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How to Kill Snakes

I want to make it clear, up front, that I disagree with the killing of snakes. The problem is that people are terrible at correctly identifying snakes. People constantly butcher non-venomous snakes in the name of "safety". The truth is that 90% of snakebites occur when people attempt to kill or otherwise catch snakes. Just leave 'em alone! I know you and your granddaddy swear that you just saw a Copperhead, even though the truth is that it was a harmless water snake or rat snake. I get emails every day - thousands so far - with photos of terrible, dangerous, venomous snakes hell-bent on killing pets and children. "Look at this copperhead I just killed!". I HAVE NEVER ONCE, NOT ONCE, actually seen a photo of an actual venomous snake from one of you readers. People are always killing harmless snakes, which are good to have around, and claiming that they've killed a venomous snake. Ignorant, and frustrating. The answer to any snake sighting is to just walk away, and enjoy being a powerful but kind person, and let the snake live.

How To Kill Snakes - The first thing to mention when looking at the different ways available of killing snakes is that you need to be really careful if you want to kill a snake, as this will usually mean getting up close with the animal. Most snakes aren't really harmful to people, but if you do catch one of the venomous snakes, if you don't succeed in killing the snake it is likely to be angry and injured, and may strike out at anything around it. There are different methods that can be used to deal with the snakes, but as many snakes will be quite useful in dealing with other pest animals such as rats, so one question to ask is do you really want to kill the snake?

Lethal Traps

There are a variety of different traps that you can use to kill snakes, and while there are some traps that are designed to kill the snakes, you can also use a live catch trap and then kill the snake yourself. Some traps are designed to grip and crush around the body of the snake, but these are really ones that you should look to avoid, as they will not always be effective in killing the snake, and if you do find a snake injured in the trap, it is likely to try and bite any person or animal that comes near. With a live catch trap, you can then use options such as submerging the trap to drown the snake, or killing it while it is held in place by a glue trap.

Garden Implements

This is a very crude and rudimentary way of killing a snake, and frankly while in some cases it might be effective, it is certainly not humane and is also a very dangerous way of dealing with the animal. Some people when they spot a snake in their yard or garden will go to get a shovel or a pitchfork, and then use these implements to try to behead or chop the snake into pieces. There is a strong possibility for those who do choose to use this type of approach to dealing with a snake that you might not kill the snake with the first blow, and if this does happen there is a strong possibility that the snake will try to fight back, and this is how many of the snake bites that happen in the country every year occur.

Shooting A Snake

Shooting is an option that really should only be attempted if you are a particularly good shot with a rifle, and only when it is legal in your area to do so. Many areas will have strict restrictions about hunting animals, and certainly if you are in a urban or suburban areas, the use of firearms is likely to be prohibited as a method of dealing with pest animals. If you are shooting with a rifle, then the key is to put the bullet in the head of the snake, while some people will use a shotgun because of the number of smaller pellets used in the ammunition, which is usually more effective if you are shooting the snake at close quarters.

Why Do You Want To Kill The Snake?

Many people will have a fear or phobia of snakes, and will assume that every snake is a venomous killer that is out to attack children and pets, but in the majority of cases the snakes will be harmless to people and will often be in the area because they are killing rodents. Taking some time to identify the type of snakes that are likely to be present in your yard, and particularly the one that you are worried about, will help to reassure you that in most cases it will be perfectly harmless. Indeed, one of the best ways of keeping snakes away from your yard, garden and home is to ensure that you deal with any rodent problem quickly and effectively, as this is usually the reason why snakes are drawn to a particular area.

Trapping And Relocating The Snake

One of the best ways of dealing with a snake if you are still concerned about it is not to kill the snake, but actually to trap it and then relocate it to another area well away from domestic properties where it can be an issue. Glue traps are usually the most successful ways to do this, as they will have pads with strong adhesive that will hold the snake in place once the snake has slithered into the trap. As these traps usually come in a box form, it can be quite easy to move the trap without the risk of being attacked by the snake itself, and once you are ready to release it, all you need to do is to pour vegetable oil over the adhesive and the snake and it can go on its way.

Go back to the main Snake Removal page for more information about how to kill snakes. Is poison a good way to exterminate snake?
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