I did not intend to start blogging about snakes but here it is....
A “good” snake exterminated due to my snake phobia!
I see ALL snakes as “bad” because of their POISONOUS bite that leads to pain and maybe even death. Such drama.
Let me explain what happened to poor Mr. Snake:
Me: *screaming* “Oh no! A snake!! Kill it! It’s trying to get into the garage!!: *scream*
innocent bystander: …grabs an ax and whack! “Arrgh, I can’t kill it.”
Me: “WHAT”??? *screaming* as I grab the ax from unskilled snake killer. Whack! Whack! *Screaming* Whack! last Whack!
innocent bystander: “Erm, I think you can stop now. He’s gone.”
After internet researching on what type of “deadly” snake just lost its life, I discovered not only was this poor dead snake NOT poisonous but actually an asset to our ecosystem.
“Fear always springs from ignorance.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
This rat snake keeps the rodent population in check and not in the least poisonous. As far as poisonous ones, in the United States, there are only 7 types of poisonous snakes:
- Western Cottonmouth
- Timber Rattlesnake
- Prairie Rattlesnake
- Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
- Western Massasauga Rattlesnake
- Western Pygmy Rattlesnake
Other signs to look for before giving the old ax to any other snakes are:
- Facial Pits — All the poisonous snakes in the southern United States have these pits on each side of their head which functions as (this is way too cool) STEREOSCOPIC HEAT-SENSING organs! With this cool device, the snake can hunt in very dim to total darkness because it can sense when a warm-blooded prey is close by.
So, look for facial piercings.
- Eyes –– Look for cat eyes or pupils that are vertical and NOT round like us humans and I hope I don’t have to look to close to see this part!
- Body and Head— Usually poisonous snakes are stockier and have a larger head where helpful snakes have a slender head and body. Non poisonous snakes are more fashionable that way. 🙂
- Fangs– Poisonous snakes have retractable fangs in the top of their mouth. This would be way too difficult to check without exposing oneself to potentially serious harm.
“Let me check your fangs Mr. Cottonmouth, and don’t bite me!”
So, with this snake ID checklist, I can bury most of my fears about snakes and hopefully continue to change my snake ignorance so needless exterminations on my part be eradicated. As for Mr. Snake who bravely gave his life, he is properly buried and I’m not anxiously looking for the next snake to cross my path.
Have you had a terrible scare only to find out the scare was totally harmless?