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Re: It's snake time!

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
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You know, the more I give this subject some thought, I realize that since I actually saw my first rattler last year, I have become much more aware of the possibility of an encounter. After not seeing one for sooo many years I became somewhat lackadaisical regarding their presence. After seeing my third on Saturday I have a different attitude. I'm much more careful where I walk.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:42
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Re: It's snake time!

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good idea to be careful they aren't just in NC or far NE, I have seen two in carbon

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:54

Edited by k-bob on 2013/6/10 9:20:18


Re: It's snake time!

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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K-Bob, regarding ticks, yeah, I'm getting more and more concerned. Chest waders and DEET is my defense. Doesn't help much for the snakes, though...

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:58


Re: It's snake time!

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In the heat, I use breathable orvis silver sonic convertible waders with the material above the waist rolled down to be cooler. This is after this material above wader belt (and also my long sleeve fishing shirt) has been sprayed with permethrin. As with snakes, nothing is 100%, but I fish very small steams and never go in water over my waist anyhow. Permethtrin should reduce the chance of an infectious bite.

http://www.tickencounter.org/pub/tick_repellent_clothing.pdf

Posted on: 2013/6/10 9:06


Re: It's snake time!

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this groups says there are rattlers in many pa counties (map bottom page):

http://www.paherps.com/herps/snakes/timber

Posted on: 2013/6/10 9:29


Re: It's snake time!
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
More likely your habitat observations are based on, well, habitat, rather than the snake populations in those habitats.

And regarding mice, I have no idea if I'm right, but I always heard that a large mouse population DECREASES your chances of getting ticks on you. They don't have much affect on actual tick populations. However, if there are a lot of mice, then there are a lot of ticks feeding on mice, which are ticks that AREN'T feeding on people.


Not true, just fair warning from a lot of close encounters.

In rattler country, you are just as likely to encounter them in areas of dense grass, weeds or ferns and not just in rocky areas or around or near logs.

It seems from the writings of many experts, readers are cautioned to scan all the rocks and crevices and logs for rattlers (good advice). Yet little is ever mentioned about waking through the underbrush. Nearly every up close and personal encounter with a rattle snake (and I've had many) has been in areas where my visibility of the ground is poor. And again, in rattler country, if you venture where you can't see where you're stepping, I recommend you wear snake chaps.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 9:29


Re: It's snake time!

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2008/1/31 17:19
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Afish, my post was regarding ticks, not rattlers.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 9:31


Re: It's snake time!
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Afish, my post was regarding ticks, not rattlers.


Oh!......

Posted on: 2013/6/10 9:33


Re: It's snake time!

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haha, it was in response to post #8, where BeastBrown associated the population density of snakes with mice, and thus ticks. There's some logic there but it requires several assumptions that I'm not sure are true.

1. High population of snakes = low population of mice. While snakes eat mice, the opposite is more likely true. They don't have enough of an effect on mice populations, so the effect is outweighed by the fact that snakes follow mice. Where there are more mice, there will be more snakes.

2. High population of mice = high population of ticks. Ticks do feed on mice at certain stages of development. And it would make sense that a higher number of hosts in an area = higher number of ticks. But both ticks and mice populations vary tremendously from season to season. And they do not necessarily coincide. The predator (tick) population lags the prey (host). So a high population of mice LAST YEAR may increase the tick population this year, as more ticks were successful and reproduced.

There are some noteworthy papers that tie a decrease in mice populations to an increase in human tick bites. The theory seems to be that it's not so much about the tick population, but about the population actively looking for hosts. A tick attached to a mouse is not looking for a host, and less likely to bite a human. It may be, though, that a decrease in mouse populations is indicitive of a mouse population boom in prior years, hence the tick population exploded.

Been reading up on this stuff as I have an 18 month old, and a current tick boom. We've pulled a few out of him already.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 9:57


Re: It's snake time!

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2010/8/31 15:00
From Lehigh Valley PA
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I had posted about a rattler encounter earlier in the year at Penns Creek... Again didn't rattle (I actually thought it was a copper head based on some pictures I had seen, and that my other encounters around penns all the rattlers were almost black)

I was speaking to a state forester and he said that based on his experience and some of his reading that it is becoming more common for rattlers to not rattle when you approach. He said the study believed that it was because snakes that rattle have a higher chance of being killed than those that don't... ie people hear the rattle and seek out the snake to kill it, whereas snakes that don't people tend to walk right by.... kinda like a supercharged evolutionary thing.... who knows but I am terrified of them so I wear snake gators over my waders, and always carry a staff that I use to move the high grass and brush prior to stepping in.....

Attach file:



jpg  PennsTimber.jpg (145.40 KB)
4136_51b5dc7b7d10e.jpg 500X375 px

Posted on: 2013/6/10 10:00


Re: It's snake time!

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
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Yea, that's one of those "yellow phase" rattlers. I've seen both the yellow and black. Seeing one does keep you on your toes. lol

Posted on: 2013/6/10 10:09
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Re: It's snake time!

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2008/6/14 23:22
From Central, PA
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good point pcray

Posted on: 2013/6/10 12:04


Re: It's snake time!

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thanks for the thread. I am going to be more careful about brutal bushwhacks into steep ravines lined with ferns and decaying logs... these are more risky now than earlier in the year, cause the ferns have gotten really dense.




Posted on: 2013/6/10 12:04


Re: It's snake time!

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2012/3/14 23:03
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I fully get what you are saying pcray, and from what I understand the most accurate models of Lyme disease incidence rates are tied to acorn crops at 2 years prior, which then affects a mouse population in crash and boom cycles, which then leads to lack of mouse host in crash year, which translates to increased tick counts on human hosts.

At any rate, to the point of tick habitat, which I guess could be a function of mouse and chipmunk habitat(white-footed or otherwise-addressing tick population here, not lyme rate). The area of highest snake encounters for me are gorges around water in June, not far from large snake hibernaculums of multiple species, venomous and not. So, the question becomes why are these snakes here if not for a large mouse and chipmunk population?

They are wintering here, yes, but in summer they are still here, sunning, and moving up into rhododendrons and ferns, as well as boulders to hunt.

Now, my line of reasoning is that they are here for the mice and chipmunks and are keeping their populations stable. Granted, mouse populations could explode or crash so sharply at certain times that the snakes may have little effect.

However, they may just keep mouse and tick populations stable to low, in years of moderation. I understand that the tick, mouse, snake population is very complex, but in an area of large snake presence I think they can certainly be a heavily weighted factor in keeping tick populations lower in an equation with many variables.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 22:59


Re: It's snake time!

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2125
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Perhaps a good "defense" tool against possible snake strikes would be a walking stick or wading staff. At least it could be a "first strike" item instead of your leg...

Posted on: 2013/6/10 23:05



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