Is it safe to have a black snake around? What are the benefits of black snakes? This article will give you the top 3 reasons to keep it.
People are thinking that snakes are dangerous
Snakes are fascinating creatures, and you will appreciate their company when interacting with them. Snakes like other pets can provide a perfect companionship, reduce stress, and play a significant role in our surroundings, among others.
Even if many people associate snakes with being venomous, there exist various species of non-poisonous snakes which are harmless snakes. The latter species lack a fang that is responsible for producing venom. Moreover, they hunt through swallowing whole prey or by constricting them, unlike their friends who need to inject poison to their victim.
Main concern: what are the benefits of black snakes? Should I keep it around?
Is it safe to have a black snake around? Black snakes can be kept freely both in your home as pets and at the gardens or farms. It does not only act as an ultimate cavy but also purges small animals like rodents, lizards, bird eggs, birds, among others, from your gardens and farms. Black snakes are friendly and do not bite unless they are under threat. Mostly, they will flee from danger.
To learn more about the benefits of black snakes, stay with me and carefully study this article. It has all the details you need to know about rat snakes. I hope you will find it interesting.
Are Black Snakes Good to Have Around?
Black rat snakes have a shiny black body with a white belly, throat, and lips. Mature rats can measure 1-2 meters in length. It is fine to keep the black rat snakes in your gardens or farms; indeed, they are nonvenomous. The snakes are not in either way harmful since they are carnivores.
The majority of the people will feel unsafe in case they encounter a black snake and won’t hesitate to kill them. It will not be the best decision to eliminate the snake because it is not as dangerous as you might think.
Fortunately, rat snakes are beneficial reptiles and can play multiple roles in your garden and farm without destroying the existing plant species. You don’t need to be afraid of the snakes. Below are the reasons why you might need black snakes in your garden and farm.
Black Snakes are Carnivores, thus Useful in Pest Control.
Typically, snakes are meat-eaters.
Many view them as pests, but there is more above such a belief when it comes to black snakes.
The rat snakes can be useful eradicators of pests that interfere with proper plant growth in your farm. It is because the black snakes feed on moles, mice, chipmunks, frogs, rats, and any other attacker in your precious garden and farm.
They can climb on trees and eat birds and bird eggs. Again, black snakes are not poisonous; hence they can be ideal for controlling pests. The snakes kill the prey by surrounding its body on the victim, constricts it until the prey suffocates to death. Then it swallows the prey, and digestion takes place slowly for several days.
The popular and most straightforward method that many farmers prefer to control pests on their gardens is spraying chemicals.
However, it may not be the ideal way because chemicals can contaminate the soil and the growing food, rendering it sometimes not safe for direct human consumption.
On the other hand, pesticides can be expensive and need proper care when handling them because they may be harmful. Using rat snakes in controlling the pests is a safe, biological, and ecologically friendly method.
Another thing to know is that rat snakes are not aggressive reptiles; therefore.
They won’t bite you if you don’t threaten them.
You need to stay calm and provide a conducive environment for them. The snakes prefer to stay in cold areas like in streams, lakes, moist grasses, and rivers. Black snakes are an excellent thing to have in your garden and farm, and you will enjoy their high impacts on pest control. They love visiting farms.
Black Snakes Contribute to Soil Fertility.
Soil fertility is essential to supply sufficient plant nutrients and water for proper crop growth, development, and reproduction.
Many aspects can lead to the improvement of nutrients in the soil, such as soil organisms, soil fertilization, cover cropping, and growing leguminous plants.
Vertebrates help to mix the soil when burrowing.
Some of the black snake burrow, and in the process, they help to mix decomposing organic matter with the soil from one horizon into another.
The snakes also help to bring minerals from below to the upper ground where the plants can easily access them.
Another significant aspect of black snakes to the soil in your garden is soil porosity improvement, thus enhancing water absorption, gaseous exchange, and composition. That is possible when the snakes move through the soil profile.
However, macropores can be dangerous because they are vulnerable to soil erosion and can be home to unwanted animals. There is a diversity of organisms inhabiting your garden and farm that play crucial roles in the physical and biological properties of the soil.
Black Rat Snakes helps to Control Diseases Affecting Crops.
Diseases affect crops, making farmers to incur significant losses and creates a threat to food and nutrition security. Some of the pests inhabiting the soil can be carriers of diseases, while others directly cause the disease.
For example, rats and rodents carry diseases such as leptospirosis, listeria, and salmonella from unhealthy plants and disease-causing agents they come into contact with. Such pests will pass the infection to healthy crops during feeding. Rodents can also cause diseases like plague.
Other pests like moles, lizards, and others can act as significant vectors that carry bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases to plants. The pests create wounds to the crops and provide an entry for the disease.
Unfortunately, the occurrence of crop diseases is dangerous and spread to more extensive areas through other means such as weather and human movement. There is a need to regulate the population of such kind of species to realize optimal crop performance.
Therefore, black snakes are an excellent choice to keep the pests that can cause diseases away from your garden and farm. The snakes ingest and digest the whole organism together with the message and remove them from the garden. That includes the vector and the disease itself.
Black Snakes contribute to Gaseous Exchange.
Plants release oxygen and take in carbon iv oxide for photosynthesis. Reptiles like black snake and other animal species, on the other hand, obtain the oxygen and remove carbon iv oxide.
Such a mechanism encourages the proper circulation of air in and out of the soil. It also prevents the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, which may be toxic. Black snakes are helpful reptiles, and they are friends to farmers. Do not kill them next time you find them in your farm. It is worth having them around.
Black Snakes are Good Groundkeepers.
Snakes usually explore in the garden during the night when no one is seeing them.
In the process of movement, they spread their guano in the field. Guano is a unique substance with many uses to the soil.
For example, guano is useful in improving drainage, acts as a soil conditioner, and can help to control nematodes.
Guano acts as manure and rich in nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, which are essential nutrients needed by crops in high amounts.
It recycles organic products, thus strengthening the plants. Vigorous plants exist in gardens that are pleasant to snakes.
Feeding on Other Poisonous Snakes
Black snake species can kill and feed on other snakes that produce venom. Venom is safe when the rat snakes ingest them.
By doing so, they help to keep away poisonous snakes like copperheads from the farm. Venomous snakes are dangerous, and they can bite people working in the garden and cause serious injuries.
Rat snakes, on the other hand, can be food to animals like owls, foxes, and hawks, especially when young.
Should You Kill Black Snakes?
Black snakes are harmless. Wildlife operators strictly warn people from killing snakes because such a person exposes him/herself to snake bite risks.
Whether it is legal or illegal to kill snakes in your nation.
Don’t send yourself to doing the task. Black snakes are good snakes. They are only in your garden to eat lizards, moles, rodents, and other small mammals. Such pests destroy the plants and can cause destructive diseases to the crops.
Despite reducing the pest population, black snakes contribute to other vital factors in the garden.
Getting to understand the multiple roles benefits of black snakes, you will not dare to kill them at any circumstance.
They are docile, loving, and beautiful reptiles. People keep them as pets for companionship, social activities, and to reduce stress. It is clear evidence of how good black snakes can be when around. So, never attempt to kill them. If you still fear having the snake, there are the best ways to remove them from your farm.
What Do Black Snake Eggs Look Like?
There are over 20 families of snakes with thousands of species throughout the world differing in color, size, habitat, motion, reproduction, feeding, and hunting strategy. It is easy to differentiate between snake eggs from bird eggs and other oviparous animals.
Identifying snake eggs in your farm can be a reasonable assumption that they belong to a black snake. It is because rat snakes have a habit of visiting gardens looking for food.
Female black snakes can lay more than 20 eggs, and you can find eggs in the manure or rotting vegetations which serve as natural incubators. Between May and June, it is the best period to locate the eggs on your farm.
So, what do black snake eggs look like? Various ways can help to identify the black snake eggs.
Check out the shape, appearance, number, arrangement, location, and hardness of the eggs. The females usually leave the eggs after laying, which hatches after a few months.
Texture: Snake eggs are soft and give a leathery texture when you touch them, unlike hard bird eggs. Handling the eggs with your bare hands is safe. Touching does not affect the eggs negatively; they will still hatch during the appropriate time.
Shape and Appearance: Black snake eggs can be white, beige or off white. Typically, the eggs are elliptical, but eggs from African and Asian rat snakes appear bumpy.
Number and Arrangement: Rat snakes lay about two clutches of eggs when the conditions are conducive, but they typically lay a single clutch. One clutch can contain 5-20 eggs or even more. In contrary, birds lay a few eggs. Snakes eggs appear in cluster form and have a sticky material holding them together. You use force to separate the eggs.
Location: Rat snakes abandon their eggs in manures, or rotting vegetations in the farm. Other snakes as well lay eggs in dark places like underground and under stumps, they consider the areas to be safe. It is different from birds who place their eggs on trees.
Size: The size of the eggs differs depending on the size of the snake. Black snakes can lay eggs up to 1-2 inches, depending on the body size.
If you find snake eggs, return them in the ground or place them in a container following the same position you find them.
How Do You Get Rid of Black Snakes?
If you don’t feel comfortable to keep black snakes in your garden or farm, this article will provide a variety of practical ways to keep them away safely. Don’t let the fear of snakes ruin your participation and happy days in your garden. It is simple to control their presence on the farm.
Control Pest Population in your Garden and Farm
Black snakes will visit your farm when they notice pests’ availability, like rodents, moles, lizards, etc.
If you don’t need to see them around, form a habit of reducing the population of the target pests.
Mice, rats, and rodents can be kept away by the help of eradication rodent bait. Keep around 2-3 baits along the fence rows where rats and mice are most likely to move. Ensure you distribute the eradications thoroughly in the farm. Check occasionally to see any rodent activity.
Use of broad-spectrum insecticide, such as Reclaim IT have a long-term effect.
It can last for up to 90 days with reliable results towards eradicating plentiful insects that can be present on the farm. During the preparation, dilute the Reclaim IT in water at a 1 ounce per gallon ratio suitable for 1000 sq. Feet.
Use a hand or hose-end sprayer to apply the solution to the whole garden. You can spray the liquid in the homestead to remove any existing food source to rat snakes.
Use of Snake Out Repellant
After getting rid of any food source likely to attract the black snake to your garden, make sure to use snake repellants. Repellants are non-toxic to the crops and yourself. There are many repellants available in either liquid or granular form. An excellent example of a snake repellant is snake out, cinnamon and clove oil scent etc.
Snake out has a chemical capable of causing an odor smell, which irritates the snake, forcing them to leave the farm freely. Apply the repellant in any hole and cracks present in the garden and farm.
Mexican marigolds, garlic, lemongrass, and others have a pungent smell that irritates the snakes. Planting such plants in the field will still be useful. They have an added advantage because they can keep mosquitoes away from the garden.
Keep the Grass Short
Moist grasses are prone to black snakes, and the rat loves cool places. Clearing the vegetation in such areas will help to send black snakes away. If you leave the plant to grow tall, the snake can hide in them.
Anyone can unknowingly step on the snake that may be hiding in tall grasses and can bite the person. It is imperative to cut the greens and keep them short always.
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Trim the Branches from the Nearby Trees
Black snakes can climb to trees where they feed on birds and bird eggs. It is good practice to trim the branches to discourage the birds from building their nests.
There will be no food source for the snake. Also, rat snakes enjoy staying on clustered trees. If there are no branches, the snake will not climb. Black snakes are natural tree climbers.
Call an Expert to Remove Black Snakes from your Garden
Rat snakes are dangerous when they get angry. In case you try to kill them, they can quickly attack you.
Do not try to kill any black snake yourself, contact a professional to perform the job.
Experts are in an excellent position to make the killing. The snakes come to the garden to hibernate or hide and later leave the place. Don’t treat them harshly, and they don’t have any ill will.
But if they scare you, then feel free to inform a professional. The best precaution is to get rid of snakes from your farm.
Close Every Opening You Identify in the Garden
Most of black snakes cannot burrow, and they will inhabit any openings available in the farm.
Closing such potholes helps to keep the snakes away. Stuf-fit copper mesh or caulk are suitable materials for sealing.
The holes can store rainwater, thus providing cold and moist places for rat snakes. Such sites will attract snakes to dwell. Check out any holes retaining water after rain and fill them to avoid snakes from seeking shelter in your farm.
Use sharp materials such as mashed pine cones, rick chips or thick chopped woods in mulching the field. Snakes cannot move on rough and sharp surfaces; they hate such a texture. It will help keep them away. Apart from removing snakes from your garden, mulching is useful in many ways to the crops.
Know Where the Snake Hide in the Garden
Black snakes prefer places with low temperatures such as in streams, moist and tall grasses, rivers, holes retaining water, etc. Having that information will guide you to know the specific places to look for rat snakes and be ready for them.
Regular inspection throughout the garden and farm is necessary to check for the existence of any snakes, holes, cracks, or pools. Respond appropriately to any adjustment the farm needs. Do not panic when you come across a black snake or the eggs around your garden.
Snakes are uncommon in the gardens. The majority of them want to be alone as they are only seeking a place to reside. Use the above measure to remove the snake from the surroundings if you don’t want to keep them. They are the same methods an expert would use.
Black snakes can indeed be ideal pest controller in your garden. Try to appreciate and cherish them. They are outstanding in getting rid of large amounts of rodents and irrelevant creatures from your plants. Black snakes are shy, and they usually avoid confrontation.
Be sure to treat them in a friendly manner always. When you encounter a rat snake in your garden, it is an indication that there is food inform of moles, rodents, lizards, among others.
Without the snakes, the number of preys will rapidly increase, creating a significant problem for farmers, in that they will experience enormous losses.
Pests can be that harmful, and it is difficult to fight them if you don’t control them properly. Black snakes will only bite when you try to kill them. Leave them alone to realize their potent benefits. Many people kill rat snakes because they are not aware of what they can do.
I hope the relevance of black snakes in your garden and farm is clear. Don’t be among those people who run to kill the snakes upon encountering them.
Ensure you acknowledge the snake you come across, whether it is a black rat or any other species.
There are many types of snakes in the world, and it is difficult to differentiate them if you don’t have precise information at hand. It is easy to recognize a black rat snake.