That was a first.......

pudgeder

I went out to water the flower beds this morning. Moved the hose cart about 6" and saw something slither. Went back to the garage and got a shovel, just in case.

Moved the cart again, and sure enough, there was a young copperhead. He was not happy to be discovered. Even less happy when I introduced him to the shovel.


We have snakes, but that's the 1st copperhead I've seen here in 12 years. Hopefully the last.


Not how I wanted to start the day outside.

SaveComment38Like
Comments (38)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzieque

You killed it?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
girlnamedgalez8a

So glad that you saw it. They are never out in the open.

Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

Better you than me, yikes. I'd have taken a shovel to it too, but only one with a handle of at least 10 feet in length. Longer would be better.


(So glad snakes in my area are mostly restricted to undeveloped wild areas and are rarely found in residential neighborhoods)


Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Andie

I come across non poisonous snakes in the yard a couple times a year. They go their way and I go mine.

1 Like Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pudgeder

Non-poisonous are safe here. Poisonous, go.

Yes, I killed it.

6 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fun2BHere

Yikes! Glad you are safe.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333 (zone 7a)

Now that he's dead, and you're ok... I might even find it a good thing you dispatched it. I rarely condone killing an outside critter (we're in their space), but it's probably better this time.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
janey_alabama

We had a black snake on our porch a few weeks ago climbing up the post that the hummingbird feeder hangs off of. I gently persuaded him to leave with the handle of the pooper scooper. But many years ago we had a copperhead in the septic hole, before the septic tank arrived. I killed him with a spade. I can handle being around a non-poisonous snake, but not a poisonous one. Stay safe!

2 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

I'm not familiar with copperheads. I'm curious; if you leave them be, what happens? Do they lie in wait and attack, or stalk you as prey? Is it impossible to live in harmony with them?


2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
functionthenlook

I wonder where mom and siblings are?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aok27502

Copperheads can be aggressive, and will sometimes "play dead" until you get too close. They dont necessarily run away like more timid snakes, so if you happen to get a hand or ankle too close, they'll strike.

Our state reports that copperhead bites are rarely fatal, but the treatment can be unpleasant. A guy we knew was looking at three injections over 8 hours, but he responded so well to the first that they sent him home.


Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maddielee

Copperheads are poisonous snakes. Kill them so they can’t make more poisonous snakes.

People who don’t have them in their neighborhoods might question why should they be killed? Probably because they have never seen a child (or pet) suffer while being treated after a bite.

6 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX

One bit my neighbors Labrador on the nose. Omg her head was the size of a watermelon! We rushed her to the vet. It was a dangerous situation. Luckily she survived. Venomous snakes on our property are a no go! The hawks take care of a lot of them.

4 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arcy_gw

What does animal control advise? Probably not to risk a bite but for sure they would be killing as many as they need to. I'm all for live and let live but not when it kills!!

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patriciae_gw

Hmmm. Copperheads are famous for their placid temperament. The typical victim has sat down next to one or put their hand on it or occasionally stepped on one. They tend not to move away. the most dangerous poisonous snake are the young ones though. They don't have the confidence of older snakes. Water moccasins have the most aggressive reputation for the poisonous ones. Certain water snakes and some of the black snakes can be very territorial. Coachwhips are like that. They will chase people. The average person who get bitten is trying to kill the snake. They can bite you after they die by the way They are still poisonous.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I can tell you that the copperhead snakes here are aggressive! I have seen them go after dogs. The one that bit the Lab aggressively went after the dog that was just getting a drink of water in the gold fish pond right at my neighbors back porch. She was sitting right there on the porch when it happened. There's quite a few of them in this area.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
OutsidePlaying

Copperheads are best killed, just as you did, pudgeder. They are venomous and the young ones’ venom can be more deadly (or more powerful to put it another way) than an adult venomous snake. Same with a rattlesnake. A couple of people in this state have died this year from a bite. It is rare but some people have an adverse reaction to the venom. You don’t want to find out after a bite that you are one who does.

It has been very dry here and I am very wary as many snakes can suddenly come out near water sources in this type of weather.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pb32

I have a "live and let live" philosophy on most all critters. I'm a vegetarian who tends to have a catch and release program for spiders I find in my house.

I draw the line at venomous snakes. Sorry. Not a fan of the nonvenomous ones but we each agree to go our separate ways and life goes on. However anything that can kill people and/or pets and hides in foliage etc. needs to go.

2 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gyr_falcon

Thank you to those that used venomous, rather than the incorrect p-word. It is another myth that won't die, that baby snakes are more deadly.

4 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pudgeder

Frankly, if you want to let a poisonous snake live on your property, go right ahead. If it comes in to mine, and I see it, it's gone.

That's my version of "harmony."

Animal control??? I live in the country. I AM animal control on my property. I doubt they stalk. But had I let it go, and it moved along somewhere else in the yard, and bit a one of the grandkids -- how could I have lived with myself??

It could have just as easily been my 8 yr old. grandson to have moved the water hose cart. I am not going to put at risk of any of my grandchildren, or neighbor kiddos or our dogs that play in our yard.

If it's poisonous, and it crosses my path and I have my trusty shovel, it's gone.

7 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

"Thank you to those that used venomous, rather than the incorrect p-word."

In general language use, I suspect the term poisonous is more commonly used and more easily understood than the word venomous. I imagine among those trying to boastfully strut their snake knowledge or among people working in biology or studying snakes, the "v" word would be more correct and the only word used but that's not so likely among the remaining 95+ % of the population.

5 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
amylou321

I do not discriminate usually. If i see a snake,I kill it. I don't like them and they are not welcome around my house. I don't care that they eat rodents. So do the feral cats that roam around and they ARE welcome. Luckily,even though I am surrounded by woods, I have only had maybe 3 or 4 in the few years we have lived there. Only one got away and it was a black snake.

And yeah, animal control doesn't come around the part of the county that I live. I tried to call them to come get a tick covered stray dog that was hanging around and kept running in the road. They didn't.

1 Like Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
OutsidePlaying

Gyr, I had heard that all my life, and I retract that statement regarding young snakes and their venom.

Anyway, non-venomous snakes are welcome on our property. We have lived with ‘Buddy’ our resident king snake and his progeny since moving here 20 years ago. Also a couple of rat snakes and a water snake have made appearances on occasion.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glenda_al

A 52-year-old father-of-two in Alabama died, just three days after he was bitten by a copperhead snake while walking the family’s new puppy at a lake house. Sad

Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

Double check those links, glenda, they don't seem to lead to the story you mentioned.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jemdandy

I grew up where water moccasins, cotton mouths, and copper heads were present. The water moccasin is a nasty fellow who does not slink away when a human approaches; Instead, he becomes aggressive and prepares to fight. Luckily, there weren't many of those snakes at my home. Nonvenomous black snakes, blue racers, and various garter snakes were more common.

As stated above, often young rattlers and water moccasins are more dangerous than an older snake. It is claimed that the more experienced snake may limit how much venom he injects saving ammunition for later shots. He injects what it believes is just enough to do the job whereas a young snake will inject all or most of what he has.

At one time, it was a mystery as to why the effect some rattlesnake bites were mild whereas other bites from the same species were disastrous. Were some people more immune than others? The mystery was solved when it was found that the severity of the bite corresponded to the amount of venom injected.

Snakes scare me more than when I was younger with very good hearing. Now that I am aging out and my hearing is going away, I may not hear the warning of a rattler or the nervous hum of the tail of a hidden black snake. His warning is sometimes mistaken for a rattler when his tail beats against dried leaves and debris.

3 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glenda_al

Man was bitten, in AL, by copperhead, recently, while walking his puppy!


man bitten by copperhead


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marilyn_c

I live around poisonous snakes, especially cottonmouths and I haven't found them to be aggressive at all. I was cleaning a waterlily tank in the greenhouse...

siphoned it out and then started bailing the rest. I got inside to finish bailing. When I turned around, there was a cottonmouth about 30 inches long, desperately trying to get out. I got out and without the commotion, he was able to get out and go on his way. I don't kill them. If you do...that is your business. I just don't. I am always pleased when I see one. Cottonmouths are easily identified by their facial markings. You don't have to get close to identify them. I see one...I go the other way

They see me first, they go the other way.

I name them. This one is Ten Dogs. He is culling goldfish in this picture.


Here is his little brother, basking.

And another snake, plain bellied water snake, often confused as a cottonmouth. This is Big Mama.

I don't bother them. They don't bother me.




3 Likes Save     Thanked by pudgeder
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kadefol

We haven't encountered any venomous snakes on our small property of less than an acre, but we have several resident rat snakes. We had a huge one a decade ago, but a neighbor killed her. It has taken this long for more to show up.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ah, snakes and all of the myths that surround them. I don't have a problem with people who feel the need to kill the venomous snakes, but those who want to get rid of all snakes are selfish and ignorant. Killing such beneficial animals because of one's fear is truly awful.

That poor man who died after being bitten by a copperhead was very allergic to the venom but no one knew. He was well known to carry an epi-pen for his severe allergy to insect stings but no one thought to use it for the snake bite. It probably wouldn't have worked anyway. His reaction was too sudden and too massive. He was flown here to Huntsville so we were aware of the tragedy right away.

Here's a fascinating article about copperheads for anyone interested. I learned a couple of new things that really intrigued me!

4 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

There are many living creatures that some like and that others consider to be unwanted, menacing pests. Snakes and other reptiles often fall into that category - talk to Floridians about their major python problem. Talk to others in dangerous snake areas about precautions and measures they take to insure the safety of their households.

If all the things I consider to be pests - rodents, biting insects (save for bees that pollinate), dangerous snakes - disappeared overnight, I wouldn't miss them. Killing such pests causes me no grief. I can coexist with people who feel otherwise, so long as neither side tries to impose their view on the other.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Lol, there are lots of people who agree with you, Elmer. I've known a lot of people who are uncomfortable around anything that flits, buzzes, slithers, and flies. I've met poor souls who were deathly afraid of birds! Butterflies!

I'll never forget the absolutely frantic call I received a new home owner at the fancy schmancy private resort community where I acted as Landscape Superintendent and head horticulturist. I was also the head creepy crawly wrangler as no one else wanted the job, lol.

This poor woman had barely moved in to her beautiful home in the Charleston, SC resort. She called screaming and crying for help about the snake on her front porch, she said that it came towards her when she tried to go outside.

I raced over there with the appropriate gear, a bit anxious myself. When I got there, she screamed through the closed front door that it had slithered up the posts and was in the ceiling of the roof overhang. I looked and looked but didn't see it until she screeched and pointed.....at THIS!



Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
adellabedella_usa

Ha ha! This made the news a couple of years ago when a family mistook a lizard for an alligator. Alligator


I usually try not to kill non-venomous snakes. They do eat bugs and rodents.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

I don't remember where we were but I remember an incident when I was startled and scared beyond a reasonable point by what most certainly was a snake of a few feet in length, in a place (maybe our living quarters?) where I didn't want it to be. I had to call someone to come IMMEDIATELY. It took far too long. On arrival, I was told it wasn't a snake but a legless lizard. Huh? I said it didn't care about its taxonomy, get it the F out of my sight.

Or my run in with a cane spider (you can look it up) late one night in a hotel room on Maui, ages ago. Yes, a phone call and then a personal appearance at the front desk, where I had to convince the reluctant guy there that no, he wasn't too busy to come immediately and he had his choice of either dealing with the spider in the room or dealing with me at the front desk. The spider was removed.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I remember when I had my first experience with a legless lizard. Eeek! I saw what I thought was a part of a garden hose in the pine straw. When I stooped over and picked it up.....well, THIS is what it was! I was fascinated after that.

Spiders? As a former arachnophobe.....It's "one day at a time" as far as spiders go. That cane spider would have scared the daylights out of me.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patriciae_gw

My grandmother kept a Huge Rat snake in her barn. I was told to not bother it (as if) you could watch it slither by through the knot holes in the barn wall. It was enormous. I never saw more than just parts of it. What people really need is a King Snake. I had several in my yard and garden in North Mississippi. The biggest one would run all the vole holes looking for prey and you would see part of it across the ground coming out of one hole and going down another. King Snakes eat other snakes. You will not suffer from an excess of snakes if you keep one as other snakes steer clear. Voles were a serious problem for me and it ate those too. They seemed to keep to territories but I had 1 1/2 acres in town so plenty of room.

We do not have venomous snakes here on the west of Washington. You get so accustomed to not bothering about snakes that you have to remind yourself elsewhere they are not all innocuous. Garter and the occasional Rubber boa. I used to get startled by tiny baby garter snakes up in my raspberries. I had read they eat slugs and can confirm that they do.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Elmer J Fudd

"That cane spider would have scared the daylights out of me."

Yes indeed. It was crawling up the drape covering the sliding glass door. Its reach from opposing foot to foot on the other side was about the size of a CD as I recall. I also remember that the the front desk guy first said to me "You can ignore it, it won't bother you" To which I replied, "It's bothering me now and will continue to until you get it out of my room". That was why I needed to get dressed and go down to the front desk to give him a bit more motivation in the direction of customer service.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marilyn_c

That was an interesting article, Rhizo. I have never seen a copperhead here....or a rattlesnake. ( "Here", being on the bayou where I live. I have seen both other places.) I was given a rattlesnake (diamond back) to release (by animal control), but since I have never seen a rattlesnake here, I took it down to Bastrop Bayou, by west Galveston Bay, where rattlesnakes are plentiful.

Where I am moving....I expect to see both rattlesnakes and copperheads. I will be inside the Davy Crockett National Forest. I have a friend who wants to move there and has friends there already and she says the timber rattlers are huge. I also recently learned that timber rattlers are a protected species...although I don't imagine that goes very far with people who are afraid of them. Anyway, I will have to learn to be more vigilant. I am sure I will adapt to them just fine. I have more trouble with the two legged snakes. ;)


Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Life First Things First: How to Prioritize Home Projects
What to do when you’re contemplating home improvements after a move and you don't know where to begin
Full Story
Kitchen Design Houzz Call: Tell Us About Your First Kitchen
Great or godforsaken? Ragtag or refined? We want to hear about your younger self’s cooking space
Full Story
Houzz Call Houzz Call: Who'll Post the First Snow Photo of 2013?
If the weather's been flaky in your neck of the woods, please show us — and share how you stay warm at home
Full Story
David Small Designs is an award winning custom home design firm that specializes designing the perfect home for... Read More
Our design services are tailored to your unique needs, timeline and budget. With your vision and our expertise,... Read More