Snakes are naturally drawn to ponds. Ponds offer a variety of appealing features like food, shade, shelter, and water. A snake in a pond doesn’t necessarily present an immediate problem. However, it must be dealt with to prevent further issues like breeding, feeding off fish and other animals, and inadvertently biting you.
Before removing snakes from the pond, identify what type of snakes they are. If the snakes are venomous, call animal control as a bite could result in amputation or fatality. Don’t kill the snake, as it is vital to the ecosystem. Treat it with respect. Prioritize safety when handling snakes.
It is essential to plan each step of the serpent removal before physically engaging in the task. Preparation is critical to successful serpent removal. Mental organization involves acquainting yourself with the proper experts, having the correct emergency contact details, and figuring out the final place of the relocated serpents.
Identify the Species of the Snake
Firstly, it is essential to distinguish if the serpents in the pond are venomous. The snake will do everything in its power to defend itself and its autonomy. Respect and caution are crucial. There are an average of 3 500 serpent species worldwide. Of these, 600 are venomous.
Try to identify what species of snake is infesting the pond. Research on the reptile will assist in handling it. Not all snakes have the same temperament, speed, strength, and intelligence. Some snakes or more sluggish, while others are extremely fast. Identify and do research.
If the serpents are venomous, call the right experts, those in the field of herpetology. They will effectively see to the snakes while protecting and respecting them. If they are not venomous, be mindful that they will still bite you. Typically, northern hemisphere, semi-aquatic serpents are ill-tempered and will attack willingly.
There are four distinct kinds of venomous serpents in North America. These are the coral snakes (exceptionally rare with an incredible coral coloring and pattern) and three vipers: rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins.
The vipers have the same discernable features. These features include triangular heads sized because of the venomous glands in their mouths and are noticeably larger than their necks. They have thick bodies, tiny, keeled scales, and vertical pupils.
If you feel capable of addressing the issue yourself, a sequence of steps must be followed. Treat this process with respect and be mindful of the serpents. Before you attempt to address the situation, prioritize safety in all things.
Prioritize Safety Dress Appropriately
Before you begin, ensure that you are attired in the correct clothing. If you are bitten, it is crucial that if a snake attempts to bite you, at least a layer of clothing could protect the fangs penetrating the skin.
Snake bites aren’t prevalent in the United States, and fatality from snake bites is less so. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics have revealed that approximately 4.5 to 5.4 million snake bites occur each year. There are about 81 000 to 138 000 fatalities.
There is an overwhelming diversity in snake types and species, including venomous and non-venomous. Therefore, not all snake bites are the same. Different species produce different categories of venom. Be sure to have the correct emergency contacts on hand and notify the proper authorities.
A long-sleeved shirt will increase the level at which your arms are guarded. Naturally, a jacket is a better option. Wearing long pants will protect your legs, and tuck them into socks. Pair this with rubber boots. A thick pair of gloves is imperative.
Physically Removing the Snake
You’ll need a pair of snake tongs that can be purchased at any Petco, Walmart, PetSmart, or BDB Pet. These tongs are an invaluable tool that will allow a firm grip on the snakes while at a safe distance. Remember, the snake will go to absolute measures to protect itself.
Clasp the snake with the tongs a few inches down from the back of its head. Please note that if you grasp the snake’s head, you’ll injure it. If you seize it too far down its body, you hazard enough room to bite you. Ensure that the pressure of the tongs is sufficient, not too tight as to provoke it.
When transferring the snake over walking distance, don’t lift the snake entirely off the ground. Merely raise the spot below the back of the head and steadily trail the snake to the secure location.
Repositioning the Snake
Please don’t kill the serpent, as they are an integral and vital part of any ecosystem. Added, as mentioned earlier, mentally prepare and acquaint where you hope to relocate it. It is preferable to move the snake as far from the pond as is possible.
There are snake buckets or bags that can be purchased from Home Depot, Walmart, or pet stores. Place the snakes into the bags or bucket and drive them to appropriate places, like your local animal control agency, herpetological associations, or your local zoo. Alternately you could free it in a remote uninhabited area.
Setting Snake Traps
Trapping a snake and setting it free in a secure, isolated location- is a humane option for snake removal. There are snake traps available for sale in many stores and online. These traps could be high-tech or simple minnow traps. You can bait minnow traps with eggs.
Ensure that the minnow trap is strategically placed. Check the snare frequently. Another animal could potentially be trapped in the minnow trap. Please don’t allow the snake to die in the trap. It’s inhumane and unsanitary, as the snake or animal will quickly begin to decay.
The humane society recommends that you don’t use glue traps. Accordingly, they are inhuman, cruel, and indiscriminate. The glue trap will not offer a speedy death. The snake or animal will die slowly and torturously through starvation and exhaustion.
Again, it is necessary to identify the species of snakes. Knowing these reptiles will inform your decision in the best way to entice and trap them. If you know that venomous snakes inhabit your pond, call animal control.
Releasing the Snake
Keep the thick glove on when releasing the snake, don’t attempt to touch the snake with your exposed skin. Generally, snakes won’t abide being handled, and they’ll retaliate. Many bacteria and fungi on the snake’s skin can infect you with various diseases.
Deciding on where to release the snake is determined by several factors. Firstly, the location must ensure the increased likelihood of the serpent’s survival. Allowing the serpent an absolute chance of survival upon release is critical. Snakes serve the environment positively, like maintaining balance and pest control.
The area must be free of residents for at least a couple of miles in any direction. The location must have a source of water, shelter, and likelihood of food sources. It’d be better if the area didn’t have the snake’s natural predators. Try a state park.
When releasing the serpent from its trap, allow it to figure its way out, don’t handle it. Allow the snake to acquaint itself with its home. Generally, it’ll happily slither away, and it shouldn’t be dangerous. However, it would be best to stay vigilant if it decides to strike.
Preventing Returning Snakes
Snakes make use of different hiding places like compost heaps, mulch, unkempt shrubbery, dense bushes, and accumulation of backyard debris, plant matter, and woodpiles. Essentially maintain your garden area and the environment around the pond.
Snakes are attracted to tall grass to better disguise their presence from prey and guinea fowls and owls. Keep the grass neat and short. Tend to the grass regularly. Fill any holes around the perimeter of the pond. Snakes inhabit holes and treat them as dens.
Often ponds have little rock piles to enhance their natural appearance. Snakes will take shelter, hide and nest in these. Remove this appealing cover enjoyed by snakes. Endeavor to avoid breeding. Treat the pond’s border with vinegar or set up a securely interwoven mesh fence.
Rodents are a natural food source for snakes; therefore, be sure to address any rodent issues. There are various ways to effectively deter rodents from your pond area, including essential oils like peppermint.
Snakes detest cinnamon oil, clove oil, cedarwood, black pepper, and dry ice. There are also snake repelling granules purchased from any pet store. Create a mixture of repellant lime: vinegar, hot pepper, and peppermint oil. Pour this around the periphery of the pond. The fumes agitate the skin, and the scent repulses them.
Attract owls to the area. Owls are natural predators of both snakes and rodents. They are a great ally, and surveying the perimeter will guarantee that the snake’s number will continually be monitored.
To attract owls, install nesting boxes, as this offers a secure place for owls to feel at home. Generally, owls find small cavities in trees to make their homes. A few species (the screech owl) enjoy manufactured boxes and are sure to make a home of them.
Don’t cut back the larger horizontal branches, as these are ideal for owls to perch on. Time outdoor floodlights so that the area is not too lit up for too long, as owls only hunt at night in the dark when their senses are most active.
What to Do if a Snake Bites You
If a toxic snake strikes and bites you or someone close to you, take note of the color around the area of the puncture wound. Watch the level of swelling and note the intensity of the pain. Every 15-minutes, mark the area around the wound to let the doctors know the rate of envenomation.
Firstly, slowly remove yourself from the striking serpent. Call the correct emergency contacts. Know that almost all ambulances and emergency rooms will have antivenom.
While you wait, it is essential to remain calm. If you panic, your increased heart rate will speed poison delivery to your vital organs. Take off jewelry, remove or cut tight clothing to prevent further swelling.
Don’t drink any caffeinated drinks, which will speed up your heart rate. Don’t drink alcohol as it thins your blood, and both will increase the body’s absorption of the venom.
Position yourself so that the poison won’t reach your heart. Try to get the puncture wound below heart level. Gently wash the bite with fragrance-free soap and water or antiseptic wipe in your first aid kit. Envelop the wound with a clean, dry dressing.
Don’t use a tourniquet, as venom that remains in the vicinity of the bite will rapidly annihilate the tissue cells surrounding the area. The blood flow will dilute the toxin and potentially diminish the harm.
Don’t apply ice or a cold pack because lengthy application of cold-pressed on the wound will prohibit necessary circulation. A short duration of cold exposure is precarious, and ice or a cold pack will not neutralize the venom.
Don’t cut across the puncture marks or suck the venom out. It’s a myth that this will be effective, and it isn’t. As the snake’s fangs are hooked, deciphering the venom’s location is next to impossible. The toxins spread extremely fast, so that it won’t make a difference.
A dry bite is still very dangerous as the open wound will be deep and susceptible to infection. Approximately 20% of snake bites are dry.
Symptoms of Snake Bites
Generally, symptoms of non-venomous snake bites are pain, bleeding, and itching around the site. A venomous bite’s symptom is extreme pain, swelling in the area around the wound within 15-20 minutes.
The symptoms then advance to bruising and intense swelling that steadily moves up the limb. Other signs are nausea, strenuous breathing, weakness, and a peculiar taste in the mouth. Coral snakes have venom that impacts the body’s neurology, with tingling symptoms, difficulty speaking, and frailty.
Before launching into the physical act of removing snakes, endeavor to identify what kind of snakes are infesting your pond. If it’s venomous, the best chance is to call animal control to remove the snakes from your pond. Mental preparation is crucial in your planning; included is where you will place the serpent.
Ensure to prioritize safety, wear the correct clothing, thick gloves, and rubber boots. Snake tongs are readily available from any pet store.
When handling the snake, don’t grasp its head. Apply the right amount of pressure a few inches just below its head, not too far down, or it’ll escape your grasp. Release carefully in a remote area.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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