If you want to buy a garter snake, look for a local snake breeder in your area. Brought their shedded skins to science class. I am delighted to see them. The snake uses its venom to subdue larger prey items, like frogs and mice. Garter snakes are cold-blooded (ectothermic), so you’ll need a heat lamp or pad to regulate their body temperature. The water is essential not only for drinking but also for helping to snake to keep cool. Garter snakes do produce a very weak venom, but the venom is so mild that it rarely has any effect on humans (it can cause light swelling in those who are allergic, however). If the checkerboard pattern is light in color, this might suggest it is, in fact, a common garter snake rather than a checkered garter snake. Unlike other parts of the country, we have just one type of venomous snake in New Hampshire—the timber rattlesnake—and it is not found anywhere near where I live. Feeding live mice can pose a risk to your snake, as well as being illegal in some areas. and dumped a bunch of the pond stone there. Your garter may musk on you when you pick it up. He stayed put long enough for me to run and get my camera and even posed for a close-up. I'd love to have some snakes around that would eat the Copperheads and leave the Garter snakes! The simplest way to create a temperate gradient is to place a reptile heating pad on the base of the cage and set it to a temperature of 84°F. Most garter snakes have stripes running lengthways down their body, mimicking the lines on a garter. Do Snakes Eat Caterpillars? One of the toughest points that I have to make is that you should not just kill every snake that you see. There are venomous species that can be dangerous if provoked or startled. Just slowly back up and walk away or if it's in your yard, barn or garage call the police dept. Submitted by Charlie Kessler on September 9, 2019 - 8:24pm. Common garter snakes do not have this bold line separating the back and the stomach. Best not to touch the eggs as they need to stay "upright" to maintain their air pocket so the baby can breathe. In the wild, garter snakes are opportunistic hunters, so they eat a very varied diet. To deter snakes, you can use products like Snake-A-Way. I know snakes are around, but I hope I don’t encounter it. So place the foods while they’re still alive and let your garter snake eats it in instance. Submitted by Deborah Erichsen on July 17, 2019 - 10:24pm. The easiest way to accommodate your snake is to purchase an aquarium tank or reptile cage (vivarium) with a lockable lid. Try dangling some food in front of your snake using tongs to see if this encourages your snake to eat. Learn more about the shy, but helpful gardening helper who just wants to live peacefully in harmony with you—and eat your slugs! Females only breed every 2 to 3 years. They won’t chase you. I guess that fueled that phobia. That said, feeding fish can come with risks. This can result in a vitamin B1 deficiency in your snake which, in extreme cases, can be fatal. Once he manages to get more of the toad in his mouth he can press on the middle and deflate the toad. One more good way to tell if a snake is venomous or not is to look him in the eye. Remove your snake to a second secure tank so you can clean the tank/vivarium thoroughly. I do this by placing the mouse into a plastic bag and suspending it in warm water for a few minutes before feeding. Often called “gardener snakes,” they earn that name by eating grasshoppers, slugs, grubs, and other insects. I'm happy to have them...they help keep the mice population under control. Male garter snakes are shorter and thinner than their female counterparts, so they don’t require as much tank space. Last year I happened upon another red snake, but knew what it was, so helped it escape the dogs unscathed. Readers share their stories here. Submitted by Jennifer on July 26, 2020 - 7:48am. If your young garter snake refuses to eat mice or fish then earthworms can represent another option. AWESOME animals! Now this summer have not seen any. The most popular garter snakes to keep as pets are: These subspecies are known to have a relaxed temperament, feeding well, and thriving in captivity. (Unfortunately, they also eat some critters such as frogs, toads, salamanders, and earthworms.) Now you know what to look for! Milk Snakes as Pets — A Complete Care Guide for Beginners! Keep the base of your cage clean and dry to stop your snake from developing a blistered skin. Submitted by Micah on October 11, 2018 - 3:17am, I have always liked snakes, thankfully, since I'm use to seeing them around. Anyways this year I have one living in my garden and I have left him be. In my area of NW Missouri, I mostly see all sizes of black rat snakes...2' to 7'. A second option to make mice more appealing for fussier garter snakes is to “scent” it with another food that your garter snake enjoys – such as fish. This may happen many times while your snake gets acquainted with you. One narrow stripe running lengthways down the snake’s back with a thicker stripe on each side. Submitted by Joanne on September 25, 2020 - 4:20pm. While other people might have been freaked out, it made me happy to know that snakes find my yard a good place to call home. The easiest way to do this is to place some damp moss in the hide box. We’ve had a pair of King snakes around our house for several years. This way, the snake can warm up, or cool down, depending on its needs. Moving into a new home last year that required a ton on work I've seen at least a handful of different garter snakes but less and less now that I've reclaimed the yard. Submitted by Cynthia LaRochelle on July 16, 2019 - 4:10pm. I had never seen one in person. Ensure the mouse is warm – but not hot – before offering it to your snake. They mostly eat rodents, but they can also eat fish, lizards, tadpoles, earthworms, and frogs, as well as insects. You could also repurpose Tupperware, plant pots, or household items but make sure there are no sharp edges. I've been keeping and breeding exotic pets for over 20 years. Don't think I'd want to make chickens mad at ME! I live in Florida and if I saw a 15 foot Python in my yard I would forget everything that I said above, but they aren't supposed to be here anyway. Active year-round in the south, in the northern half of North America they hibernate below the frostline in the winter, congregating in large numbers in burrows and crevices to keep warm during the cold months. How Long Can Garter Snake Go Without Eating? In contrast fish such as pollock, haddock, cod, salmon and trout are considered safe for garter snakes as they lack the thiaminase. Rarely see them anymore. Our takeaway: Always rustle around shrubs and other things in the garden before using tools, especially lethal ones, so your wild neighours have the chance to escape. This is why you see garter snakes basking themselves on rocks in the morning sun. We have both timber rattlers and copper heads. An old, mostly dry pond full of slabs of stone was a perfect home for them I'm sure, which would account for the nearly 5' garter I chased away from it this spring. The only reason I would kill a snake is if it is venomous, and I would only kill a poisonous snake to keep it from harming any of my six grandchildren. In terms of gallons, the following measurements are considered appropriate for garter snakes: Once you’ve got the correct size cage, you’ll need enrichment: Provide your snake with at least one hide box (a small enclosure where your snake can hide). Some snakes need to see their food moving to kickstart their appetite. The three most important supplements they need are calcium, vitamin B1 and vitamin D3. How to prepare your herp for brumation. I enjoyed this article very much - only thing I have to add is the need to be more careful when the air is chilly.