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Minnesota Musing: Garter Snakes - Removing Unwanted Families of Snakes
Some people are afraid of snakes. Some people are not.
One person I know, had an old cement structure in their yard and it was filled in with some sort of gravel fill. Apparently, snakes love that type of environment, so for the past forty years, they have had their share of snakes slithering around.
Some they find snakes in their house in the basement. The snakes find a hole that ends abruptly, with a long fall to the floor. The unfortunate fact about snakes is that, they have no reverse. Once a snake is moving forward, forward is what they do.
One other person who recently bought a house in town, found out that the front or back yard contained a massive snake farm.
Since the person has a small child that loves to play outside, this has been quite a concern, to the point of the child not being able to go in the yard.
Removing Snakes According to the DNR
According to what I read on the DNR page, there are a few factors involved in removing snakes.
Apparently, snakes are one of those creatures that doesn't like to be relocated. Once removed for their environment and placed in a new environment, they will strike out for home. The picture the DNR paints is not a pretty one. These snakes, in droves I'm assuming, will traverse across roads and highways, just to get back to your yard.
Some may encounter problems as they try to work their way back to you. Hawks love the taste of snakes and will swoop down and take their pick of snakes and will eat them. Sad, isn't it. Dreary picture.
So, at that point, do you find a way to have a pet hawk that will live in your yard and will swoop down, upon occasion, several times a day and will eat those snakes that are not really supposed to be there.
Suppose you have no bugs for the snakes to eat. Won't they starve to death anyways? What do garter snakes eat, anyways?
I'll have to consult Google for my facts.
Googling Snake Snacks
Garter Snake Diet: Garter snakes are carnivorous. Because of their size, they will eat anything they can overpower. The most common victims are snails, slugs, worms,crickets, grasshoppers, birds, and small mammals. Larger garter snakes can eat frogs and rodents.
So, these snakes don't even eat the bugs or mosquitoes that some people believe them to eat. So, the people who claim that they eat the bugs in your yard are liars.
Garter Snakes for Sale
Yes. You can buy a garter snake. For a mere $19.99, which in my book is $20. Yeah, I found a webpage, where they are selling these creatures. I wonder if they buy and sell, or if they raise their own.
In fact, they are so confident of their snake relocation service, AKA your snake purchase, that they will guarantee that your snake arrives in an Alive state. They sell several different types, although one or two species are so popular that they've sold out. They get a pretty penny for their snakes. The most expensive snake is $50.
These are what they offer:
Buy a Garter snake $19.99, ribbon snake $14.99, Black Necked Garter snake
$44.99, Albino Checkered Garter snake $49.99
Musing About Trapping the Snakes
So, if a person had a large aquarium, dry of course, and some sort of door to enter, they could probably enclose the snake area, and couldn't you at some point, charge people to come and see them?
Wouldn't that be a cool idea. There are some people who love snakes. Love them to the point that they go to bed at night, sick to death, that there are snakes that need to be protected.
Well. What better way to protect a family of snakes, than to make some sort of snake museum, that kids and adults can come to see snakes in their environment. I think it would be cool.
If you cannot beat them, then join them!
I think that a large PVC pipe would be an effective trap. You'd have to plug one end, and it would probably have to be quite long, probably ten foot or better, and in the unplugged end, you'd have to put a funnel with a large drain hole, so the larger snakes can fit through as well. Perhaps some holes for air.
My assumption is that you'd have to put dirt on the funnel end, up to the funnel hole so the snakes could reach the hole and go through. Of course, just like the minnow traps and rodent traps and mosquito traps where it uses the funnel concept, these creatures may know that they arrived at the end, but, finding that hole may prove to be impossible, since it is up higher than the bottom of the PVC pipe.
Of course, if you had a snake museum, the unplugged version just might work for keeping your snakes happy.