z-man

Snake ID?

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105 posts in this topic

15 hours ago, jason colby said:

100% harmless and very cute/beneficial. A milk snake would never "attack" anyone.

They are not venomous and if they did bite it would only be for show so it could try to get away from you.

I can attest that the bite hardly hurts as I've been bitten by a few. They are mostly docile when handled, even more so than a garter snake.

"Milk Skanks", on the other hand.....

+1.  Milks are very cool.

 

garter snakes really arent particularly docile, as snakes go.  Not that they are harmful, but they are as often hyper and flighty than not.

 

ringneck, redbelly, green, dekays, worm, earth... DOCILE!  Milk too, I'd agree.  

 

Avoid milk skanks though.  Yes!

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14 hours ago, z-man said:

Thanks. My basement is infested with mice this year. I have all types of traps set up. The sticky is the only thing that will catch the tiny mice. 

 

You should find some milk snakes.  They'll eat hell out of mice.  

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10 hours ago, z-man said:

How about this snake that was in one of my bushes last summer. It was 3-4’ long. Black Racer?

 

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Where the hell is that???

It "could be" a black racer (and we prefer the term "African American Racer") BUT it looks like, from the picture, a "Northern Kingsnake".

A king would be very rare in Massachusetts but not 100% out of the question. They are common from NJ on south.

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I hate the bait.  The problem is that it is indiscriminate in what it kills.  Mice eat it, go outside and get eaten by something else.  Birds of prey are often killed by secondary poisoning from rodent poison.   The other factor is that mice will eat it and then die someplace you cant get at them, like in a wall or crawl space.   Nothing stinks like a rotting mouse.   Go with the traps, at least you will know what your killing.

 

I have traps set in my garage and shed year round.

Edited by Jeff270

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31 mins ago, Tfole said:

Black Racer

I agree "60-70 %". The belly scales say "racer" but the other 30-40% is that the face looks a lot like a king and also the whole thing looks "too robust" for a racer which are usually thinner profile, especially around the face. I sent the pic to a professional I know. I will report back when he makes the call. Without a physical inspection, it can sometimes be difficult as some species share similar characteristics that can be diminished or enhanced by camera  angles. Even an expert can be fooled.

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5 hours ago, rst3 said:

I'm with ya. We do battle with em in our Bakery.

 

Cpl thoughts/steps/suggestions

1) ID then seal any entranceway from outside into residence. If it's a >quarter inch wide, mice can get through it. They only need to fit their skull through (which is unbending); the rest of the body will contort to ridiculous proportion

 

2) ID and seal all burrow entrances. Use the quarter inch rule. Btw, we cemented a stretch closed in our bakery basement. They chewed right through the cement:

20211129_080459.jpg.aa742bf4caf76ec1606835de5cad51b0.jpg

 

Steel "chore boy" is a fairly effective plug. There are also rolls of specific chore-like products on the market that mice won't chew through because the spikey steel wire pokes their sensitive nose

 

3) Sticky traps are typically effective on young juvenile mice. They older ones grow guard hairs(on feet?) that help them to avoid stickys. Moreover, mice learn to avoid stickys by building a mental map. Had a pest control guy tell me this: if you got used to a Ditch being right there, but somebody moved it 10ft closer in the dark? You'd fall it. -->You can adjust the position of the sticky (even by just a foot) to sometimes fool the wiser ones.

 

4) Baits

The best bait I've seen and used *by far* is FirstStrike.

 

 

It's a very palatable softbait in 10g packs. If you have pets or kids, then you'll need to apply the baits inside a baitstation. No kids, no pets? Can be more aggressive by just placing open baits along rodent runways and near burrow entrances.

 

FirstStrike is not available to the public via purchase at the Depot or Lowes or whatever. You absolutely must order it online. I got a 4lb bag of umpteen zillion softbaits on the "Bay" for 55bucks. You'll be unlikely to find smaller quantities for sale, because these vendors are reselling their original 16lb (4x4lbbags) purchases direct from manufacturer or major pest control sellers (*eg: DIY pest control)

 

Go nuclear. Try FirstStrike.

And don't half ass the # packets

(Or whatever method you use: ++ numbers of mice requires ++++ numbers of traps)

Cut off their food supply first then give em a crapton of softbait. Bye bye mouseys

 

5) lastly, always use gloves when deploying any type of trap/sticky/or bait. Mouse olfactory system is unbelievable and can smell sketchy humans on anything you touch

I got a Rat Zapper over the summer to deal with red squirrels that moved into my shed. It worked great for that and now is working good for mice too. It usually gets one mouse every night. 
I should get a few more. 
 

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2 hours ago, jason colby said:

Where the hell is that???

It "could be" a black racer (and we prefer the term "African American Racer") BUT it looks like, from the picture, a "Northern Kingsnake".

A king would be very rare in Massachusetts but not 100% out of the question. They are common from NJ on south.

That's a black racer. The big eyes and glossy smooth scales distinguish it from the black rat snake which our only other all black snake.

 

Black rats are rare in Ma, only found in small pockets along the border with CT. 

 

King snakes are not found in Ma at all.

 

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7 hours ago, Jeff270 said:

I hate the bait.  The problem is that it is indiscriminate in what it kills.  Mice eat it, go outside and get eaten by something else.  Birds of prey are often killed by secondary poisoning from rodent poison.   The other factor is that mice will eat it and then die someplace you cant get at them, like in a wall or crawl space.   Nothing stinks like a rotting mouse.   Go with the traps, at least you will know what your killing.

 

I have traps set in my garage and shed year round.

If you're baiting outside like in a shed, sure, indiscriminate poisoning is a concern. But I don't worry about mice leaving a warm n cozy basement filled with food when baiting inside. And of all the mice I've offed with bait, only a handful of times did I notice a little funk for a day or two in the cellar. Then the bastard dries out and mummifies. 

 

Rats are a different story. Whole lot of disgusting meat there.

 

For me, I'd use traps and fart around as Mr Nice Guy if there were only a handful in my basement at home. No big deal. But a handful quickly becomes a moderate to hvy infestation in a food establishment, with unlimited food, shelter, and total protection from predators. I go bait every time at work to get a quick handle on these pests.

 

Rather that.. than a colony blows up, chews through hot wires in the walls or floor then burns down the structure. Or chews holes through the floor in multiple areas and then mice are spotted by employees and customers during the day. Both of which happened in the last 6 months (daytime Jerry's poke around upstairs w/people working/custs eating..not burn down the whole place)

 

To each their own. 

 Bait & wait works for me. 

Edited by rst3

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6 hours ago, z-man said:

I got a Rat Zapper over the summer to deal with red squirrels that moved into my shed. It worked great for that and now is working good for mice too. It usually gets one mouse every night. 
I should get a few more. 
 

Electric chair is good.

 

Yeah you're probably better off getting a few more if you have an infestation. The bug and rat boys always seem to throw down a heavy assault once rodent numbers get up there.

 

There's also some interesting contraptions on YT with folks trying to build a better or more bizarre mouse trap. One was like this tilt-a-whirl blender of centrifugal death. Mice did not leave too many 5star reviews after a quick ride on the tilt a whirl o' death

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If you need to patch up cement that mice/rats have chewed through, mix up broken glass in the cement, they can't chew thru glass. Mice are having a good year because the acorn crop was huge. I've trapped maybe 20 in my wood shed so far, and have at least 4 traps that went missing. Snap traps work best. Just don't want them leaving ticks on the wood, as I store a couple days worth in the house and the cat is always over there smelling the mouse piss. Also went to clean out my bluebird box, 3 or 4 mice were in there all nice and cozy. I keep traps in my garage and both my sheds. Owls and hawks are having a good year too!

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