by Texas Homesteader~
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Topic Warning: Snake Catching. Now before I begin, let me say that I realize not everyone sees snakes the same way we do. Some may be terrified of snakes and feel they all must die – friend or foe. If that’s you, I respect your feelings.
But for our home, I personally feel they’re an important part of our ecosystem. Especially living out in the country, they keep mice & rat populations in check. A venomous snake must go of course. But around here, non-venomous snakes are simply relocated away from our home.
But getting up close & personal with a snake – good or bad – can make ya nervous, you know?? So we needed a way to be able to catch snakes safely. For us and for them.
Many have asked about our snake capture method. So today I’ll be sharing how we easily catch and relocate beneficial snakes.
Texas Venomous Snakes
Here on the Homestead we have only a few types of venomous snakes – typically copperheads and water moccasins. Thankfully we don’t see many of them around here.
I’m not sure if the cattle keep them run off or what. But although I know they’re still around, actually seeing a venomous snake on the Homestead is not common.
Some Snakes Are Beneficial
The snakes that we mostly see are rat snakes. But we don’t kill them, they’re non venomous and like most snakes are actually quite beneficial due to their mad skills of mouse/rat patrol.
I mean think about it – we built our home in the middle of an abandoned cattle pasture many years ago, yet have never had a mouse in the house.
Mice In The Garage? Yes.
Mice In The House? No.
As long as the snake stays outside where it belongs, I’d much prefer to deal with a non-venomous snake than hordes of mice & rats.
Non-Venomous Snakes To Be Relocated
While rat snakes do a fine job of keeping rodents away, every now & then a snake gets a little too close for comfort.
When that happens I just ask RancherMan relocate it. Because, you know, even though they’re beneficial there are a few places where I prefer the snakes stay away.
Some Rat Snakes Eat Chicken Eggs
Occasionally a rat snake will make its way into the chicken’s nesting boxes. Some people have said rat snakes were a danger to their chickens in the hen house. But we’ve never had them bother our chickens in all the years we’ve raised hens.
However, given the opportunity they will certainly try to nab a quick egg supper! And scare the living daylights out of me too! LOL
“Table for One – No Waiting!”
Catching A Rat Snake In The Chicken Coop
I let the hens out of their large chicken yard to free-range about mid day. Then I’ll lock them back securely inside their coop when they come back to the chicken yard and into the coop to roost for the night.
The last thing I do before locking it all down is inspect the nesting boxes for trespassers. Occasionally an opportunistic rat snake will sneak in for a quick grab-n-go egg supper. Oh the snake won’t find any eggs in the nests – I collect them throughout the day.
But I leave a golf ball in the nesting boxes to teach young pullets where to lay. Since the eggs have already been collected the snake will sometimes mistake the golf ball for an egg.
Sorry fella, no egg for you today.
I know the snake will, uh, ‘rid himself’ of the golf ball so he won’t actually be injured.
UPDATE: While a rat snake can and will rid itself of a golf ball if it hasn’t gotten too far down his throat, it can create a problem if it gets too far down and even kill the snake. So it’s not recommended to leave a loose golf ball in the nesting boxes and I no longer do. If you need to train your hens, perhaps securely attaching a golf ball to a piece of plywood so the snake can’t swallow it might be a better idea? Does anyone have any other ideas?
When I find a rat snake in the nesting boxes as I’m locking the hens up for the night – after my startled self calms down – I’ll call RancherMan from the chicken house and tell him to bring the snake grabbers. He needs to come relocate a snake.
Sometimes Snakes Get A Little TOO Close To Home
And check this out – the other night as we were getting ready for bed, RancherMan says:
“Hold up a minute, I need to get a snake off the door”
Only living in the country will you hear those words I suppose. LOL
From inside the house he could see through the glass of the front door & saw the snake moving across the decorative bars on the outside. By the time we got out there he had moved to the top of the door.
No, no, NO – that’s much too close for comfort!
RancherMan used the snake grabbers to easily relocate this boy away from the house. Let me tell ya, those snake grabbers have certainly paid for themselves over the years!
The Inexpensive Snake Grabbers We Bought
We’ve had our snake grabbers for quite a few years and they’ve safely toted off untold number of snakes. The serrated gripping lever holds the snake firmly, but the blunt teeth help protect it from injury.
With the snake firmly gripped within the holding lever, we can walk it down our long driveway and to the vacant pasture across the road and give ’em a sling as we release the lever.
The snake lands in the grass & crawls away – free to live out his life happily hunting mice & rats, which ends up benefiting us with reduced rodent populations to deal with.
Not All Snake Catchers Are The Same
I’ve had many people ask me about the snake grabbers we purchased. They come in different lengths and even varying quality.
Most of the cheaper snake catchers that I’ve seen are 24″ to 30-ish inches. To me that’s way too short!
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
Ours is a *47″ Snake Grabber and RancherMan likes the quality of the one we bought.
For one thing it features a heavy metal cable. That helps assure the snake grabber’s not going to break while he’s trying to transport an irritated snake away from the house.
Plus the 47″ length is loooooong enough to keep the snake far away as he carries it down the driveway to relocate it. You know longer is better than shorter.
(I’m not snickering, YOU’RE snickering…)
Where To Buy Snake Grabbers
Here are two online sources for the longer 47″ length snake grabbers:
Amazon: *Olymstore 47’’ Pro Snake Clamp Catcher
Walmart: *47″ Professional Standard Snake Catchers
So if you’re interested in safely catching or even relocating the beneficial snakes, get one of these snake grabbers and have it ready!
Other Tx Native Wildlife Posts
- Trapping Wild Hogs
- Wild Hogs: Making The Best Of A Bad Situation
- Wild Hog Damage
- Trapping & Relocating An Armadillo
- Adding Temporary Protection For Wild Rabbit’s Nest
- Keeping Wild Birds From Eating Your Chicken’s Feed
- How To Keep Birds (and their POOP) Off Your Railings
- Itchy Chiggers – Separating Relief Fact From Fallacy
- How To Safely Catch & Relocate A Beneficial Snake
See All Our Native Plants & Wildlife Posts
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Well. Knock on wood. 33 years living here on this place in the southern part of your county I’ve never seen a poisonous snake. You’re more forgiving than I. Only once I’ve let one go. That was in my compost pile. But whatever floats your boat. I hate cats but that’s for the occasionally snake. Snakes give me the woolies!
Me, grown up & raised on a farm, I’m a prairie kind of gal through & through but I am totally terrified of snakes.
My daughter & husband have moved from city life to country life a few years ago. For my daughter, country life was totally new to her. I had mentioned to her to Always expect the unexpected.
One day while she was home alone, she spotted a copperhead in the fenced in dog area from her kitchen window. She called a friend who lives a few miles away to come and kill the copperhead for her. Her friend came out with her ax, went over to where the snake was and with one big whack, she cut off the snake’s head.
Will see a garden snake every once in awhile but I will still leave them well enough alone. I go my way & the snake goes merry along it’s way. Even a garden snake bite may still cause redness, swelling and discomfort.
Thanks for the heads up on the snake grabber.
In the flatlands of western Oregon the only snakes we seem to have are small harmless ones I’ve always called garter snakes – no idea if that’s a real name or not. I grew up playing with them, my mother didn’t care for them so if one was where she didn’t want it I was called on to move the little creature. They are useful creatures but it seems that I see very few of them any more. Lots more slugs and snails GAAAK!!! There are rattlers in eastern Oregon – dry desert and mountain country. ICK!!!