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I was cleaning out my bug zapper today, as it had quite a kill count last season. The bug zapper is a home & garden necessity that my wife, for some odd reason I cannot comprehend, absolutely despises. She claims it is unsightly, unsanitary, and redneck. Based on these unfounded accusations, she forced me to mount my prized possession on the backside of the deck so that it is out view. But at least during the evenings I can still enjoy the quiet ambiance of the periodic arcing caused by wayward insects that make conductive paths across a 5,600 Voltage potential distributed across two interposing grids of electrodes.

The back of our house is a wooded lot, full of critters big and small, one of which had a bird's eye view of me while I cleaned the zapper. It gave me quite a start when I saw him. I don't think it's venomous, so I got a long branch and prodded him until he came down and slithered off into the woods.

I think it might be a rat snake. Anyone with knowledge able to confirm?

Snake 1.jpg
Snake 2.jpg Snake 3.jpg
 

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I was going to say that the only good snake is a dead snake, but I apologize.

There are some absolutely essential snakes. When we lived out in West Texas, even the rattlesnakes were needed. We had huge nests of field rats. The rattlers could clean them out in a week.

Those rats carry hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, and a host of other pestilences that make COVID-19 look like a birthday party. Evidently they are a tasty delicacy to rattlesnakes.
 

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Rat snakes are wonderful to have in your yard, would love a few to make home on our front porch to keep people away.
@PEF; a bug zapper is not redneck imuho.

If you wish to go redneck on the bugs I’d suggest a lighter and can of hair spray. If you can’t find a lighter ask your redneck neighbor that has the cigarette hanging out of the side of her mouth. No need to ask me how I know.

Give that snake a name, and if you want to see redneck in action you’ll need to visit somewhere like Benson, NC on mule day or the Collard festival in Aynor, SC. Rednecks are a proud group, vital to survival in the worse times.

Respect the Redneck in your life we save lives 👍🏻
 

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Southern Black racer, especially if it departs at high speed. I have them here all the time. I usually spot them out in the yard with their heads raised high above the grass. Very long, skinny, black, and fast! Harmless though.

OIP (8).jpg OIP (10).jpg
 

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Black snakes (and Rat snakes) are not poisonous and they are great rodent killers! I give them a pass for because when they are around you usually wont have poisonous snakes around! They love to nest in pine straw that people use in their flower beds. A friend of mine had one as pet for a couple of years. It did bite me once and I had to get a tetanus shot. Good luck!
 

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My wife doesn't do snakes - according to her, it's a dead snake.
 

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We have black snakes here in florida and I don't bother them.

Black snakes are good snakes, they won't hurt you, just let them be or gather them up in a box and put them else where, but don't kill them. They eat mice and and even other snakes like rattle snakes. If you're afraid of them, call the animal control. Sure they will pick them up or any animal lover.
 
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I have a black snake that has been living in and about my outbuildings for a couple of years ( I think ). It startles half the life out of me occasionally, but I am glad to have it around. Haven't seen any signs of mice out there since the snake took up residence.
 
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Could it be a....


... snake in the grass?





Couldn't resist. Somebody had to do it.
 

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Southern Black racer, especially if it departs at high speed. I have them here all the time. I usually spot them out in the yard with their heads raised high above the grass. Very long, skinny, black, and fast! Harmless though.

View attachment 327816 View attachment 327818

I was thinking the same, a racer. Incredibly quick buggers. Once upon a time, and with the aid of a rake, I threw one out my barn door 6 times in about 15 seconds. I’m not afraid of snakes but that was a long 15 seconds.
 

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Yep, I gave him a pass. I won't bother non-venomous snakes near my house.

It looked a lot bigger than it actually was when I first saw it, only a few feet away as I was cleaning the zapper.

Good to know he's on rodent patrol.
 

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Looks like a rat snake. Harmless. It looks similar to the two I found in my barn yesterday. One of them was getting ready to shed its skin, as can be observed by the clouded up eye lenses. They are more prone to bite in this condition because they can’t see and are vulnerable.
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I do what I can to avoid killing spiders and snakes because I consider them efficient allies in my war on bugs and vermin.

Rat snake = fewer rats.
And bats, please add bats to your list. Yes, they are a reservoir for corona viruses - so don't forget the PPE (think asbestos or mold cleanup) if you have to give them a social distancing lesson and deal with the mess left behind.

Bats prey on mosquitoes and I hate mosquitoes more than the devil herself.
 

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Funny you should mention bats.

Several years at our little cabin in the boonies, I woke one morning to see a bat hanging on the wall above the fireplace. It was spring, so it was probably in migration and came in when I had the door open the previous night while the wife and I were enjoying the view from the porch.

How to get it out, though...

I opened the door, then got a broom and waved it around to get it airborne.

It worked!

She flew straight over and grabbed onto my t-shirt at the left shoulder and clung on.

So, I walked out onto the porch, grabbed her by the tail and gently peeled her off, let her go and watched her fly off into the distance.

Yep. Bats are also a valuable ally.

And that was the second time I got a bat safely out of a cabin.
 
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