No, NOT Herpes (the STD) – Herps (that’s Naturalist speak for Reptiles and Amphibians) – I love herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians.
I am way way behind in the ABC-along, so sit tight and I’ll try to get through this.
I live in semi-rural central Texas and I have lots of wildlife to keep me company. I am facsinated with wildlife that isn’t considered "warm & fuzzy". I have seen a few snakes here on our little plot of land, all of them have been harmless. (I took all these shots except for the one of me holding the Eastern black-necked garter snake).
Texas is home to over 115 species of snakes and the vast majority of them are non-venomous. Even the venomous ones are not as abundant or dangerous as many people believe.
If you don’t like snakes around your home, there are some things you can do about it, and it has nothing to do with moth balls. Really, who thought that one up?
- Keep your lawn trimmed low.
- Keep all rock, wood, brush and debris piles away from the home. These provide great hiding places for snakes and their prey – rodents.
- If you feed livestock or birds, make sure the feed/seed is kept in an secure container. Some rats and mice will eat through plastic containers and it they can get to the food, they will throw a party and invite their friends. If you aren’t controlling the rodents, the snakes will control them.
Safety practices that are just plain common-sense:
- Never put your hands or feet where you cannot see them, like under a rock or log without checking under it first.
- Always wear shoes outside.
These are all pretty simple things you can do to make your yard a little less hospitable to snakes. Myself, I like them, but I do have a 5 year-old that I have to be watchful of, so I teach her to respect all snakes. You may have heard people say that you can tell a poisonous snake by the tri-angular head or the cat-eyes or "red on yellow kills a fellow" (okay, that one is right, but who can remember the rhyme in the middle of an adrenaline rush at the sight of a color-ringed snake?). There is really only one way to tell the venomous ones from the non-venomous ones and that’s by looking at lots of snakes. Only with experience can one distinguish species in the field and then sometimes it’s still a little tricky.
Consumer note: Commercial snake repellants and deterrants do not work – save your money. They will tell you that they work. They lie. If you don’t see snakes after using it, it’s mere coincidence.
I have another FO to post about, as soon as I get a good shot of it.