Living with Country Critters

Living with Country CrittersLiving in the “country” parts of central Florida is nice. It’s quiet and calm and we have a lot of property for the dogs and the baby to run and play. We are secluded, but still just minutes from everything. Along with the country life comes country critters…

I have looked out the kitchen window before, and see a snake swimming in the pool with no hope of escaping on his or her own. I popped on my gloves, grabbed a bucket and went out to save the day. Scooped it out with the bucket and let it go out the back screen door with no issues. I am not really afraid of snakes, especially small ones. If it looks “bad” or is too big to handle then I ask for help or leave it be. Since my husband isn’t home, the small ones I just take care of myself. I tell him I saved the snake, and he gets so worried and tells me I need to just call the neighbor. I am like “seriously? It’s just a 12-18 inch snake, and it wasn’t aggressive. I’m not calling the neighbor over a tiny little snake”. Coming from a born and raised city girl, that is saying a lot!

Living with Country Critters - The little onesA few days later, I found a dead one in the skimmer basket. It was unfortunate that I was unable to get to him before he died because he could not escape on his own. Then, the very next day my friend who helps with yard work accidentally killed one with the weed whacker. I bagged that one.  All 3 were the same kind. I sent pictures of the bagged one and the one in the pool to the local serpentarium who told me it was a harmless hog nose snake. I looked them up and sure enough, it was the exact same thing I had in a bag on my porch.

A few weeks later, yellow rat snake invaded my chicken coop and was eating my fresh laid eggs. This one was about 4-5 feet and harmless. I knew this so I tried to shoo it out of the coop and it went farther in. The coop is not designed in a very friendly manner, so I wasn’t crawling in there with a big snake and chicken poop to try and get it out. My neighbor was nice enough to come pull it out and toss it over the fence for me. A week later it returned, and I found him “red handed” with a belly full of fresh egg. I trapped it under a bucket and left it for my neighbor to take care of, after chasing it around the run and pulling is fat body back through the fencing where he could not get through because of the egg in his belly. Unfortunately, he did not return to his home to sleep off the nice lunch he had just had.

Living with Country Critters - Ate my eggsI don’t like to kill ANYTHING except spiders, so this “country life” is not easy for me…especially when I am alone SO often. Sometimes nuisance animals like snakes and opossums and raccoons have to be “taken care of” and that is just not me. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. I have to leave the property and let someone else take care of it, and leave NO evidence behind.

What are the best ways you have found to prevent country critters from entering your home area?

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

The Not-So-Single Mom

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