Know where the snakes live

Snake

There places in St. Paul where garter snakes are abundant. We should start seeing them sunning themselves as the soil starts to warm up. Some people are terrified of snakes, even the harmless garter snakes that live in St. Paul.

The garter snake is common in Minnesota in both rural and urban areas.  They don’t have teeth and don’t attack people, they eat insects and slither away when people come close.

Garter snakes live in my garden, in the rhubarb.  They like heat and need it to aid the digestion of food.  On a warm fall day, it is not unusual to see them sunning themselves along the foundation of my home or on the walkways.  On occasion, I have seen them come out of hibernation during the winter to catch a few rays.

Every couple of years a snake gets inside the house.  We get them out before the cat figures it out.  They do not live in the house and since they can not climb in they usually get in through an open window in the basement.

They prefer to live in the ground and are found of compost heaps and wood piles and are plentiful along the river bluff in St. Paul in the residential areas.  Garter snakes are plentiful in parts of the West 7th neighborhood.  The soil on the bluff is warmer because of all the limestone close to the surface.

Home shoppers should let their REALTORS know if they are afraid of snakes.  Sellers are not required to disclose the presence of snakes outside the house.  They are not required to disclose the existence of bees, bats or any other kind of wildlife found outdoors in most urban areas.

For some home buyers, their ability to enjoy their property is greatly diminished by the presence of these creatures.  Read about ophidiphobia, fear of snakes.

Learn more about garter snakes from the University of Minnesota extension service web site.

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