In the garden snakes can be of great benefit. They eat insects or rodents primarily, which are likely to benefit the garden. Small snakes can do severe damage to a grasshopper population in a confined area in just one summer.
I HATE Grasshoppers, and I get them every year! Not this year.
I was doing some weeding and pulled back some flowers to find a Garter snake, often misspoken Gardener Snake because they are so often found in the garden. They derive their name from the resemblance of their stripes to old-fashioned sock garters.
DON’T FREAK if you find one, Garter snakes are harmless and very shy.
Of course when I stumbled upon my snake I squealed to do a girl proud, and the snake did a quick scurry into the corner of my garden. Its heart was probably beating as fast as mine. After a beat of hesitation I quickly recovered and ran to get my camera to try to get a shot of my new inhabitant. Now I will be honest, I made an attempt to grab his tail and pull him out of where he was hiding, but not with a lot of conviction and he got away. 🙂
Can you see the tip of his/her tail?
And these snakes do this handiwork without damaging the environment one bit. They don’t dig holes (just use holes already dug by rodents or other burrowers). Which with our chipmunk population there are plenty of holes in my yard!
Here is the hole I think he went into after my failed pull out attempt.
They don’t chew or damage the landscape in any way. No plants are harmed by snakes in any way, either from being eaten or from their physical presence moving through them. They don’t contribute one bit to noise pollution. They leave very little in the way of droppings (excellent fertilizer since their prey is so well digested). And they avoid the gardener at all costs. They are non-aggressive creature’s – they do NOT ever attack people (at least no snakes in the US) and will never bite unless stepped on, picked up or forced into a corner or threatened with eminent injury. Even then, all snakes would much rather get away than risk a fight.
Which is exactly what mine did. He was much more scared of me than I was of him.
So if you have a snake in your garden DON’T FREAK, count your blessings because you have a healthy ecosystem and a grasshopper exterminator extraordinaire!