Getting Rid of Snakes and Other Homesteading Advice

There are all sorts of old wives tales for keeping snakes away and scaring them away once they are on your property.  I’ve found that the best way to get rid of them is to corner them right after they have eaten a meal of chicks or eggs, when they are a little sluggish, and is the only time I see them anyway, and then catch them!

I can usually handle them just enough to get them into a feed bag and then tie the top up tight, after which they go into a five gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid, and then it’s into the back of the pick up and they are re-homed in an isolated area with no houses or chickens.  They will always manage to get out of the bag while in the bucket, so be prepared for that when removing the lid.  They won’t be happy either!

Don’t ever put a snake in a bag in your car without it being in a bucket with a lid…unless you really WANT to run your car off the road into a ditch.  There are better ways of turning snakes loose.

As far as other homesteading advice……

Always cover your outdoor-stored hay, even if the sun is shinning brightly when you leave in the morning.  If you don’t it will surely pour down rain before you get home in the afternoon.  On the other hand, if you WANT it to rain, leave your hay uncovered.  It worked nicely for us yesterday.  We probably got a good 3 inches before I got the hay bales covered.

If you stop on the way home at a fast food restaurant and eat, and then feel like you are suddenly covered with ticks from head to toe, don’t panic.  Calmly pull the car over to the side of the road and examine your itches.  My itches yesterday were simply a really bad case of hives…..caused by something I ate at an Arby’s restaurant I am assuming.  A Benadryl tablet and a nap cured them without incident.

If you have baby birds living in the pillars on your front porch, don’t stick your face up too close to try and see the babies.  You quite likely with have your face badoozled by a mad mother or father bird as they exit their nest in a panic.

Don’t try to fix your electric fence in a thunderstorm.

If the goats wake you up in the morning by knocking at your front door for milking, don’t make it a habit to give in to their manipulation or you will soon be milking them in your living room on THEIR schedule, which is probably more than twice a day, and those times will certainly be most inconvenient, like at  4am, or just as you’re getting ready to leave for work, or right after your evening shower, just as you are getting into bed… matter if they were milked just 2 hours ago. 

If it’s over 90 degrees outside, the inside air temperature in your house will likely rise about 20 degrees over that right after 4pm, so if you plan to spend a restful evening in your living room watching tv or reading, you really will need to put an air conditioner unit in….and preferrably BEFORE July or August rolls around…after that, the sheer effort of getting the thing in the window will cause you to sweat so much that you will likely short it out before it ever gets plugged in. 

Clothes hung on the line outdoors DO NOT dry quickly when the humidity is high. In fact, they often do not dry at all, and will begin to sour in a matter of hours.  However, the sourness does not bother black ants or other bugs which will quickly make homes in your line-dried clothing.

When getting rid of a wasp nest, the number of cans of spray you will need to do the job is directly related to the size of the nest.  I’d advise about 1 can of spray for every inch your nest is wide.  So, if you have a nest that measures approximately 10 inches wide, you will need about 10 cans of wasp spray.  And the spray will probably need to be repeated every night for 10 nights or so…after which either you or the wasps will be dead, and it doesn’t matter who goes first, without either one of you, the other party can live in peace.

All holes, tears, etc. in those big, long, orange, extension cords should be repaired immediately.  Don’t wait until you are using it, and get zapped when handling the thing.  It’s just not worth it. 

To get rid of ants…..well, I’m not sure the best way, we’ve tried all ways, but have settled on sevin dust sprinkled at the base of all the wall joints in the house.  It works, but I’m not sure how long we’ll live…..

And that’s about it for my homesteading advice for the day.  I’d love to hear your comments and if you have any advice I can include in a future post, please pass it along.


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