About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Snakes will cross over rope

Is it true a snake will not cross over a rope?

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
If you plan on camping outside this summer and worry about snakes crawling in to your sleeping bag during the night, don't depend on the old campfire story that surrounding your sleeping area with a rope will keep snakes away.

A few experiments have suggested that some snakes do not like to cross some ropes, but almost all snakes will cross almost all ropes when they want to get somewhere. You can watch MythBusters bust this myth: http://www.discovery.com/mythbusters

Michigan's only venomous snake, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, is a rare sight for most state residents. Historically, they could be found in a variety of wetlands and nearby upland woods throughout the lower peninsula. During the late spring, these snakes move from their winter hibernation sites, such as small mammal burrows in swamps and marshlands, to hunt on the drier upland sites - likely in search of mice and voles, their favorite food.

These rattlesnakes avoid confrontation with humans; they are not prone to strike - preferring to leave the area when they are threatened. Like any animal though, these snakes will protect themselves from anything they see as a potential predator. Any bite from a massasauga should receive prompt professional medical attention. When compared to other rattlesnakes found in the United States, the massasauga is the smallest and has the least toxic venom.

It is important to remember that all snakes play an important role in the ecosystem. Some may eat insects, others like the massasauga consider rodents a delicacy and help control their population. Snakes are also a part of a larger food web and can provide food to eagles, herons, and several mammals.

We can easily learn to live with these creatures. When you encounter a snake, leave it alone. In most cases, the snake will move to different areas. If pets are in the area, it is important to confine them until the snake moves on. Most often snakes do not wander into areas with little vegetation. The most likely period to encounter snakes in the open is early spring or mornings when they can be found sunning themselves.

Read more at the Michigan DNR 

No comments: