The Norman Transcript

Features

May 24, 2013

Watch for snakes in storm debris

NORMAN — While touring the May 20th tornado-damaged areas of Moore, I noted many debris-clogged streams and wet areas. Severe storms can play havoc with water sources, such as drainages, creeks or even sewer systems; sometimes driving snakes into places they are not usually found.

Most snakes are beneficial and do not pose a threat to us or our pets. While a few species are venomous, most are harmless and help us in many ways. They eat insects and rodents primarily, neither of which are likely to benefit crops, gardens, lawns and pastures. In fact, one rodent-eating snake can consume a mouse family in a few weeks and several small species will consume countless grasshoppers in just one summer.

Best of all, they do this work without damaging our environment. Obviously, snakes don’t dig holes (just use holes previously dug by rodents).  They don’t chew or damage the landscape like rodents and no plants are harmed by snakes, either from being eaten or from their physical presence. They leave few droppings compared to invasive birds and rodents and are non-aggressive. They do not attack people and never bite unless harassed, stepped on or near, are picked up, forced into a corner, or threatened. 

Snakes are clean and have few diseases to transmit — they don’t carry rabies, fleas, or mange like raccoons, skunks, or coyotes. A snake is less likely to bite someone even if picked up than almost any other wild animal. Even if a non-venomous snake is forced into biting, their bites are less worrisome than from something as common as a cat. Far more people have lost hands or become ill from cat bites than from snake bites in the U.S. 

The most common snakes encountered in Oklahoma are garter snakes, green snakes, ribbon snakes and water snakes. These snakes feed on insects and sometimes rodents and are highly beneficial, shy creatures. Another group of common and beneficial snakes are king snakes, gopher snakes, racers and rat snakes.  These animals live primarily on rodents, and who doesn’t want rats, moles and gophers removed from their gardens? 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Parents urged to research ADHD

    Q: Our son has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and we have been told he may need social skills training. He is in third grade, and this is all very new and foreign. Do you know anything about this training, and what does this mean for his ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Eggspectations

    You may or may not be aware that for many people Easter Sunday is a greater and more important event than Christmas Day. On Easter Sunday the purpose which began with His birth, celebrated on Christmas Day, was fulfilled. Nevertheless, in ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Biting protocol for puppies

    Dear Dr. Fox: My puppy really likes to chew on my hand when I pet him. I am afraid he might get more aggressive when he gets older. His sharp teeth hurt, and sometimes he runs at me and jumps up to paw me. I push him away, but he comes ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman volunteer recognized for work at Veterans Corner

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who makes that extra effort to assure that a veteran or surviving spouse receives VA benefits. Shirley Clark-Cowdin has been with us four years. During that time, she and her crew of ladies have helped ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Here is how reverse mortgages operate nowadays

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get....

    April 15, 2014

  • Annual Norman Iris Show set at library

    A tradition of the Norman Area Iris Society and Norman Public Library returns this spring with the annual Norman Iris Show from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 15, 2014

  • Allan Oehlschlager, family celebrating 100-year milestone

    From Kansas City to Norman with stops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Yale, Oklahoma City and Edmond — looking back as he prepared to mark his 100th birthday today, Allan Oehlschlager termed it a “glorious ride.” Born April 13, 1914, in ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Single parents to be honored

    Five Oklahoma single parents and two adult children of single parents will be honored with awards at the Single Parent Support Network black tie fundraiser, “An Enchanted Evening,” on April 29 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Dreams for the next 14 years

    On Monday I’ll be the proud aunt of a 14-year-old niece. For 14 years, I’ve had the chance to get used to her being 14 someday, and I’m still not there. Maybe in another 14 years, I’ll realize that she’s not a baby anymore....

    April 13, 2014

  • Midwest City reunions set

    Midwest City High School class reunions for 1970 to 1979 will be hosted in June at the Midwest City Community Center....

    April 13, 2014