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NancyH
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
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Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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We have black snakes with red spots on our property, ...

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We have black snakes with red spots on our property, which does have a pond. Are they harmful? Should I consider having them taken care of?
These do not sound like a poisonous snake variety.
The may be a water snake or a mud snake or another species depending on where you live.
You can see some common types of snakes here
http://www.stewart.army.mil/dpw/wildlife/nonvenomous_snakes.htm
If you wish to give me your home state then I may be able to help narrow it down more.
Hope this helps you!
NancyH and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: I am in Fairfield CT. We have a pond and the 3 snakes that we saw were living in/around the stone wall near a brook.
Black with orange or red spots?
These might be young water snakes, young black racers, or hognosed snakes. Some snakes are spotted when young and then turn solid as they mature.
Here is a site with color pics of CT snakes including the two poisonous varieties seen there the copperhead and the rattlesnake
http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/nongame/SnakesinCT.pdf
Also if these were not very big you may have seen some of the largest of salamanders the spotted salamander
http://www.ag-urodela.de/daten_arten/neurergus/microspilotus/neurergus_microspilotus.jpg
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: One or all of them had red spots. (You have to understand that I ran away and the 2 men working on a drainage issue told me what they saw.) He said they were 16 inches long. One was very large - I assume he meant fat (possible the female or one that just ate something big).
Oh dear didn't realize you were afraid of them - I grew up thinking snakes were fun to catch :) but my mother was not enchanted!
Those are pretty small to average size snakes.
Overall snakes stay away from people and are busy catching insects, rodents, amphibians, worms etc. Near a pond its apt to be water snakes or hog nosed snakes or perhaps racers.
But I'd suggest that you drop into your local library and see what they can tell you about the snakes common in your area.
In New England the poisonous snakes in general are brown or black spotted. This site has a picture link for the poisonous snakes in each state
http://www.geo-outdoors.info/listed_by_state.htm
The copperhead has a copper colored head as its name implies and is brown blotched in color the rattler has rattles on its tail and is gray with darker spots or light brown with darker brown spots. So the black color with red spots doesn't match them.
I'd say these snakes are busy controling the rodent population on your property and should be left alone and are not likely to bother you.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Thank you!! I might not have been afraid if the guy didn't scream! I thought it was a chipmunk that ran across my feet, but Eric said it was the black snake and then went back and saw one of them was coiled, and altogether saw 3 of them. We just happened to have a lot of mice in our house over the past month, which was very rainy. Any connection?
We get mice in when it rains, turns cold, or gets hot - darn things think we provide dry, warm, or cool space just for them. The cat thinks its great fun while we are not amused. I have to admit though if I were a mouse choosing between outside in the rain or inside in climate controlled areas the inside would look good!
But yes you see more rodent control type critters around when there are plenty of rodents available. Plus I think CT has lost some of its predators to rabies over the last years such as a percentage of the skunks, fox, raccoons etc and that means more prey for snakes, hawks and other predators allowing them to have a small population boom to match the boom in the rodent population.
If you haven't lived out in the country before the cycle of life can be endlessly fascinating as you watch who else besides you uses your land. I have a pileated woodpecker this year!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: I don't know how many times I can reply for my fee, but I may look into that pileated woodpecker. I have a woodpecker on one side of my house, that I hear occasionally ... I do love the deer even though I've been battling Lyme and Babesiosis for 7 years. We've had woodchucks, and of course chipmunks, moles, rabbits, ... At our house up in western Mass we've seen mountain cats and heard coyotes. You are right, it is fascinating - I just don't like snakes and spiders!! Thanks so much for the information!!
No problem with replies and thanks for the accept above :)
What I found that was really cool was there are sites where you could hear the birdcalls
http://www.naturesongs.com/birds.html
I don't mind the spiders and snakes etc outside - I just object to them moving into the house, or the indoor cats presenting us with live prey in the bed at 3AM!