Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Dos and Don'ts of Rattlesnake Relocation

Pumpkin tried to attack a rattlesnake last night. Grammy heard him barking frantically then observed him trying to bite a small animal. She promptly pulled Pumpkin off his prey, an adolescent rattlesnake. The snake was pissed off. We watched him carefully as he rattled his tail next to Pumpkin's dog house. There were two sensible options. 1. Kill him. 2. Leave him alone. Kill him was out. We also didn't want to leave him in Pumpkin's enclosure because we knew Pumpkin would be all over him in the morning.

Luckily, we had been drinking wine, which helped us come up with a more creative plan. This is what I learned from my experience last night.

DON'T wear old, baggy jeans for snake removal when your bum could potentially be in all the photographs.

DO put on bee gloves and boots for a false sense of security.
DON'T assume you can lightly nudge a snake and it will crawl into a recycling bin. The snake will quickly crawl under the bin toward your feet.

DO sneak up behind the snake and flick it into the recycling bin.

DON'T drop the bin as you attempt to stand it up. It will make everyone watching you jumpy.

DO make sure your toddler has a healthy fear of rattlesnakes (but don't freak him out too much, snakes are cool).

DO drag the recycling bin as far away as possible from your house.

DON'T do it when the neighbors are watching.

DO let the neighbors know that you have a squirrel in the recycling bin if anyone asks.

DO relax and enjoy another glass of wine knowing that you worked hard to relocate a snake, and put yourself in danger, but the snake will likely be back in the dog's enclosure by morning.


  1. The only option for me is KILL! I have such a fear of snakes. Even looking at you rounding this one up gave me the shivers. Of course this really isn't an issue at my house because I have "No Snakes Allowed" signs all over the Well in my mind that works!Personally I don't think there is enough wine in the world for me to what you did, but I enjoyed reading about how creative you were.

  2. Good job, Jess! You guys are so progressive - the man in the kitchen baking pies while the wife is out catching deadly snakes!

  3. Congrats for not killing the snake! I admire your courage and your great sense of humor in writing this blog. It's very entertaining and I love to read that not everyone kills snakes.

    Now I'm wondering if the snake did come back the next morning....???

  4. Ah-Ha! My wife has been making fun of me for years, insisting that I was the only one that relocates venomous snakes!

    I applaud you, and the wine.

  5. I loved your tale. Glad to know I'm not the only kook around who rescues critters no one else likes :)

  6. Lauged so hard I nearly spewed coffee on the monitor. Kudos to you for relocating a snake...not everyone in the world sees the beauty and function they serve. I'd just like to remind everyone who doesn't think this was a great idea that rattlers eat all kinds of nasty vermin. Amen.

  7. I regret to say that I would have killed it. Snakes bother me. But kudos to you for relocating it.

  8. Thanks for your comments. I'm glad not all of you think I was totally nuts. :) We actually haven't seen the snake again. Last year we moved a baby rattlesnake from under our eggplant to the dry river in the next property. It made it back twice.

  9. Nicely done!

    All reptiles are having a hard time so it's nice that y'all saved and relocated it!

    PeTA: Cruel to Children
    My Response to the PeTA

  10. Fair play to you!

    In Ireland, we don't have to consider snakes - certainly since, as legend has it, St. Patrick banished them during the 5th Century!

    Love your blog and all the summery photos...