Monday, July 28, 2014

Snakes: better than rodents

If you have a healthy ecosystem, you have predators.

Snakes are some of my favorite predators:

I caught this 3' long yellow rat snake after discovering him under a pile of branches in my food forest.

I'm always amazed by people that complain about birds, squirrels, mice and other pests... and then kill snakes.

Do you not understand how nature works? If you kill a snake, you might as well have bred a few hundred rodents and released them.

Snakes keep pest populations in check. Leave them alone, or better yet - create habitat! Rock piles, stick piles, logs, tall brush, ponds and woodland... these attract and keep rodent controlling reptiles on your property.

Florida only has a couple of snakes worth worrying about: the Eastern diamondback and the water moccasin.

Coral snakes are pretty inoffensive creatures, as are pygmy rattlers. Just don't try to kiss them and you'll be fine.

It's been estimated that only 5 people die each year from snakebite in the US. That means you're roughly a zillion times more likely to die from your crummy diet than from a snakebite.

Quitting McDonald's makes more sense than cleaning up a stick pile in your yard.

Unlike snakes, Ronald "You So Fat" McDonald doesn't kill the squirrels that take my peaches.

Snakes are your friends.

They are.

Just accept it, move on, and enjoy the decrease in varmints.


At July 28, 2014 at 8:21 AM , Blogger jean said...

Sigh, if people would only understand how nature works the way God made it to. You are so right, David. We have a rat problem here because people here on the island keep killing the snakes just cause they don't like them even thought they aren't even poisonous or dangerous to us. And then, they keep complaining how the rats are eating their corn up. Coconut heads, we are.

At July 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM , Blogger dfr2010 said...

We have some healthy yellow rat snakes this year! A 4 foot orangish one got a couple chicken eggs we had forgotten in the chair outside, then the other night I had to persuade a very healthy-looking at-least-5-foot long one to leave the chicken coop. She was probably looking for eggs also, but she woke the rooster and one of the hens and they would not be convinced that rat snakes are harmless to them. The rooster had her backed into a corner and a bit freaked out when I went in to referee the situation with the chicken crook my neighbor had made me. Although she was fat and sassy (for a rat snake) she still made her escape through the poultry wire above the hardware cloth.

At July 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

Yes indeed!

At July 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

Heh. I used to let them take an egg or two... until one particular snake got really greedy and ate a nestful.

At July 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM , Blogger Sheila O said...

Just the other day we found our resident (+5') yellow rat snake in the neighbor's giant poinciana tree with a belly full of squirrel. We like to think it was guarding the dragon fruit!

At August 3, 2014 at 7:12 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I have a 3' black racer that hangs out around my house. It's all fine except it has a habit of sunning right outside my windowless back door and races right inside when I open the door. It startles me every time.

At August 3, 2014 at 10:06 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

That's funny. Sounds like a real prankster.

I have a sister that's absolutely terrified of snakes. She's visiting Africa with a missions organization right now. God has a sense of humor.


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