everyone be careful out there

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i despise having to kill a snake but when a Coral Snake is feet away from my house/garden...it has to go.
i've killed two this week.
remember to wear gloves and boots, especially in mulched areas. this snake is nothing to fool around with. they are secretive and don't want a confrontation...they want to get away from you but if you accidently step on one or are digging in the dirt/mulch, they will bite.

for newcomers to florida, the Coral Snake has a BLACK, blunt, round nose like a earthworm. "nose black, get back" the coloration on the body goes all the way around, no white belly and the yellow & red touch each other. "red and yellow, kill a fellow". there are several snakes which have similar coloration but are not venomous.

if you can, keep your head and determine if what you see is a Coral Snake and not a King Snake or Corn Snake.

first pic is right side up and second pic is belly up.

ps. wanted to add that a "dead" snake can still bite due to nerve impulses so never handle one of these snakes. use a shovel to pick up and dispose of.

This message was edited Aug 3, 2012 9:50 AM

Thumbnail by trackinsand Thumbnail by trackinsand
Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Oh, Debi - that is so sad that you had to kill it - he's beautiful!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i know. they shine like jewels. they are related to Sea Snakes, Cobras and Mambas.

Ocala, FL(Zone 9a)

A few years back, my husband saw (what he thought was) the neighbor girl's "multi color jump rope" lying by our garage door. What a surprise when it MOVED.

This was at dusk, so he killed & left it to dispose of the next morning - it was gone, some scavenger must have taken it...

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

I've never yet had to kill a snake in my yard. Never seen a venomous one yet, thankfully. I'm curious - how did you kill the coral snake? He looks perfectly intact in your picture.

I did have a black snake get entangled in some bird netting that I had put over my lychee tree. He kept diving back through the holes in the netting which were big enough for his head but not the fat part of his body. He wouldn't back up, and I couldn't get him untangled. He died, and I found just the remains in the netting a few days later. I've had possums around so I'm thinking that may have been the scavenger that made a meal of him. Also could have been a bird, I suppose.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

those pictures are two different snakes but both killed the same way...with a shovel. i take the shovel and go down almost half way from the head and break the back. i keep pressure on it until i'm sure it's dying and then take the shovel behind the head and do the same thing. the shovel is in the second picture.

that bird netting is a death trap for snakes...and unfortunately it is the good snakes that get caught up in it. a coral snake can climb but it's rare to see and they could go right through most netting. they aren't a big snake.

it is so unfortunate that i made the decision to kill these but because they were in such close proximity to my house and dogs, i really felt i had no choice.

this picture shows the shovel better and most of the snake is underneath.

Thumbnail by trackinsand
Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes, on the bird netting, that is absolutely the last time I'm going to use it. Felt terrible about the black snake. Plus the netting discouraged the birds, but the squirrels found their way under it and got most of the fruit anyway.

I rolled the netting up and stashed it away in a plastic tub with a lid, so I can cut little pieces of it to use for my orchids. It's great for tying orchid roots and moss to a wood mount. I have a lifetime supply.

This message was edited Aug 5, 2012 3:36 PM

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

it's amazing how we can figure out a way to re-purpose stuff!

Cape Coral, FL(Zone 10a)

Track - It is funny that you posted this, my sister-in-law and I were trying to remember the rhymes. She is worried that I will reach my hand into my flower bed and find a snake. I did just find a snake skin about 4 ft. long last weekend. I've never seen a coral snake here, but we have had pygmy rattlers in our yard. I always hate to kill anything either, but if it comes down to the snake or my dogs I'm afraid the snake will not be my choice.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

we have those here too, as they are all over florida and beyond, but i have yet to see one.
a little 3 yr. old girl just recently got bitten on a nursery school playground in tampa.

(Zone 9a)

This article in today's Charleston,SC newspaper is interesting, especially the last part about the available anti-venoms.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

very interesting article!

here's another one on coral snakes: http://www2.tbo.com/news/metro/2010/may/24/na-red-red-touches-yellow---kills-a-fellow-touches-ar-40768/

kind of unnerving to think they won't be making any more antivenin.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I dug into a nest of baby pygmy rattlesnake last spring, cutting one in half - I felt so bad about it, but after reading about the damage they can cause, I felt a bit better. I haven't seen one this year.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Years ago I was mowing sitting on our Gravely mower sulky-ran over a pigmy rattler and didn't know they could strike a short distance. My ankle nearly got it. I turned mower around and he ended up in pieces. Any venomous snake on our place is history. I do have a friendly black snake that is in my garden from time to time. He is OK and he will run off rattlers I'm told. I keep all yard area mowed because of snakes. Have only seen 2 big rattlers here in 42 years and thats enough for me. Shot both of them. One was coiled and rattling on my carport in front of my AC unit. Had to wait for him to move out into yard before I could shoot him. Really un-nerved me. After my knees felt like jelly. I have seen what they can do to dogs and cows and it ain't pretty. Ug just thinking of them.

Greenback, TN(Zone 7a)

Yes very venomous snake but a very shy snake with a VERY small mouth. Less then 1 % of venomous snake bites are due to this guy.
I've seen them in wood piles here and just let them alone. From what I understand to make them bite you have to basically force them to do it.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

yes, you are right. both of these were at my front and back doors and could be easily stepped on either by me or my dogs or i wouldn't have killed them.

Fountain, FL(Zone 8a)

Coral snakes really are very pretty. Few years back we had one INSIDE our screen room...it is now sitting in a jar of alcohol. We have dogs and at the time the grands lived just up the road...snake was way too close for comfort!!! I welcome the black, corn and oak snakes in my yard. Will look for my pic of "Mz. Annie" to post

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

the fact that they aren't very big around in diameter makes it fairly easy for them to get inside.
they are probably the prettiest snake i've ever seen but there are some very cool king snakes that live in florida that i would love to see up close. some of the coloring is amazing.

Fountain, FL(Zone 8a)

I agree..never have seen a king. This is Mz. Annie...and yes, I did get up close and personal.

Thumbnail by Ginger_H Thumbnail by Ginger_H
Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Ginger, she's gorgeous! Leave it to you to make a pet of a snake!!! LOL

Fountain, FL(Zone 8a)

LOL, Jo...actually he/she was half in the dog run. Had to "pop" it on the nose so it would back out. I did NOT want the dogs to get it...after that we were buds and he/she helped me water.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I've got glass snakes in the back yard and the front yard - not the least bit afraid of me - just go on about their business, as do I!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Is that what that one is? A glass snake? I've never seen one. It is a beauty!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

no tim, glass snakes are this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_snake they're really a lizard. they are so neat. it's sad when they get on a hard surface though (like a road). they can't move then. if i see a live one, i help it to the grass but i see them run over too. since they can't maneuver on hardscape, i can't figure out how they even get on the road in the first place but they do.

i'm not sure what the above snake is, mz. annie. i'll have to check my snake book or ginger will come back and tell us.

best i can tell, mz. annie is a Grey Rat Snake (aka Oak Snake)

This message was edited Aug 20, 2012 7:31 PM

this is the one i want to see, the Blotched Kingsnake (and all it's colorations) http://www.google.com/search?q=blotched+kingsnake&hl=en&tbo=u&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=iMkyUMPwJo6m8ASvkYHwDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CF0QsAQ&biw=1125&bih=587

This message was edited Aug 20, 2012 7:36 PM

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

coral snakes like to live-in brush piles and thick pine needle straw. Show kids pictures so they can tell the difference from the good and bad snakes. Here is a cute little grass snake aka ribbon snake we found out in the woods.

Thumbnail by ApopkaJohn
mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i agree, john. it's important to be educated. he's a cutie!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm glad I read this today...a good reminder since I have to go out and pick up a lot of my plastic container pots to take to the nursery. I'll make sure to put on rubber boots and wear long leather gloves.

We have a couple of black snakes around the yard but I haven't seen them for awhile. I know my back neighbor has grandkids she watches and she told me any snake in her yard will meet with the shovel. We haven't seen our snakes around for a few weeks now...so she may have killed them. You just can't seem to get it through to some people that there are good snakes. I'd rather have those snakes around than the rat I've seen late at night.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

more than once i've picked up a pot, only to find a snake underneath! usually it is the Scarlet Kingsnake, a small burrowing snake that looks very much like a Coral Snake. http://www.google.com/search?q=scarlet+kingsnake&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CpwzUJPIIYGk8ATgi4G4Bg&sqi=2&ved=0CEsQsAQ&biw=1125&bih=587 or the Scarlet Snake, which also looks like a Coral Snake but has a red nose and white belly. http://www.google.com/search?q=scarlet+snake&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=uJwzUKqoHJLE9gTKn4DwBw&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQsAQ&biw=1125&bih=587
i think the fear of snakes is such a powerful phobia with a lot of people. they just can't abide the thought of any snake being good.......:-(

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

I certainly agree with that sunkissed! We've seen a couple of rats at night around the mess from the bird feeders. I have 2 Boston Terriers, and one of them got a rat last week. When I see a snake in the garden, I feel that I must be doing something right! A wonderful part of nature. Education is very important!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks track, those links are definitely helping me to learn more about these creatures! :-)

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

you're welcome, tim. here are more pictures of the Glass Snake we discussed yesterday. keep in mind that with google images, not all pictures will be a match (same with plants) but it gives you an idea: http://www.google.com/search?q=glass+snake&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=SqAzUJzwDIf-9QSCoIDwBw&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQ&biw=1125&bih=587

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thank goodness it wasnt that coral snake, but this a.m. I was talking to my daughter in my bedroom and looked over towards the french doors, what did I spy but a rat snake crawling along the molding and up the glass on the door. Once I realized it was outide not inside, I was elated to see it. Every year we have rats/mice eat thru the screen door, get under the sink on the patio, no matter what we seem to do. I really dont like to be a party to anything eating anything ( having trouble with hawks at the feeder..another story), but if it can at least help me get rid of some of those babies, Im all for it. I left the bedroom tho because I didnt want to see it come back with a big bulge. Too much info.
Sorry, long way of agreeing with the above opinions of knowing your snake.

Fountain, FL(Zone 8a)

tracks is right...Mz. Annie is an oak snake. I often see black snakes in the yard as well. Once a hognose AKA puff adder got in the screen room. Got the camera, got a picture, tried for another and the LCD screen fried. Guess that snake just scared the camera to death ROTFLMAO...still takes pics, but no preview.

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

the boys in our Sunday School went out hiking and they all got to "hold" the snake we found.
Some boys were sqeemish until we showed them how harmless this one was.

Thumbnail by ApopkaJohn Thumbnail by ApopkaJohn
mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i'll never forget one time years ago when my then nine yr. old daughter and i were living in arkansas. she was always bringing things home. she was allowed to keep something for three days and then had to turn it loose. so she brings home this snake and she starts screaming that it's choking to death and gets me so worked up and pleading with me to help it and here i am trying to stick my finger down this snake's throat. all of a sudden i stopped and busted out laughing. i could barely breath. it was a hognose of course and was playing dead....and doing a pretty darn good job of it. i had to explain to her to let alone and it would come around and she was fascinated by the whole thing. i was just red-faced......

Fountain, FL(Zone 8a)

LOL...yes they are very good at playing dead :-)))

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

o my lord, I never knew that. So glad to have learned that, especially if that snake resides in FL

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

yes, they live here. it looks scary because it has a funny shaped head (to me anyway) and a short, fat body but look at these pictures when it gets scared! LOL http://www.google.com/search?q=eastern+hognose+snake+playing+dead&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=_181UPytFZOi8QSWqoGABw&ved=0CE8QsAQ&biw=1125&bih=587

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

trackinsand, Again, thanks SO much! I read your post about the hognose, but had never seen or heard of it before. The link has given me great insight to this variety, and it does appear to be a huge variety! This information just reiterates to me how little I know! Time for me to "hit the books" and start learning more about our wildlife! Thanks again!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

you're welcome, tim. i've only seen one hognose in eight years here in central florida and it was a treat.

check out the Florida's Fabulous series of books. great pictures and lots of interesting facts....on amazon.

This message was edited Aug 22, 2012 9:47 PM

Post a Reply to this Thread

You must log in and subscribe to Dave's Garden to post in this thread.