ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Only Good Snake is a WHAT?!

Updated on June 30, 2016
A Black Snake kills and eats a Timber Rattlesnake.
A Black Snake kills and eats a Timber Rattlesnake.
A Copperhead has some color similarities to the Corn Snake pictured below.
A Copperhead has some color similarities to the Corn Snake pictured below.
A Corn Snake.
A Corn Snake.
A King Snake and a Coral Snake side by side. "Red touches yellow, kill a fellow!"
A King Snake and a Coral Snake side by side. "Red touches yellow, kill a fellow!"
The vertical pupil of a poisonous pit viper.
The vertical pupil of a poisonous pit viper.

In the third chapter of Genesis, God cursed the serpent for deceiving Adam and Eve into eating of the tree of knowledge. Since that time, the serpents, or snakes have been given a bad rap. People have been killing snakes for millennia simply because they are…snakes.

The sudden visage of a snake on a trail or in your yard or house evokes sudden fear and panic. The first thought most people have is “it’s going to bite me and then I’m going to die.” So naturally they go by the pessimist’s golden rule, which is “Do unto others before they do unto me.” So they kill the snake before it kills them. Nine times out of ten it is not poisonous.

Let’s look at the big picture. There are four different species of poisonous snakes here in North America: These species are the Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth Moccasin, Copperhead and Coral Snake. The Rattlesnake has several subspecies including the Eastern and Western Diamondback, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake and Mojave Rattlesnake. All of these snakes, except for the coral snake are Pit Vipers.

Pit Vipers have a distinct triangular shaped head, cat-like eyes with vertical pupils and generally are stockier in appearance with a thin neck in contrast to the body. The body can appear to lie flattened against the ground when crawling. They are not constrictive by nature and rely on their venom to immobilize their prey. They are in fact highly toxic and deadly.

The Coral Snake, found mainly in the South Eastern US is a highly toxic snake as well, but with round pupils and a slender head, whose appearance mimics that of a king snake. The red, yellow and black bands that decorate its body are a clue to identifying this critter. “Red touches yellow, kill a fellow, yellow touches black, stay back.” The yellow bands alternate between the red and black bands.

But with that being said, the number of non-poisonous snakes in North America, and on the planet, far outnumber the poisonous ones. The chances of coming across a poisonous snake in most areas of the country are pretty slim, but it does happen.

But these critters, as all critters on this planet, have a purpose for being here. Snakes, as well as other reptiles are very beneficial to the control of insects like roaches, locusts, grasshoppers and even small disease carrying mammals such as mice and rats. Many non-poisonous snakes will actually kill and eat the poisonous ones. Here in the Southeast, it is not uncommon to see a king snake trying to swallow a copperhead.

I recently spoke to a man that lives down the road from me here in the Southern Appalachians. He asked me if I had ever seen a “chicken snake”. Knowing that the locals are constantly making up names for things like snakes and insects, I asked him what the snake looked like. “It was black with a yellow ring around his neck.” I immediately recognized that as a Northern Ringneck snake. I explained to him that they are somewhat rare and are beneficial to the local environment for insect and rodent control.

He replied “I saw him in my driveway and I stomped his head. I hurt my foot in the process.”

I had feelings of schadenfreude toward his foot, and up to this point I had a good measure of respect for this man, but that respect was instantly dashed upon the rocks.

“I don’t care for snakes.” He went on, “There is no good snake out there, and any snake that I find on my property is a dead snake. Any of these people that think snakes can be beneficial are just ignorant and stupid.”

God doesn’t create anything that is not beneficial to His planet.

The key here is education. As far as snakes go, the world is wallowing in ignorance. Educate yourselves by studying and reading about the identification and habits of all snakes in your area. And if you find a poisonous snake, there is no need to kill it if it is not an immediate threat to you, your pets or your family, but don’t endanger yourself either. A rattlesnake can put you down quickly. Call a law enforcement officer, animal control or other professional.

A non-poisonous snake can look like a poisonous one, like the king snake and the coral snake. A nearby elderly couple called me one day and said that there was a huge copperhead in their garage. My son and I went over to find it, and when we did, it was viciously attacking the broom we had and the poles we tried to extract it with. It was fat and solid, but when it was finally subdued, I realized it was not a copperhead, but rather an old, fat corn snake, a perfectly harmless and beneficial species. We carried it into the woods and let it go.

The bottom line here is to think. Use our brain. Educate yourself, become knowledgeable about your environment before you act to destroy it because of your own ignorance.

Food for thought: Did you know that if there were no more bees, that life on this planet would cease to exist in as little as 5 years?

Think about it.


©2016 Del Banks

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      I prefer not to see any snakes at all but I have come across a few poisonous critters in my yard. You have valid points here, verify what it is before you act.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)