Our fear of snakes is biblical, almost primal. A large part of this fear is really the fear of the unknown. We don’t know if that slimy (a myth), slithery critter is poisonous. Is it going to attack us? Why is it even in my yard?
The fact is that most snakes that you will encounter are NOT poisonous, and are actually a beneficial part of your homestead eco-system. They are soldiers in your army in the fight against insects and those pesky rodents that dig holes in our garden or carry diseases.
Still it makes sense to treat all snakes with caution. Just because that are helpful, does not mean they want to be held or petted. So with that in mind it’s a pretty good idea to know what the potentially dangerous snakes look like, how to avoid them, and most important how to keep them away from our kids, rabbits, and chickens. Just remember most snakes are harmless.
To put this perspective, there are over 150 species of snakes in North America, and only 20 of them are poisonous.
Here is a great guide to the snakes (includes some great pictures) that you might encounter on your homestead. Next time you see a snake, don’t kill it. Just be aware of it. Unless it is one of those nasty poisonous snakes.