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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2008
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    349
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    South Texas
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    2005 JD 5103

    Default Snakes

    Last year I installed our home security alarm and when running the wire for one of the keypads I noticed a snake skin in our attic. To say the least it freaked me out a little bit because for one our house is almost sealed shut, and for two it was about 2' from where I was reaching my arms. I have no idea how it could have gotten in there unless a bird dropped it onto our garage or breezeway and it somehow climbed in under the R-panel somehow?

    How does one ensure if they are in the attic they don't stay long if you get my drift. We don't have mice in our home or attic, let alone roaches or anything else. We have never had either in our home so there should be nothing to feed on.

    Also, we've killed 3 small cottonmouth's within the past month. We've been watering trees and our yard so I'm sure they're coming to water. We are in a serious drought so they are definitely looking for water. Just last night I heard my wife screaming outside so I ran out and our 3 year old son was riding his bike about 2' from one that was coiled up under our travel trailer parked on our driveway. I guess it was cool on the concrete and in the shade.

    My wife put 2-3 boxes of moth balls around the back privacy fence, but it looks like we may have to put more around the house. I just don't want to trap them inside close to the house
    JD 5103, 512 FEL w/bucket, home-made front bale spear, 60" Armstrong Ag box blade, Rhino SE6 rotary mower, 5' JD 3-point disc, home-made 26'-200 gallon sprayer

  2. #2
    Veteran Member deerefan's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    1,667
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    louisiana
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    1952 8N, 2005 JD 5103

    Default Re: Snakes

    It looks like we not only have the same problem but also the same tractor. I have tried everything (moth balls, snake away, cat, etc..) and nothing is working. My wife and I have 2 whippet pups (1 year old) and they are great at finding them, but they usually end up bit. I try to keep the grass mowed and any leaf piles or branches picked up. We were also in a bad drought but have gotten some rain as of late. I think the drought has alot to do with it. When you start getting some rain, hopefully they will leave.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    May 2006
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Snakes

    I live in northeast Texas where there are plenty of cottonmouths and copperheads, but even more chickensnakes and bull snakes. I wouldn't make any absolute statements concerning the snakeskin in your attic, but in my experience, the pit vipers have a thicker, shorter body and are less likely to climb for any reason than the non-poisonous, long and slender snakes such as chickensnakes.
    Butch

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2008
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    349
    Location
    South Texas
    Tractor
    2005 JD 5103

    Default Re: Snakes

    Yes, I agree. The skin was about 2' in length so it had to have been a very young chicken snake. Although not deadly, still scary when you least expect it. I'm just not sure how it would have gotten in. When we built, everything from the bottom up is sealed. The only gaps would be in the R-panel roof that has form seals which could be the entry point.

    Not sure how long it would live up there, but I know it would have gone hungry. Maybe it lost the skin getting out.

    We got 1/2" rain on July 17th at my house which was the first rain since around April/May. We are almost 20" below normal on rainfall.
    JD 5103, 512 FEL w/bucket, home-made front bale spear, 60" Armstrong Ag box blade, Rhino SE6 rotary mower, 5' JD 3-point disc, home-made 26'-200 gallon sprayer

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    21,014
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Snakes

    Butch, I agree completely. Climbing pit vipers are rare. I would expect a chicken snake (aka Texas ratsnake) to be the culprit inside an attic. Take away any food source (most likely mice) and they will not be in the attic. The harder job is getting rid of the mice in my opinion.

    I also have never seen a cottonmouth very far from water. As creeks and streams dry up, they make it to ponds and lakes. I have never seen them come into a dry area. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but just that I have never seen it. Copperheads and rattlers are often found in dry areas and on the forest floor, but cottonmouths never stray far from lots of water in my experience. Their primary food is fish and frogs rather than rodents.
    Jim


  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2000
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    2,059
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    russellville, arkansas
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    Kubota M4900, B7510 and RTV

    Default Re: Snakes

    years ago, i was told that people in some African areas, install electric fences, just above the ground, to keep snakes out. or maybe its time for a pet pig.
    heehaw

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Location
    South Texas
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    2005 JD 5103

    Default Re: Snakes

    The scary part was about 1 month ago. We purchased 15 live oak trees to be planted and had them in between our home and concrete slab in front of our garage. I reached down to get the water hose, and walked on the house side, and wife sat down on concrete slab across from me. As I was watering the trees I saw a black flash. I hollared at my wife to get up, she's 16 weeks pregnant, and I sprayed where I saw the flash. Ended up being about a 16"-18" cottonmouth.

    We had water standing there periodically due to watering the trees. Then last week my wife walked out to check on the swimming pool the other day, and came in screaming after seeing another about the same size. Then this past Sunday my wife came in screaming when my son rode right by the other under our camper. Maybe it's my wife that's causing us to see all these snakes.

    These little suckers are aggressive, that's for sure. Even my cattle are getting aggressive when we feed them. I guess this drought has everyone in an uproar.
    JD 5103, 512 FEL w/bucket, home-made front bale spear, 60" Armstrong Ag box blade, Rhino SE6 rotary mower, 5' JD 3-point disc, home-made 26'-200 gallon sprayer

  8. #8
    Veteran Member deerefan's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    louisiana
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    1952 8N, 2005 JD 5103

    Default Re: Snakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kfbeal View Post
    The scary part was about 1 month ago. We purchased 15 live oak trees to be planted and had them in between our home and concrete slab in front of our garage. I reached down to get the water hose, and walked on the house side, and wife sat down on concrete slab across from me. As I was watering the trees I saw a black flash. I hollared at my wife to get up, she's 16 weeks pregnant, and I sprayed where I saw the flash. Ended up being about a 16"-18" cottonmouth.

    We had water standing there periodically due to watering the trees. Then last week my wife walked out to check on the swimming pool the other day, and came in screaming after seeing another about the same size. Then this past Sunday my wife came in screaming when my son rode right by the other under our camper. Maybe it's my wife that's causing us to see all these snakes.

    These little suckers are aggressive, that's for sure. Even my cattle are getting aggressive when we feed them. I guess this drought has everyone in an uproar.
    My wife and I have 2 whippet pups (1 yr old) that are awesome @ finding snakes. Recently, they found 2 baby copperheads in our back yard. The male got bit the first time on the nose and the female the second. Yesterday, I decided to do some searching in a garden we have in the back corner of our yard. Low and behold, found momma curled up under a brick. After 4-5 solid wacks with the shovel, she was ground meat. Hope that remedies my copperhead problem. Look around your place for a nest.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2008
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    349
    Location
    South Texas
    Tractor
    2005 JD 5103

    Default Re: Snakes

    Yea, I have a good feeling that these are the same family and the momma's somewhere to be found. I'm dreading the day we find her though. I just hope I find her before my kids of wife does.

    Looks like those whippet pups go anywhere from $500-2000. I might just invest in some moth balls.
    JD 5103, 512 FEL w/bucket, home-made front bale spear, 60" Armstrong Ag box blade, Rhino SE6 rotary mower, 5' JD 3-point disc, home-made 26'-200 gallon sprayer

  10. #10
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Eastern OK
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    MF 596 , MF 4243, MF 1433V, D4H, D3C

    Default Re: Snakes

    I have never seen a cottonmouth that wasn't in a foul mood. I have seen them hunting here in Oklahoma in hayfields as much as 100/150 yards from the nearest water(when there are a lot of field mice). Usually though they are much closer. The drought there may have them really hunting for anyplace that is even the least bit comfortable for them, but as others have mentioned I would doubt that was what was in the attic. It really would not take much of a gap for a 2' rat/chicken snake to get in and I have seen them go up the concrete block walls(the blocks had a textured front, not flat like modern blocks) of the house I grew up in after a birds nest. Really keep and eye out for anyplace that is cool and moist on/in the ground and that is probably where your cottonmouths have taken to hiding out if their natural habitat is dried up.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

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