Ask a Question forum: Compost and snakes

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serendipitie0
Mar 7, 2017 7:47 PM CST
I love to garden, and this year I would love to start composting as well. I want to use a tumbler for my compost so as to keep it off the ground and use the tea as well. but I just read on another site that compost attracts snakes!! I am so so terrified of snakes, has anyone had any problems of this nature? Is there a way to keep the snakes away??? Please help
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 7, 2017 8:03 PM CST
Compost sometimes attracts mice or rats if there is a lot of vegetable scraps in your compost and it's not kept aerated and decomposing. That is what would attract the snakes, because snakes eat rodents. Using a tumbler would prevent both of those problems. Really, even in a regular basket or heap, if you keep your compost turned, and working all the time it shouldn't be a problem.

Here in Florida, it's a big benefit to have a population of snakes living in your garden, just to keep the rodent population in check. The balance of nature, right? I must admit that the snakes in my garden are not of the poisonous variety, and they're very timid. Birds at my bird feeders spread around a lot of seeds that I know attract the rats and mice, but I never have a problem with them because I have a family of black snakes that keeps them in check. Wouldn't want one as a pet, but I like having the snakes around. If I had any venomous ones, I might think differently but I've never seen any in 15 years of living here.
Elaine

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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Mar 7, 2017 8:24 PM CST
I've composted for decades and never found one. No more risk of it than just being in your garden anyway.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Mar 7, 2017 8:30 PM CST
I use a tumbler, never got snakes on it.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Mar 7, 2017 8:32 PM CST
Composted for 15+ years and never had one or seen one, results may vary. Smiling
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Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
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McCannon
Mar 7, 2017 8:53 PM CST
We have a large enclosed compost bin. The only creatures I've ever seen in there we raccoons. We have a few garter snakes here, but we only find them in the firewood ricks.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Mar 7, 2017 10:20 PM CST
Oh, I found my cat sleeping in the compost in the sun, once...
All the snakes I can remember in my yard (26 years) =
3 or 4 just in lawn- black
3-4 in garden beds- garter
several baby garters in stacked clay pots
2 ringneck- wood chip pile- those are sweet little tame ones
1 in large shrub- black
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Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jun 29, 2017 1:22 AM CST
I once turned my compost pile and a dozen snakes poured out. But they were garter snakes. They are utterly harmless to humans, eat slugs and snails, and are WAY more afraid of you than you should be of them.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jun 29, 2017 1:56 AM CST
Address your fear of snakes. That's the underlying problem, not the fact that composting attracts them.
Keep going!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Jun 29, 2017 4:58 AM CST
Yardenman said:I once turned my compost pile and a dozen snakes poured out. But they were garter snakes. They are utterly harmless to humans, eat slugs and snails, and are WAY more afraid of you than you should be of them.


I'm not overly afraid of snakes, but.. horrors!
(again, have turned compost a zillion times and never had a one)

..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jun 29, 2017 6:13 AM CST
sallyg said:

I'm not overly afraid of snakes, but.. horrors!
(again, have turned compost a zillion times and never had a one)



If you aren't "overly afraid of snakes" then what is the "horror"? Can't help unless I know what the problem really is.

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jun 29, 2017 6:28 AM CST
It's kind of creepy to see an animal with no legs moving so efficiently, but snakes are good guys. Leave them to their jobs.
Porkpal
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jun 29, 2017 6:40 AM CST
porkpal said:It's kind of creepy to see an animal with no legs moving so efficiently, but snakes are good guys. Leave them to their jobs.

I admire the way they move. And I once sat at the edge of my pond to watch a medium sized snake slowly swallow a complaining frog backwards. It was a real struggle.

I'm not really sure how to judge the intelligence of snakes, but that might have been a very inept one. LOL!

Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 29, 2017 8:58 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-06-29/stone/9dee60

Cats, yes.
Snakes, no.

I see snakes out in the garden, examining vole tunnels...
Those voles are some of the worst garden pests.... Anybody that wants to help deal with those evil things... Is more than welcome in the garden.

I even had to stop using bird netting, the snakes kept getting hung up in it... And...its a lot of work cutting the netting enough to liberate the garden help.

http://gardens-in-the-sand.blo...
[Last edited by stone - Jun 29, 2017 9:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 29, 2017 1:54 PM CST
We are in serious need of some gopher hunting snakes around here. Anyone have a few spares?
Porkpal
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
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katesflowers
Jun 29, 2017 2:29 PM CST
I have a large compost. We turn it with the front-loader. I have seen ground hogs, mice, rats, turkey vultures, rabbits, muskrats and skunks, but have never seen a snake in it. I don't care who enjoys it, but I am careful when I approach. Oh, my compost is 1/4 mile from my house. I wouldn't want all that traffic near the house !
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Name: Lauri
N Central Wash. - the dry side (Zone 5b)
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lauribob
Jun 29, 2017 5:00 PM CST
I have snakes - garter snakes and bull snakes. They startle me in the garden all the time, but I have to say, I've never ran across one in the compost pile.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 29, 2017 5:48 PM CST
serendipitie0,
If you would complete your profile page we could research to see what types of snakes live in your area. Many, if not most, snakes are harmless and are good-deed-doers in our gardens.

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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
Jun 29, 2017 9:09 PM CST

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OP only posted once, on March 7, 3.5 months ago, and never returned.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Jun 30, 2017 5:45 AM CST
Yardenman said:I once turned my compost pile and a dozen snakes poured out. But they were garter snakes. They are utterly harmless to humans, eat slugs and snails, and are WAY more afraid of you than you should be of them.


I don't need any help, thanks, Yardenman, I am quite snake=tolerant and informed. Just that the sight of "a dozen snakes poured out" would make me take a few steps back Big Grin

..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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