and a food supply. As long as those are available you will have snakes taking advantage of them. No vacuums in nature.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 06:13 PM
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BEAR
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Never get a Government agency involved....you will be required to keep all those snakes.

I believe that hogs will kill and even eat the snakes;and are are generally immune to venom because of their fat.

Personally, I'd just move to more civilized area, IF the snakes are a big concern.



 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 06:43 PM
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Charley



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lost 2 corals and one rattler
Corals or Kings? Many people confuse them. Coral has black and yellow bands touching, King has red and black bands touching. Fair number of corals in SA, but good thing is they are not an aggressive species. Also have fangs more toward the rear of their mouths, not forward like the pit viper family. Much harder for them to bite anything really big, like a human leg or foot.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 07:42 PM
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We have Coral's up here Charley. They only come out at night and are (at most) 12 inches long. They go under the mulch in the flower beds and under trees and disappear like lightning. They go like hell at the slightest movement or light. You cant catch the lil boogers. My biggest snake issue is Copperheads. Again...it is all about habitat. Long grass, brush, they all love. I keep the pasture mowed.....brush piles burnt....they dont like that. We got Red Tail Hawks everywhere here. Hawk loves him some snake meat:) Kings will also kill other snakes. We had about a 3 foot Black King meandering through the backyard the other day....I let him just keep on going.
Best advice I can give is just to do what you can to eliminate as much ground cover/piles/dead trees etc. you have on your property. Eliminate any and all open containers of trash etc. to reduce mice/rat population. Do that and the snakes will leave.
Snakes are like unwelcome guest in the house. Stop feeding them and they will leave.



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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2016 08:55 PM
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J.Fish
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Have you called Az Game and Fish? There is also that herptological place in Scottsdale I keep hearing about in the news. I'm sure there are a couple of other places in Az that could help you out.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 12:35 AM
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Paso.Man
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VERY interesting, keep us posted.

An Ausie friend told me Guinea fowl are helpful, that's all I know.



 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 01:32 AM
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Charley



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The Only Sarge wrote:
We have Coral's up here Charley. They only come out at night and are (at most) 12 inches long. They go under the mulch in the flower beds and under trees and disappear like lightning. They go like hell at the slightest movement or light. You cant catch the lil boogers. My biggest snake issue is Copperheads. Again...it is all about habitat. Long grass, brush, they all love. I keep the pasture mowed.....brush piles burnt....they dont like that. We got Red Tail Hawks everywhere here. Hawk loves him some snake meat:) Kings will also kill other snakes. We had about a 3 foot Black King meandering through the backyard the other day....I let him just keep on going.
Best advice I can give is just to do what you can to eliminate as much ground cover/piles/dead trees etc. you have on your property. Eliminate any and all open containers of trash etc. to reduce mice/rat population. Do that and the snakes will leave.
Snakes are like unwelcome guest in the house. Stop feeding them and they will leave.


Surprisingly enough there are a pretty fair number of corals down in the Alamo Heights/Olmos Park/ Terrell Hills area. Basicly just below the beginning of the Balcones Escarpment, leading to the flat country to the south. Most run about 24 inches or so. Not sure how such vermin can afford such classy neighborhoods...



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 02:22 AM
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Plainsman
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I thought it was RED and YELLOW "kill a fella"...



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 02:42 AM
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Acre quite a bit of ground to cover, but bait stations with rodenticide, one bite with Bromethalin, will knock back population around house pretty quick. That and follow up with naphtha moth balls down burrows and sanitation, will drastically reduce problem. Chickens and Guinea fowl will control smaller rodents, but snakes will feed on chicks of either.

Last edited on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 02:43 AM by RobertMT



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 03:55 AM
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7mmreloader
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Put moth balls along your fence perimeter and down the snake holes. Works for garter snakes.



 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 05:02 AM
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HighBC
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Charley wrote:
lost 2 corals and one rattler
Corals or Kings? Many people confuse them. Coral has black and yellow bands touching, King has red and black bands touching. Fair number of corals in SA, but good thing is they are not an aggressive species. Also have fangs more toward the rear of their mouths, not forward like the pit viper family. Much harder for them to bite anything really big, like a human leg or foot.


Oh yes, they are coroals. We have a good number of kings also, those I welcome of course. But the corals don't really bother me, they are very shy, it's rare to bump into them and when I do they vanish like lightning.

No way I'll invite any wildlife agency onto my property.

I've lived with these critters since the early 70's, hate the city, so no way I'm gonna move. I'll just continue locating their dens, killing them as I come across them, and continue teaching my grand kids how to maintain heightened awareness.

I'm also gonna do what I can to diminish their habitat some, I mean I don't want to destroy the awesome natural beauty of the landscape, that's one of the awesome benefits of living where we do.

And I'm gonna let some turkey and chicken run around, it can't hurt, rattlers don't like being harassed and will avoid that. I've killed wild turkey over the years that had snakes in their craw, so I think there's some level of truth to it.

I didn't know about the chemical deterrents, so I'll give that a try also.

Thanks guys, plenty of good advice.

HBC



 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2016 03:05 PM
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Charley



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Plainsman wrote:
I thought it was RED and YELLOW "kill a fella"...

Yeah, you're right. Was babysitting grandkids all day yesterday, was flat worn out. Whoops.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 2nd, 2017 04:52 PM
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We used toluene to keep water moccasins out of duck blinds. It worked. It is a major ingredient in some carburetor cleaners. I doubt if I spelled that correctly, but its close.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 2nd, 2017 11:38 PM
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golong
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swampshooter wrote:
We used toluene to keep water moccasins out of duck blinds. It worked. It is a major ingredient in some carburetor cleaners. I doubt if I spelled that correctly, but its close.

You spelled it correctly. It is a rather common cleaner. I know some boating type guys that use it to clean hulls. I use it to clean plastic before applying decals.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 3rd, 2017 03:06 PM
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Plainsman wrote: I thought it was RED and YELLOW "kill a fella"...

Best way to remember this is:

"Red on yellow, kill a fellow. Red on black, venom lack."

In other words, if red band is touching yellow band, it's a coral. If red band is touching black band, it's a King snake. They like to eat rattlers BTW.

ETA: "They (King snakes) like to eat rattlers BTW."

Last edited on Fri Mar 3rd, 2017 03:09 PM by olyeller



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 Posted: Fri Mar 3rd, 2017 05:03 PM
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Where is Savage when you need him?  He was hunting with a blowgun and darts and doing okay, great way to get rid of vermin and convince the neighbors to stop by and have friendly (nosey) chats.

The rodent population needs to be the first to go.  Close behind are the corals because they are pretty, quiet, and kind of deadly.  I always thought corals were too cold sensitive to live anywhere but south Florida.  Bet you could trap them they love crickets



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