A Garter Snake in a Water Garden

Garter Snake in a Water GardenThis garter snake is found throughout Nebraska. You are likely to find it near water sources, but it can live in a variety of habitats. Garter snakes eat earthworms, slugs, fish, tadpoles, frogs, and insects. They grow to be about 2 feet long.

In southeastern Nebraska, this is the time of year when people begin seeing snakes around their homes. They wonder what to do about the snakes or whether they are dangerous. In Lancaster County, Nebraska, nearly all cases are harmless types such as garter snakes or bullsnakes.

Knowledge about snakes is helpful in understanding how to handle situations where they are encountered.

Nebraska does have four poisonous snakes. Resources are listed below to help you identify snakes and learn more.

Most people calling our office about snakes ask "What can I use to repel snakes?"...

There are no repellents, fumigants or toxicants federally registered for snake control. Various home remedies have been suggested for repelling snakes. Several of these were evaluated on whether they would repel black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta). Treatments included moth balls, sulfur, gourd vines, a tacky bird repellent, lime, cayenne pepper spray, sisal rope, coal tar and creosote, artificial skunk scent, and musk from a king snake (eats other snakes). None of these remedies prevented the snakes from crossing them.

The most effective and lasting way to discourage snakes around a home, such as in the yard and garden, is to make the area unattractive to them. You can do this by removing their survival needs, especially shelter or hiding places.

Overall, snakes are an important part of our natural world. If you want to do the best by yourself and snakes, try the natural way -- just leave them alone.

Can You Guess It PhotoThis Can You Guess It?? photo (Right) is featured in the April 2004 NEBLINE (Page 12 - 176KB Printable File)



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