Soil and Compost forum: Snake in Compost Pile

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jul 16, 2016 8:15 PM CST
What do I do to make it go away? So far I have seen one. I don't know how many there are. It looks like about 2-3 ft long and half inch wide.
Name: Sean B
Riverhead, NY (Zone 7a)
Plays in the sandbox Xeriscape Herbs The WITWIT Badge Composter Garden Photography
Jul 16, 2016 8:25 PM CST
In PA, any snake you are likely to find is harmless. If in doubt, identify it first. But really, if it's not rattling and if it doesn't have a copper head, you're just fine. Grab it by its neck and relocate it. It's likely a garter snake. Water snakes and milk snakes are also not uncommon in your area. All are harmless and will really do a garden good. Snakes can help control the small pests that attack our growing friends. Big deep breath, snatch, and relocate. Nothing too it. Plus, you'll have a nice story to share with the ladies. Smiling
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jul 16, 2016 8:36 PM CST
Thanks. Don't think I want to touch it. If it is harmless, I will leave it alone. It is brown and has a round head. It does not look like a rattlesnake.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Jul 16, 2016 9:14 PM CST
Non venomous snakes "generally" don't have round heads. Brown with round head sounds like it could potentially be a Copperhead. Here is a PDF of the three poisonous snake found in PA.
and another

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Jul 17, 2016 6:36 AM CST
I don't think it is a good idea to pick up any snake you are not really familiar with. The description of a "round" head is way too vague to rely on. I would think the snake would leave on its own, the question is what is in the compost pile that attracts the snake. I have run two water moccasins out of my daylilies this month, but I have never found any snakes in any of the many compost piles I have had over the years, knock on wood. Crossing Fingers!
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jul 17, 2016 7:23 PM CST
Jay, I am not sure what it is but I don't dare to check it out. I just hope that it will go away now that I disturb its space a bit.

Larry, my husband said that there may be rodents there that attract the snakes. I have not seen any mice running around but I don't check in the compost pile often. I just pile green stuffs on the pile. I too hope the snake will leave on its own too.
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Jul 22, 2016 2:51 AM CST
Snakes are deaf. Bump, knock on compost to encourage snake to hide out while you are visiting.
free for them in need:
Name: Connie White
Athens tn.
Im no quitter.. I will garden in TN
Aug 31, 2016 5:51 PM CST
I have snakes too what i do is drench the pile with water good they tend to leave while im there
Respect mother Earth and connect with her .. She will return the favor.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Aug 31, 2016 6:50 PM CST
Thank you, Connie. But the snake had since left my pile after inadvertently disturbed its space when I discovered it.

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