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Fear of snakes is a very common phobia and they best way to deal with that is to kill what scares you - personally, I leave snakes alone unless they are venomous and showing up in areas in my garden I frequent more than once. I have a 6 foot + black snake that resides in my garden with a really bad attitude that literally chases me in the house from time to time - black snakes don't bite .. they CHEW. Yeah he/she's a nuisance but I've learned to carry a broom with me when its around and beat the crap out of it with the broom part if it starts to get snippy .. don't really want to hurt it .. just teach it to stay out of my way. I'm sure it's the reason why I have very few rats and mice that hang around my yard.
I think a lot of it is that snakes are so different from us. For example, they have no legs, they have "flicky" tongues and they make no noise when they move. People use the "but they're dangerous and could kill me" thought to justify their acting out of fear and killing the snake.
I'm with X, I leave them alone since they have just as much right to live as I do.
I have killed 2 copperheads, 1 a baby, and let the others go. They were a black racer and the one with the yellow belly and brown/tan topside. In the 2.5 years we have lived here, I have seen 7 snakes. I don't remember what the others were, but I catch them all and identify them online. Then the venomous ones, do get killed.
We are not too far from Saluda here.
Kill often, copperheads, rattlers(not hognose unless they catch me unexpected) corals, (since they are few, and stay hidden and can cause unexpected harm) cottonmouths, and moccasins, and because I know they breed by dozens I don't miss the few that think they own my territory. The rest in my area don't cause any concern unless I am raising chickens or rabbits...
I live "out in the country" surrounded by woods and marsh, and see snakes all the time. I've only seen 3 poisonous species here in 25 years---Copperheads (by the hundreds), 1 Cottonmouth Water Mocassin (but it took up residence alongside the dock in my pond, and had a litter), and 1 Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (it was in a super strong garbage bag, and quite dead. But it was 6.5 ft long and weighed over 50 pounds!). My neighbor shot it in the woods next to his house. I automatically kill ALL poisonous varieties on sight because I have many very old and very stupid pets, and the poisonous varieties are a very real and present danger to them. But I go out of my way to protect the non-poisonous snakes. Maybe I'm a little over-sensitive to the poisonous varieties, but let me tell you, when you head down to the veggie garden to pull some weeds one sunny morning, pull open the shed door and have a 3 foot copperhead who'd been snoozing on top of the door land on your shoulder on the way to the ground, it wakes you up! Really fast! Fortunately, that happened many years ago when I was younger and MUCH faster...stomped the sucker flat before it knew what happened! But y'all would be tickled by the way I open that shed door to this day...REALLY SLOW AND CAREFUL! Totally paranoid...
I just do the "snake stomp dance" before I step in any beds and I bang on the door to the storage area under the house before I enter. I sound and look so silly the snakes run away from this crazy old lady.
The consensus is kill the poisonous snakes and leave the non poisonous alone. When I see a non poisonous snake, I now think vole killer. Must add how grateful I am that, so far, I haven't encountered black racers. The idea of a snake, even nonpoisonous, chasing me around the yard in hopes of catching me and chewing my flesh, scares the daylights out of me!!! I think our fear of snakes is primal. Long ago, when our ancient ancestors sought the relative safety of treetops to sleep at night, giant, hungry serpents were still a danger. Having nervous, insomniacs among us was key to survival back then. Maybe it's why I'm still a light sleeper. LOL!!
In my youth, I remember a rattlesnake biting a cousin. My grandfather somehow found the snake in the brush, and killed it as well as its mate, who was nearby. He said he could smell them!
Voles. I recently googled, and realized that voles inhabit my side and back yard. Holes by the hundreds. I am constantly stepping into them. Well, the darn snakes must not realize we have a vole buffet so close at hand. I was reading that Juicy Fruit gum is a good vole preventer. I have tried 4 pieces in the holes this past month, and have noticed less vole activity.
Snakes. They still keep a' coming.
Snakes have a musky stink to em, of course, I can also smell doe urine, but not so much people body odor- go figure. Wish a snake was up to eating 3 or 4 voles at a time- instead of one every week- without growing everytime they eat, they would make a much better trap...