A snake had the audacity to slither up one of the posts on our porch and try to poach the baby martins in the inside top edge of our porch!!! I heard the parents going bonkers outside, and was asking my mom “what are they doing? I’ve never heard them get all excited at night like that”.
So, I go out on the porch and some huge ugly snake is JUuuuust coiling it’s nasty self around the nest. I’d left the drill on the porch from when I’d waxed my car, so I picked it up, swung the plug in end of it mid body of the snake WHAP!!! and it instantly dropped to the porch and then slithered off into the grass.
Oh UGGGGGGGHHHH, what horrible creepy creatures!!! We took bug spray and went around all the corners and edges of the porch, and the bottoms of the two posts, and then we put corn oil on the posts hoping it wouldn’t be able to slither up if it came back (okay, don’t laugh here, we’re ex Alaskans, there Are no snakes in Alaska).
Okay, I have never considered myself a girly girl (except where spiders and snakes are concerned), but this just really creeped me out.
So, how DOES one properly repel snakes?? I’ll wait until you all recover from laughing yourselves sick over the corn oil thing
Well, this one had a light colored underbelly, and the top looked sort of mottled to me. Brownish and maybe a little light reddish brown.
I don’t have any clue, but it didn’t look like one I’d seen on the road much earlier. That one looked (at first), like someone had left a belt laying in the road. IIRC it was just black on top. And seemed to be awfullly long.
The one trying to get “MY” baby birds, wasn’t as large as the black one, and did seem multi colored. Though what colors other than brownish, I can’t really say, it happened pretty fast, and I was all unnerved too.
The purple martin is a bird- a very desirable bird to have around, here in Texas, as they eat a lot of mosquitoes.
I’ve seen a few arboreal snakes in my in-laws’ neighborhood. In fact, there was one (I called him Earl) that I used to see slithering around the rain gutters of their house. I’m not sure what kind they were, though from what I’ve read, they were probably corn snakes or rat snakes.
Well, I’m not 100% sure that they ARE Martins. They dont’ look like the Purple Martins in our bird book, and they don’t look entirely like the 'house Martins that our neighbor told us they were.
I wish I could move them, I think that would really freak the parents out though, they already haven’t stayed in the porch at night since the snake incident. Well, they’re almost ready to fly, another 4 or 5 days I think, one has already made it out of the nest, just three to go.
We’re boarding up that area after they leave. They’re adorable, and charming to watch, but BOY are they messy. We’re going to put up Martin houses out in the yard instead.
You don’t keep prey (like, say, baby birds) on your porch. And I’ll laugh about the corn oil thing as soon as I quit being horrified over the bug spray part (I hope the birds don’t feed their babies too many contaminated bugs).
Okay, okay. I’m sorry about the tone, but all snakes are our friends, really. Even rattlesnakes, which I can certainly see trying to keep away from one’s immediate vicinity, kill a whole lot of nasty, flea-and-tick-and-virus-carrying rodent pests. Here in New Mexico, where we have Hantavirus and bubonic plague, both carried by rodents, I’m a lot more afraid of mice, rats, and chipmunks, cute though they may be, than I am of any snake. Very few snakes are poisonous, and even most of those that are would rather run than fight. They do, unfortunately, eat birds and eggs when they get the chance.
To keep snakes away from the house proper, the best thing you can do is eliminate anything that attracts their prey. Move bird feeders away from porches, and the idea of putting up a marten house is a really good one. If you’re very worried about snakes climbing up, you can put feeders and houses up on smooth metal poles, which are harder for them to get a purchase on.
Well, we actually weren’t planning on letting them nest again, we were just getting ready to tear it down after they raised their first brood, and we discovered that they’d laid MORE eggs!!!
And it’s okay, you don’t seem to have a tone. As to the bug spray, I only sprayed it on the porch floor near the posts. NOT up high where the bugs fly. Any bugs getting into it will die won’t they? Damn, all these bugs and critters, this is pretty new.
Give me a nice safe moose or grixzly!!!
At any rate, thanks for the advice. Do you know if people put “collars” on their martin houses?
My in-laws live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory. I’ll ask my mother-in-law what she does for her feeders and birdhouses. In the meantime, I found this page about guarding birdhouses from predators. They suggest using petroleum jelly or cayenne pepper on the pole to keep snakes off.