Our home has a warm southern exposure and some rock-terraced areas--very desirable if you are a snake trying to warm up. We typically see three varieties of snakes on a regular basis: milk snakes, bull snakes and garter snakes; all sizes from tiny snakelets to large adults. I know snakes are super beneficial as far as consuming mice and insects, but I just don't like them lurking around the house (or me) while I'm gardening.
Every season Ange and I re-locate approximately 10-15 snakes. When they are small I'm okay with picking them up as long as I'm wearing garden gloves. For the larger snakes, Ange has a humane snake-picker-upper with soft holders. We catch them and put them in a bucket and take them for a leisurely walk down the road. They are re-located to a large uninhabited field. I am proud to say we have not injured or killed any snakes in the process.
What I've learned:
- Snakes are easier to catch in the morning when it is cooler outside. Once they warm up, they move like greased lightning.
- Make sure your snake-catching bucket is deep...you get the gist.
- Don't put your hands in a garbage bag full of mulch that has been set aside for over a week. I made that mistake and came up with not only two handfuls of mulch, but also two handfuls of baby snakes!
- Be gentle; snakes don't like us any more than we like them.
- Snakes are good...snakes are good...snakes are good (my gardening mantra).