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Small Cabin Forum / Nature / Copperheads around cabin!
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Ann
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 14:52
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Have any of you had to deal with copperheads around your cabin? I've seen a few along with road in years past at my place in Pennsylvania and just ignored them.
But last week I encountered one at the (window well-type) entrance to my crawlspace. I startled it and it traveled along the foundation and then under my porch, where it then stayed overnight and the next day.
I couldn't have it living under my porch because of the risk to my dog and me, so we reluctantly killed it. I know they keep mice away etc. but living under the porch is too close for comfort.
How do others handle poisonous snakes? Is there an effective way to repel them? I read that mothballs and "snake-away" products sold at garden stores don't work. Yes, I have woods, rocks and a woodpile (which copperheads like) because my cabin is in the woods!

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 16:46
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I live in TX, diamondback rattlesnake country. You can't give snakes any place near your home to have a den or you're in for a lot of trouble. A few tips:

Close up that crawl space under your porch and any other space they can enter. They'll go there and create a den in the winter/during bad weather.

Make sure the wood in your wood pile is stacked tightly and away from your cabin. If it's stacked tightly, they can't hide inside of it. Don't have it leaning up against a structure because they can hide in between the woodpile and the structure.

Disperse any large rock piles near your home. Yeah, they'll live and breed in them.

Snakes hang out where there's food. Keep your trash containers sealed securely and if you have a garden, keep your garden waste cleaned up. If you compost, do so in a sealed bin so as not to attract mice near your cabin.

It's the woods and you're going to have mice and snakes but you want to keep them as far from your cabin as possible. I don't know how aggressive copperheads are but western diamondbacks are mean suckers. I live in the country and I'm always vigilant about them lurking around. I wouldn't hesitate to kill one that threatened me or my dogs. Good luck!

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 19:37
Reply 


Quoting: Ann
How do others handle poisonous snakes?


2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne

Don_P
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 21:26
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Hard to fry vapor
We have a healthy population of blacksnakes that seem to do a good job of keeping the poisonous snakes away. Our dog did get a copperhead bite while just a few feet from me and we've killed a few. I'll give a poisonous snake in the travel area a sporting chance, he has until I get back.

I was clearing an overgrown mess on one jobsite, it was early dog days. I had the chainsaw and a friend was running the excavator. He had already motioned for me to jump in with him to avoid a snake that had homed in on me. Later, I heard the excavator bouncing and looked up to see the machine swinging, moving very fast and pounding the ground with the bucket just as hard as it would go. I met Jody down at the road and asked what was going on. He had scooped up 7 copperheads, they were blind, shedding, and are very mean then. He said they were striking the bucket. My wife was heading into that spot the day before after some black raspberries when I made the remark "If I was a snake, that's where I'd be"... truer than I ever imagined.

We walked by this rattler all one morning before someone noticed him;


Better the plumber than me!


RichInTheUSA
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 22:08
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I think you mean venomous snakes. 😺

I'm not an expert but have been following the Snake Identification group on FB. They say that those repellents don't really work.

While I have not encountered the venomous snakes in my cellar, I have set off bug bombs. My thought is that snakes and mice both eat bugs... So the fewer bugs, the fewer snakes and mice. I also use bucket traps for mice.

Thoughts??

Smawgunner
Member
# Posted: 3 Jun 2016 22:24
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^ I was just going to say that lol.

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 00:38 - Edited by: Julie2Oregon
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Very few snakes eat bugs. (No venomous snakes I'm aware of do and constrictors don't, obviously.) I don't think many people mind having garter snakes around.

Snakes want mice and many things attract mice -- in addition to food, warmth and safety are things they seek out. Snakes also look for places to hole up during bad/cold weather. Not giving them a place to do that near your cabin (or on your property, if that's possible) is important.

When I moved out to the country in West Texas, I had to educate myself and I also got all sorts of lectures from the natives on doing what you can to keep the western diamondbacks away. Awful snakes and very prolific in this area. (The "world's largest" rattlesnake roundup is just down the road. Not incidental, a publicity stunt, or Chamber event. People literally come from all over the world for this thing because of the number of rattlesnakes collected and on display in the huge pits. Shiver.)

I have fencing around my front AND backyards, skirting around my shed and porches, and am very careful not to provide opportunity or an environment for rattlesnakes to venture close.

If you know snakes are around and you have pets, get them vaccinated. There are snake vaccines that can help save their lives if they get bit. Baby snakes' bites are actually more lethal than that of adults. Young snakes release more venom and don't let go as readily so be careful if you see the babies!

Malamute
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 13:36
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Its rumored bull snakes tend to keep rattlesnakes away. I don't know if its true, but I leave bull snakes alone, othger than relocating them if they hang around more than a passing through, as they scare the dog (as I trained her).

I've killed rattlesnakes with shovels, rocks, various calibers of bullets, birdshot loads in pistols (22 birdshot loads are pretty puny, 9mm or 38 and up work well within about 5-8 feet), and tapped one or two on the head with a Winchester carbine butt. I have zero tolerance for rattlesnakes, having had one dog get bit in my yard, one IN the house once, several in the yard, and running across many when out hiking with the dogs. I moved from the snakey place and havent so far seen any at my current place.

I don't need a lecture about rattlesnakes place in the scheme of things. In my world, rattlesnakes have no place anywhere I happen to be, or certainly not near my home. Ill set mouse traps and catch far more mice than any tolerable number of snakes can eat around my place. The bull snakes can have the rest.

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 21:07
Reply 


Quoting: Malamute
I don't need a lecture about rattlesnakes place in the scheme of things. In my world, rattlesnakes have no place anywhere I happen to be, or certainly not near my home.


Amen!

I'm always happy to hear owls around. Owls eat mice and they'll eat snakes, too, although they're not their preferred food. I do have to keep an eye on my little dog at night if I hear the call of great horned owls, though. He's just within the very upper limits of their capabilities.

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 21:21
Reply 


Quoting: Ann
Have any of you had to deal with copperheads around your cabin?

Uh,


No

Cannot

will not

do snakes

Cabi can no longer hold me when I vault into the air from a snake sighting, bull or otherwise.

Happily, there are no snakes here in pumice flats.

The mice, however, seem to consider me as their personal builder of rodent havens.

Just might try DaveBell's recipe

Julie2Oregon
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 21:38
Reply 


Gary O
LOL!

You don't know how excited I am to move to a place where nature isn't out to bite or sting me at every freaking turn if I'm not always vigilant and ready with the poisons. Sheesh. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, fire ants, unrelenting and very determined, aggressive wasps and Africanized bees. I am SO DONE with West Texas.

upndown
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 22:05
Reply 


This time of year I walk with eyes to the ground, which is dangerous in itself considering everything that grows here has thorns. Some the size of 10d nails!
I've been pretty fortunate, no rattlers I've seen in almost 12 years of living here. Now Bunnys and ground squirrels, them little chewing bastages are a different story.

neb
Member
# Posted: 4 Jun 2016 22:06
Reply 


I also live in rattle snake country and have had close calls. I do a lot of off trail hiking and it is always on your mind. I do wear snake guards always when in the back country.

At the cabin I do have bull snakes and I'm glad I have them around. I have been surprised I haven't seen one this year yet. I do know they get a lot of mice. I have had a bucket trap for mice and have caught 3 in 3 years. I do not have a mouse problem and I contribute that to snakes and other wildlife that keep them in check. The 3 mice I caught were in a wood shed I have built and very easy for mice to enter that structure.

It is funny how a bull will act just like a rattler at times. I like them around.

Ann
Member
# Posted: 6 Jun 2016 14:34
Reply 


Hmm...I think the woodpile will have to go. The cabin sits on an enclosed concrete foundation/crawlspace, but the two porch corners rest on concrete piers, with nothing underneath. I'll have to think about enclosing it in a snake proof way.

Littlecooner
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2016 22:47 - Edited by: Littlecooner
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DaveBell's comments look great for rattlesnake. It it somewhat like chicken, so any opportunity for fresh protein is always welcome. Also the local taxidermist has a great way of tanning the hides to place on the walls of the cabin. I need to do a photo and post. But the subject was copperheads, o so much more aggressive that a rattlesnake. Actually, I have been carrying a 44 special everywhere I go for about 40 years now. In the summer months, the first and second round is always loaded with handloaded shot of # 9 and it is a one shot kill in the 4-6 foot range. The old 44 special actually saved my life one time, years ago when I almost stepped on a big eastern timber rattler. I am an avid outdoors man, love conservation and protect a lot of animals, but any copperhead has no chance around me. I have let a few rattlesnakes live in times past, but a copperhead, no use on this planet in my part of the world and is dead any time encountered. If you have a cabin or live outside any city limits, you should carry a revolver at all time for your own protection and use it if encountered something that can take your life and that is what any copperhead has the ability to do and will do if you get within a few feet of him.

hootnholler
Member
# Posted: 5 Mar 2018 18:41
Reply 


We have rattlers, copperheads and cottonmouth moccasins. Let me tell you that the Moccasin is the worst we have encountered. At least with the rattler you can hear him when he gets mad. I've had a moccasin chase me before. They are awful! If you have water and live in the south you will eventually see them. I don't like copperheads either and am very careful when walking near pine straw as they blend in too well. I hate snakes!

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