Tips for Avoiding (and Getting Rid of) Rattlesnakes

Get rid of rattlesnakes and avoid getting bitten with a few precautionary tips.


| March/April 1974



Lampropeltis getula splendida

Common kingsnakes eat rattlesnakes, and are not venomous themselves.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/ RUSTY DODSON

Back in the November/December 1972 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, E.G. Gordon, a recent emigrant to the Oregon hills from the sidewalks of Los Angeles, asked what he should do to stay healthy in rattlesnake territory. Here are a few suggestions:  

[1] Any king snakes you find around the house and or barn should be encouraged. They'll eat a few eggs or small chicks . . . but they also prey on rattlesnakes.

[2] Most cats and dogs don't care for snakes and will therefore alert you to such a creature's presence. Dogs, however, often get bitten. Guinea hens are supposed to be excellent "snakers" as well as top-notch watch birds

[3] If you're walking in a rattler-infested area, wear long trousers and knee-high boots.

[4] Never put your hands under or into anything if you can't see what else might be there.

[5] Carry - and use - a 4 or 5-foot pole to probe any brush or high grass you go through. The said stick (or a frog gig) can also be very handy for banging snakes to death or for pushing them away from you.





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