Quick way to tell if its poisonous (although you want to do this on a dead
or otherwise incapacitated specimen) is to look at an eye. With the
exception of the coral snake, which has red and yellow bands touching, all
other poisonous snakes in the US will have a vertical slit for the pupil.
We have Pine snakes that look like our Timber rattlers. They even coil and
buzz there tail. Tried the eye thing but decided fast retreat was better
When I go near my fire wood I wear them cow poke boots(Heavy sided ones).
Ounce of prevention thing
Good ideas from all. Tom made me think a little, so I researched a bit more
and found this link.
They describe the regular blacksnake babies as being slate grey with
blotches, and shaking their tails when trapped, and often mistaken for
rattlers. I know for a fact I've got a big blacksnake living around my
neighbor's house because I see it every other day or so. I think I'll give
it a few days, look around some more (carefully) before I jump to any
conclusions. Meanwhile the dog can poop on the other side of the yard :)
Thanks to all.
All snakes are useful. And, Mr. Cox, it's not a bad idea to treat a
baby rattler with a little more respect than you might a mature one.
The "folk wisdom" (I know, I know) talks about the babies not knowing
the difference between a casual encounter with a non-threat like cat,
dog or what have you, and a real threat. So they just give _all_ the
venom that they're born with. An older, wiser rattler is more likely
to give a dry bite, and that does the job at hand. At least it worked
on my cat that way. He was bitten in the face, twice, over a two year
period, and it was probably the same snake. Yep, Clem's a little
smarter now. A little, anyway. Tom
Sun, Aug 19, 2007, 9:39pm (EDT-3) firstname.lastname@example.org (tom) doth sayeth:
<snip> An older, wiser rattler is more likely to give a dry bite, and
that does the job at hand. <snip>
I don't think so. They bite, venom comes out - usually. They can
espend all their venom, so none is available until more is generated.
Or, a fang(s) can go thru flesh, ear, whatever, and the venom be ejected
outside the flesh, instead of in it. I also understand that
rattlesnakes (dont know if this applies to other sanakes or not)
sometimes get an infection or something in a fang that wo't allow the
fang to eject venon. Plenty of reasons you cat could survive, but a
snake purpsly holding back venom is not on the list.
I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do
It is interesting to note that rattlesnakes can control the injection of
venom when biting. Medical experts familiar with snake bites indicate that
up to 60% of all snake bites to humans by poisonous snakes are "dry" bites
containing no venom. Experts feel that the snakes may be voluntarily
withholding the venom for use on prey and conserving it in some defense
situations. However, these animals should always be treated with cautious
Mon, Aug 20, 2007, 3:14pm (EDT-3) email@example.com
(charlie) doth posteth thusly:
<snip> 60% of all snake bites to humans by poisonous snakes are "dry"
bites containing no venom. Experts feel that the snakes may be
voluntarily withholding the venom for use on prey and conserving it in
some defense situations. <snip>
Damn, it must be really great to be an "expert", and know all there
is to know about something. I also notice the weasel word "feel" in
that little squib. Any of them "esperts" felt confident enough to try
I love the German for rattlesnake, Klapperschlange. Years back I
saw a video of an "expert" who was going to prove he could survive a
Maussaga (i believe it was) rattlesnake bite, with NO medical
assistance, only by his own efforts and one of those little snakebite
kits. Well, it took him a few tries before the snake actually bit him.
He must have been mistaken for prey, because he definitely got a dose of
venom. He proceeded to use his little snakebite kit, with the little
sharp blade, bournequit (?), snakebite treatment juice, and suction
cups. And he died. LMAO The really funny part is the kit worked, but
wasn't the miricle cure the guy thought it was, it merely extended his
life expectency - he should have had real medical attention on top of
that. If he had accepted the medical treatment, even hours after the
bite, they figure he would have survived. In other cases the snakebite
kit might actually save a life, even without proper medical treatment -
in this case I guess he really pissed the snake off enough to get a full
I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do
And rattle snakes are vegetarians? One of the reasons I don't kill snakes
is because the are very good at keeping the rat and mouse population down.
I do move the venomous ones deeper into the woods but its more to protect
the dogs than me.
My point was all snakes are good for rodent control. There are very few
non-venomous North American snakes can handle a full grown, i.e. breeding
sized, rat. By wiping out your venomous snake population you are most
likely going to have fewer mice but more rats.
My point is that your point is incorrect. Many North American snakes
don't eat rodents.
Few, venomous or non-venomous. The only rattlesnake that gets big enough
for that is the Eastern Diamondback. The only non-venomous that get that
big regularly are the Black Rat, Everglades Rat, and the Indigo. The
Eastern Pine and Bull can get big enough, but rarely.
I have several snakes in my collection that do well with a "medium" rat.
I used to keep rats as pets as well as grew up on a farm where trapping
(poisoning, shooting, etc.) rats was one of the jobs. I can tell you that
your "medium" feeder rat is just about as big as a wild rat will get.
Taking a wild rat that was as big as even my adult female whites was
Given two snakes of the same size the venomous one will get more of the
larger meals because he will have fewer get away. Therefore when you have
fewer venomous snakes around more rats will get away. Also the snakes seem
to know this and don't try for rats but go for the smaller but more sure
meal of mice.
Sounds like folklore to me. It is very, very rare that a prey animal
would escape the strike of either a venomous or non-venomous snake. And
in the case of the non-venomous snake, escape after that is even more
rare. Snakes are extremely efficient predators.
Snakes will move on to other places if there is no food source. Remove the
Small snakes - Bugs.
Large snakes - rodents, etc.
Otherwise, consider them scenery and don't touch.
Joe Agro, Jr.
Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com
Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:01:16 GMT, Joe AutoDrill wrote:
Not always. Some snakes, like garter snakes and ribbon snakes, will take
insects. Some snakes eat fish and slugs.
But rattlesnakes prey primarily on mammals. The heat-sensing pits in
front of their eyes (the reason they are called pit vipers) help them
locate warm-blooded prey. In the OP's area (Florida), the young rattler
can find plenty of small mammals.
Mostly true of North American species, but there are exceptions.
Certainly good advice. Best for the snake and for you.
Jim.. Along with the other info here, I'd add food source..
We never had much in the way of snakes or varmints here in our area of Baja
until our neighbor put up a bunch of bird feeders... He has his own ecology over
there now, spilling into our lot.
The bird seed attracted chip monks or ground squirrels, the birds eating the
feed attracted bigger varmints, the ground squirrels attracted snakes, etc...
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