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Snakes in the garden


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hi, I know everyone will tell me how lucky I am to have snakes in the garden but the novelty is wearing off, and they are getting bigger and braver every time we visit our house. in short we have had our house nearly 5 years and have always had snakes, initially we found shed skins but then started to see the odd grasssnake, but after a couple of days they would  disappear, however with each visit they are getting braver and now ignore us. They live under our patio and come and go and bask literally feet from the patio. The regular sightings are 2 x 4ft long grass snakes, and a longer but thinner Aesculapian snake, which is particularly creepy as it can climb vertical walls, we have seen it going into next doors attic. My neighbour in good French manner has indicated he will come and smash them with his shovel, but I would rather them go not be killed. Has anyone any ideas for ways to get them to move on.
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this isn't a facetious reply, but can you borrow a neighbour's chickens. Generally the chickens will either (a) eat the snakes or (b) scare them away. I can't think of a natural solution other than that above, hopefully others will give you some. Good luck.
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Living in rural area in Gard we have obviously come across some snakes---they are part of life in the area. We have only ever seen coulevres ( grass snakes-----just like in parts of Britain) and our Labradors accept them with good grace when we are out on walks. They are sometimes in the vicinity around the house, outbuildings, gardens and vineyard......but once again, only ever seen common grass snakes.

I made a point of finding out how to recognise the adder ( which we also have in parts of Britain ) so I'd be ready for when my battle with one of them brought defeat for one of us [:D] but I have come to the conclusion that adders here are as common as they are in Britain----did you ever actually see one there, let alone do mortal combat with it. I like seeing snakes as much as any of the many items of animal, bird, flaura and fauna that we came here to enjoy.

Learn to identify adders just in case........ and then forget about them. As for the coulevres, they have so rarely come near the house that I have never really given them much thought. Having dogs makes us feel safe, even when they reintroduce the wild boar, wolf and bear [:D]

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"I know everyone will tell me how lucky I am to have snakes in the garden"

Not quite everyone - I hate the wretched things. We have western whip snakes which resent our presence and have been know to hiss at us. If anyone knows how to get rid of them I too, would be grateful.

Hoddy
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Hi

 

It may not work under the patio but in close spaces it works fine

Find a couple of small glass jars similiar to the old paste jars knock no more than 3 holes with nail in the lid and fill the jar with Ammonia which is availiable at any supermarket and stick the lid on leave in the area which you wish to clear

Steve

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Thanks for the suggestion basquesteve, but I'm afraid it wouldn't work for us.

The ones we get drape themselves along the hedge which grows against our terrace wall. We have occasionally had them in the house too although not often enough to tolerate a permanent smell of ammonia.

Hoddy
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[quote user="basquesteve"]

Hi

 

It may not work under the patio but in close spaces it works fine

Find a couple of small glass jars similiar to the old paste jars knock no more than 3 holes with nail in the lid and fill the jar with Ammonia which is availiable at any supermarket and stick the lid on leave in the area which you wish to clear

Steve

[/quote]

that's a good suggestion, I may try it in the woodshed as there are some dark corners that I don't venture to without wearing wellies (even in this heat) just in case.
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For the second time in the last 13 years our cats dragged a snake into our living room last night. Could have been either a baby whip snake or even a baby viper, difficult to say. Cats show no sign of having been bitten so my guess would be a whip snake as we have seen several adults around here in the last few years. I put it out on the lawn and it was still alive then. Gone this morning so either recovered or eaten by something. Our outside cat runs cannot be made snake proof but have now put down some granules of snake repellant called Retro Repulsif purchased from Bricomarché. A friend recommended these but time will tell if they really work. Effective for 6 months and produces a snake repelling gas on contact with humid soil.........................JR  
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well thanks everyone for the replies, I particularly like the one suggesting getting some chickens in, i'm not sure if there are chickens big enough to handle our snakes. I think I will leave them be, at least I know where they are, if I move them from their current home who knows where they might choose as their new home.
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