Keep Away (snakes)

By Lindsey Tripp - Macaroni Kid Content Contributor May 23, 2018

Chances are if you get on your social media right now, you will have at least one friend talking about a snake encounter recently.  It is that time of year, snakes are out everywhere.  Especially right now because it has been dry and they are ready to hunt. I’m just like everyone else out there, I hate being surprised by snakes.  Unfortunately, that did not stop a snake from slithering on my patio this morning.  This thing was inches away from my son’s toy car and my dog was outside with me.   I’m pretty sure I discovered my inner Wonder Woman.  I immediately went into superhero mode.  

Hours after killing the snake, I’m still looking all around me making sure I do not find another little surprise.  That is why I have done a little research about snakes and how to keep them away.  Let me tell you a little about what I have found.

For years, we have all been taught to put out mothballs to deter snakes from coming around.  Though it does work, it is not safe for our children and/or pets.  Instead of throwing out mothballs you can try plants.  Yes, I said plants.  Plants with strong smells tend to deter snakes.  I have heard this before and research says the same thing.  Try plants like Marigolds, LemonGrass, Sarpagandha, Garlic, Tulbaghia Violacea, Lavender, and Pink Agapanthus.  Some of these plants are known to keep away mosquitos too.  So you can get the best of both worlds. 

Snakes commonly found in our area are Water Moccasins (CottonMouth), Banded Water Snakes, Brown Snakes, Canebrake Rattlesnakes, Garter Snakes, Copperhead, Diamondback Water Snakes, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, Glossy and Graham’s Crayfish Snakes, Mississippi Green Water Snakes, Mud Snakes, Racers, Red-bellied Snakes, Rough Green Snakes, Speckled Kingsnakes, Western Rat Snakes, Western Ribbon Snakes, and Yellow Bellied Water Snakes.  Three of the listed snakes in this area are venomous: Canebrake Rattlesnake, Copperhead, and Water Moccasin.  

I hope no one would ever get bit by a snake but if so, here are some tips for you as well.  According to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, you should remain calm (yeah, like that’s going to happen).  Snake bites are rarely fatal so keep that in mind and try to stay calm. Obviously, you would seek medical attention immediately.  Keep the bitten body part immobilized.  Do not try to move it around too much and take off any jewelry or clothing that would restrict your swelling.  And don’t believe every movie you do not want to put a tourniquet or get the venom out.  Leave that to the professionals.  If possible, kill the snake and bring it with you to the hospital so they can identify the snake.  When I say bring it with you, do not pick up the snake and put it in your car.  Get a tupperware and some tongs, pick the snake up and place it in the tupperware.  Avoid making contact with the snake. I’m sure in a moment of urgency you are going to be running around crazy (or at least I would) but please try to keep all parties calm.  

Well I don’t know about you guys but my Memorial Day weekend will be filled with lots of strong smelling plants.