--Previous Message-- Alex
: Thanks for the info
: The garden area the snakes were found
: in is simply going to be off limits
: since it's a perfect haven for
: copperhead snakes. It has a large
: retaining wall and steps all made of
: railroad ties stacked on top of each
: other. Perfect hiding places for
: Several of my kids are way too young to
: recognize one snake from another. So,
: just keeping them out of that part of
: the yard is going to have to be the
: plan for now.
: The animal control officer is the same
: man that teaches about snakes at the
: wildlife preserve, so we are certain
: that his ID of the snakes is right on
: Fernbank Science Museum has a great
: display showing examples of snakes that
: are found in our part of Georgia.
: Hey, I had a thought the other day,
: maybe you can tell me if it would work
: or if I'm nuts, LOL. I read that
: kingsnakes eat copperheads. Would it
: be nuts to get a few kingsnakes and
: release them in my yard? Would they
: stick around? We live in Dahlonega
: within view of the edge of the
: Chattahootchee National Forest, if that
: --Previous Message--
: --Previous Message--
: Over the past two days the snake
: from our local sherriff's office and
: animal preserve has come out and
: captured two copperheads from our
: garden in the N. Georgia mountains .
: He told me today that since there were
: two, to be on the lookout for babies.
: My question for you is how long should
: we be checking for them? I have seven
: kids that would love to go back outside
: to play, but we can't do that until we
: know they won't get in the way of the
: What time of year are babies normally
: seen in N. Georgia?
: I love having non venomous snakes in
: the yard. I wish there was a way to
: just keep the venomous ones away.
: Honestly, there is really not a lot to
: worry about. If the kids are old enough
: to be instructed on how to recognize
: venomous snakes, you have a perfect
: teaching opportunity (at least 4 years
: old). I would teach them to stay away
: from all snakes until about 10 years (I
: was catching small woodland snakes at
: 6, but I am crazy) or so.
: Next, I would learn the field marks of
: the Copperhead (hourglass shaped bands
: on the back, narrowest in the middle of
: back), and especially remember that
: babies have bright yellow tails, and
: your kids shou ld be fine. Just teach
: them to be aware of their surroundings.
: Next, remember that Animal Control
: officers are often rather untrained in
: snake recognition (I was one once, so I
: know), and they may have misidentified
: the snakes. Several species of Water
: Snake can look an awful lot like
: Next, it is a little early for
: Copperheads to give birth (they don't
: lay eggs, but have live babies); they
: usually give birth in August, and the
: babies follow mom to the denning site.
: I would simply go around the property
: where the serpents were found, and look
: under any rocks, logs, boards, or any
: other cover, and just make sure there
: are no babies. Then let the kids out.
: Next, I would take the kids to a Nature
: Center or to the Atlanta Zoo and have
: them look at the native venomous
: snakes. Most zoos and nature centers
: have a very good instructional class in
: venomous snake recognition.
: Have fun!
I am sorry I haven't replied to your message, but many an old farmer in the South has used the Kingsnake tendency to eat other snakes to their advantage. They get Kingsnakes from around their homes, and place them in the barn. Most other snakes will avoid the area where a Kingsnake lives, and thus there is a snake free zone. Remember that Kings will eat any other snake, even their own species, so one or two should do it.
The Appalachian Naturalist