Because I want to enjoy my patio
May 26, 2009 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Critter identification filter: Anyone know what kind of snake this is?

It's the second time I've seen a snake in this location on our patio. What kind of snake is it? What can I do to make sure I never see one there again? I really don't care how harmless it is, they really creep me out.

I'm in NW Austin, Texas.

another pic
posted by delladlux to Science & Nature (12 answers total)
It looks like it could be a Central Texas Whip Snake:
posted by elder18 at 9:17 AM on May 26, 2009

Black-necked garter snake?
posted by jon1270 at 9:18 AM on May 26, 2009

Beaten to the punch...
posted by jon1270 at 9:19 AM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: Looks like a Eastern Blackneck Garter to me.

As for getting rid of him.. you could try the suggestions here:
posted by royalsong at 9:20 AM on May 26, 2009

It looks like a checkered garter snake to me. Not harmless. Not sure what you can do to guarantee that you never see another one.
posted by Strumpf Marionette at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2009

Not harmful I meant...

Sorry for the confusion. If it's a garter snake, it is not venomous & not harmful.
posted by Strumpf Marionette at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2009

Aw Strumpf- I was all excited to see the venomous garter snake.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: I was just at Tractor Supply the other day (in Bastrop, but I bet Callahan's or one of the other feed stores will have it too) and saw some snake repellent that was clove, cinnamon, and some other essential oil in a sulphurous-and-something-else base.

Like this! Snake Stopper. Perhaps Lowe's or Home Depot would have it, too. I can't vouch for it, but it's worth a try.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:30 AM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: Here is a great page on the easter blackneck garter snake.

You are fairly well centered in the northern range of the snake, and the picture is a dead match, so it is almost certainly what you saw.

Seconding that this snake is completely harmless, and won't bother you, and will slither away if it sees you. If you should get bitten, generally it will just feel like a firm pinch, nothing serious. No danger to children beyond the firm pinch, i/e not germ or disease carriers.

They do eat mice so they are somewhat of a benefit to have around the house. Snakes are largely misunderstood, and far too many beneficial snakes get killed out of ignorance. I am glad you want to repel it rather than kill it, good for you.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 3:20 PM on May 26, 2009

let it be and enjoy it..
posted by HuronBob at 3:31 PM on May 26, 2009

I just put out a sulfur based fungicide that is supposed to repel snakes, bought it at the local ace. It smells awful, but that means it working (or so I like to believe).
posted by stormygrey at 11:51 PM on May 26, 2009

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