Yes, Linda, it sounds like our areas are very similar indeed. I agree
that we are fortunate that copperheads are not very aggressive. I've
never had any real close calls with them , though I was weeding once and
came much closer to a timber rattler than I wanted. I didn't recognize
it at first, but it was a cold day and he wasn't going anywhere, so I
got out my Missouri Snakes book and was amazed to find that he must have
been a model earlier in his career because he was posed exactly as the
photo in the book! Have only run across two timber rattlers in 27 years,
but the copperheads number in the hundreds over the same period.
I put the mulch down pretty thick, probably 2-3 inches in paths and
sometimes even thicker around daylilies and such. Have never had a
problem with copperheads in that thickness, only the once in that pile
that was several FEET thick....
Linda Mann wrote:
> Bill, it sounds like you may live in the same kind of environment I do -
> wooded hills with lots of limestone outcrops for the copperheads to use
> for overwintering.
> Previous owners sold this place because the copperheads were so
> abundant. They were apparently leaving their eggs in sawdust these
> folks had used for insulation in an added outside wall that contained
> plumbing. 5 is the most I've killed in the yard in a year & like you, I
> don't bother the ones in the woods, just the ones in the yard.
> Fortunately, I rarely see them here in the yard other than spring and
> fall as they disperse from their hibernacula(e?) in the woods and as
> they return. Snake highway here <g>
> Last I heard, copperheads are the most abundant snake in Tennessee,
> venomous or otherwise. Thank goodness they are so lethargic. While
> pulling ragweed in fall, I have put my bare hand withing 2 inches of a
> coiled one ready to strike, nearly sat on one coiled on top of a hay
> bale in the barn. In both instances, I discovered I have the ability to
> levitate. <g>
> So don't worry, I will definitely be alert! & may try to figure out
> something to do with these piles before breeding season. Do you have
> any idea how thick a layer of mulch would have to be in order to attract
> them? I may just pile more in the rows. Or on top of my dead irises -
> turn the whole place into a parking lot :-(
> > Sure enough, I raked a copperhead out of that pile when shoveling
> > it into the wheelbarrow!
> > Copperheads are the most prevalent poisonous snake in my area. I
> > generally dispatch about two per year around my place, though I remember
> > killing six one year. ... I don't go searching them out,
> > but if they intrude upon my space...
> > Bill Wells (surrounded by mush and brown trees in southern MO)
> Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
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