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5 tips for keeping a snake-free yard

5 tips for keeping a snake-free yard

How To Treat a Snake Bite

5 tips for keeping a snake-free yard

Forget about "Snakes on a Plane”; we're more concerned with snakes in the yard. Even though snakes are nowhere near as prevalent as our irrational fears would have us think (assuming you don't live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory), if you're a homeowner with a bit of landscape or yard under your direction, you may encounter snakes on occasion.

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That should be no biggie, according to experts at the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

"As a general rule, snakes are just as frightened of you as possibly you are of them and often they move as quickly as possible in the other direction," the extension noted. Venomous snake bites are rare and you can readily take steps to treat them. If you're an avid gardener, you may even want snakes in your slice of the great outdoors, since they dine on rodents and insects and can actually help protect you from garden pests.

Not buying it? You can try to keep snakes out of your home life. Just understand that even the best measures are not 100 percent foolproof, according to America's Wetland Resources, which is based in the South.

"There are no magic or absolute solutions," AWR asserted. "There are no poisons or repellents that work, though some new 'breakthrough' is occasionally advertised. Horsehair ropes and trails of mothballs have consistently tested negative, and pest control operators have no answers."

But there are still plenty of valid ways to limit, or possibly eliminate, a slithery presence in your yard, garden or home. Here are five tips from the pros on how to keep snakes out of your yard:

1. Seal crevices. Closer to your home, seal the openings where snakes like to set up house. "Check the clearance of door bottoms, weep holes, openings where pipes enter, cracks and spaces under eaves," AWR recommended. "Don't neglect storerooms and sheds."

AWR added that sealing enough openings to make a difference is much more difficult if you own a raised wooden home.

2. Tidy up the yard. Snakes might choose to live on your property or simply travel through, according to AWR. You want to make your property as inhospitable as possible, so concentrate on ridding it of any places snakes would consider good spots to hide. Remove debris, from piles of boards, tin, sticks and leaves to flat boats on the ground and piles of bricks or stone, AWR advised, and keep vegetation cut back.

3. Stop serving the snake's preferred menu. It's a win-win. When you take away potential hiding places for snakes, the spots where rat and mice families like to congregate are also eliminated. But take this one step further, AWR advised, and take further steps to get rid of the rodents that snakes like to snack on. You may want to involve a pest control agent, but you definitely want to practice anti-rodent hygiene, including not leaving pet food out for more than an hour or so, closing trash cans tightly and securing compost in a sealed container.

4. Combat the climbers. If limbs from a neighbor's yard hang over your fence, snakes may use them as an entry to your place. Consider working with your neighbor to get them trimmed.

5. Consider the snake-proof fence. If you live in an area where one or more venomous snakes are common, you may want to invest in a snake-proof fence, according to NCSU. "Small areas where children play can be protected from all poisonous and most harmless snakes with a snake-proof fence," it noted. "However, the cost of the fence may make it impractical to protect an entire yard."

Make a fence by burying 1/4-inch mesh wire screening 6 inches underground and building it up 30 inches, instructed NCSU.

"It should slant outward at a 30-degree angle from bottom to top. The supporting stakes must be inside the fence and any gates must fit tightly. Tall vegetation must be removed along the fence, both inside and outside."

It's costly, but you can snake-proof the entire yard with a concrete chain wall that extends six inches or so below the surface, noted AWR.

"If you already have a wooden fence and the boards are very close together, a good solution is to snake-proof the bottom."

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One fairly cheap way is to use 1/4-inch hardware cloth cut in strips wide enough to overlap the bottom of the fence so it can be tacked securely and extend down into a narrow trench six inches deep.

AWR added another word of caution for either snake-proof fence design. (Spoiler alert: It's nightmare inducing.) "Many snakes climb by looping over objects and the above described design may virtually eliminate their entry," it noted. "Others, however, can crawl up vertical surfaces if they are rough, such as the trunk of a tree or a brick wall (including the side of a house)."

To overcome this creepy climbing capability, you can place a foot-wide ledge made of wood or metal flashing along the outer side at the top. "This structure makes the snakes lean out away from the wall and it will lose its grip and fall."

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After all this snake talk, AWR does have one bit of great news. "Snakes are rarely abundant in any one location."

And if all your efforts fail and snakes do make their way into your yard, AWR recommended the ultimate fail-safe.

"The best thing you can do for yourself and family is to teach everyone to respect snakes and to be on the lookout for them," according to the AWR website. "Remember, don't touch it with your hands. Use a shovel to place the snake in a deep bucket with a cover. The chances of your encountering a venomous species is remote, but possible enough to always by careful!"

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Georgia Sports News

  • Anibal Sanchez allowed seven hits, three runs and one walk with four strikeouts in five innings of Friday’s 11-3 loss against the Tigers. It got worse after that. Braves pitcher Matt Wisler was rocked for six hits and seven runs without recording an out in the seventh inning. Never miss a minute of what’s happening with the Braves. Subscribe to myAJC.com
  • ATHENS – All indications are Nick Saban is going to stick around Alabama a while. Based on his contract, that looks to be at least until 2024 at Alabama. We can joke about other deals he may have made to age as well as he has. The fact is, the Crimson Tide’s coach looks great and says he feels great at 66. There is no evidence of him slowing down anytime soon. We know Georgia’s Kirby Smart is going to be around a good, long while, too. He’s 42 and expected to receive a raise and contract extension in the coming weeks and months. My point here – this could get really fun before it’s all over. It’s not like Georgia needs any new rivals. Lord knows the program probably sports more intense rivalries than any other single team in America. If you ever want to initiate a good debate around the water the cooler or at your local watering hole, ask a group of people whom they believe is the Bulldogs’ biggest rival. Chances are you’ll hear Florida or Georgia Tech out of most folks. But as was well-illustrated this past season, Georgia’s rivalry with Auburn is pretty intense as well. It is, after all, the oldest one in the Deep South. Only a pair of world wars have kept the schools from playing each other every year since 1892. And after the split in 2017 – with the Bulldogs winning the more important one in the SEC Championship Game – only two games separate them on that extensive ledger, with Georgia holding a 58-56-8 advantage. Georgia and Tennessee used to hardly ever play. But they’ve met every year since conference expansion in 1992. And that has been a wild one of unusual streaks on both sides. Most Volunteers fans probably would tell you Bama is their main rival, but I’m not sure that’s truly the case with the way that series has gone of late. The Crimson Tide have won “The Third Saturday in October” contest 11 times in a row and 12 of the last 13. Meanwhile, Jeremy Pruitt has been installed as Tennessee’s coach, and if you look at his coaching staff, it has a decidedly Georgia flavor to it. Thirty percent of his full-time assistants were with him when he was defensive coordinator at UGA: offensive line coach Will Friend, defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer. Then I found out the other day that John Lilly – former tight ends coach at Georgia and, at different times, interim offensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator with the Bulldogs – has joined Pruitt’s staff as an offensive analyst. Pruitt is definitely going to have some inside intel on UGA, and it would behoove him to change the direction of that series, which has seen the Bulldogs win six of the last eight. And while it likely never will be the case for Georgia, don’t underestimate what the annual series with South Carolina means to the Gamecocks. I have a ton of family members who live in South Carolina and are alums of that school. While Clemson always will carry the torch as their greatest rival, the Georgia game is huge to them every year, especially when it’s in that SEC opener slot, as it is this season. They’re under the direction of Will Muschamp, a UGA alum and one of Smart’s close friends. We all know how competitive close friends can be. Florida is Florida. Just ask DawgNation’s Brandon Adams – the consummate Georgia fan – where that rivalry ranks for him. That’s another rivalry that has swung wildly one way or another over the years. Smart is 1-1 in it, but the Gators just brought in Dan Mullen as coach. He knows the lay of the land down there and, contrary to the last few coaches in Gainesville, knows how to find a good quarterback and what to do with one once he gets there. And, as the old Georgia saying about Tech goes, if you don’t know how important that game is to the fan base, lose it and you’ll find out. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, that doesn’t happen as often as it once did. But if Georgia’s program continues to trend the way many believe it will, the Bulldogs could have a budding rivalry with Alabama in the works. We all know what happened in the National Championship Game in January, and they’re already prohibitive favorites to meet in the 2018 SEC Championship Game. Based on recent recruiting rankings, that’s a matchup that could up to be a regular one over the next several years. There is the potential for Georgia-Alabama to go the way Florida-Alabama did in the 1990s. Did you realize they met nine times during that decade? The Gators won six of them. Lane Kiffin, the former Alabama offensive coordinator and Tennessee head coach, talked about Georgia and Alabama in an interview with ESPN’s Off The Bench Thursday. He said he expects Saban to continue to coach Alabama for a long time, but he said Smart’s presence at Georgia could have an impact on the Crimson Tide being able to sustain the level of success it has had to date. “That’s hard to do when you’ve got someone who’s been with you for 10 years and knows every single thing you do and every single reason why you’re successful,” said Kiffin, who’s now coach at Florida International, in the interview. “I went to Alabama for three years and it was already rolling. Kirby was there from Day 1 to see how [Saban] built it. That’s hard. The guy’s been there 10 years and now he goes inside the conference and you’ve got to compete against him.” Of course, Smart’s just one of a number of former assistants to go against Saban. Pruitt and new Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher join a long list that includes Muschamp and Jim McElwain in the conference. The difference is Smart has been able to win more of the head-to-head recruiting battles. Georgia and Smart will have to keep that up to have any hope of actually turning Alabama into another rival. It’s anything but at the moment. After the Crimson Tide’s win in the championship game, they lead the series 39-25-4. Kiffin credited Saban’s skillful recruiting for Alabama’s success. “That’s the No. 1 reason he wins,” Kiffin said. “Every Saturday they play, they have better players than the other sideline, and it’s usually not even close. They had better players, by far, even in the national championship.” According to recruiting rankings, Georgia ended up with the better players this year at least. If Smart can make that a trend, the Bulldogs might have a nice, new rivalry in the making. The post Kirby Smart’s presence could make Georgia, Alabama rivals appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to the Question of the Day, where our writers answer (or try to answer) the best questions submitted by Georgia fans. If you’d like to submit a question, please e-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. Or you can tweet us at here and here. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday. How about an update on whether or not Tom Crean is going to retain Jonas Hayes?  I know that Kenny Johnson was Tom Crean’s ace recruiter who left Indiana to go be Rick Pitino’s top recruiter.  Unfortunately, Kenny Johnson was fired after getting caught up in Pitino’s problems. Just curious if Tom Crean has reached out to Kenny Johnson? The right hire is Jonas Hayes. That good news should have already been announced.  Thank you. — Henry Stone OK, so I should put you down in the category of wanting Jonas Hayes to be retained? Seems you feel that way but want to be sure. Nothing is official yet, but things certainly seem to be moving in the direction of Hayes remaining on staff. He has been recruiting alongside Crean this week, and Crean keeps having nice things to say about Hayes, such as this in an interview with AM 960 The Ref on Friday morning: “It’s actually been a little too busy to just sit down and lay everything out, but I’ll say this: I really, really like him. I know how important he is to Georgia and I know how important Georgia is to him. I see the way people respond to him, which is great.” One important point: Hayes is still under contract to UGA through this summer, as are all of Mark Fox’s assistants. So Hayes still working and recruiting doesn’t mean he’s been retained. Phillip Pearson and David Carter, the other two assistants, are also under contract and as far as I know also continue to work, even if it’s just administrative duties. That’s another reason Crean doesn’t need to rush to announce Hayes is being retained. This also allows him to get to know Hayes and make his own evaluation. Evidently he likes what he sees so far. I don’t know if retaining Hayes will be enough to get Ashton Hagans and Elias King, the two one-time 2019 commits, back in the fold, especially Hagans. When he de-committed last month amid the Mark Fox uncertainty, it opened the floodgates for interest from other programs. But Hayes’ prowess as a recruiter certainly would help down the line and would provide an instant bridge between Crean and the Georgia fan base. An underrated asset that Hayes brings to the table: The ability to restrain coaches from getting too heated during games. Hayes excelled at that the past couple of years. Here he is doing it with Mark Fox: (Curtis Compton/AJC) And here is Hayes restraining Kent Davison a couple of years ago: (DawgNation/file photo) As for Kenny Johnson joining Crean, I have trouble seeing that happening, given the uncertainty over the FBI scandal. Matt Bucklin, who has been on Georgia’s staff in an operations capacity the past few years, could be a candidate to stick around. Bucklin is the nephew of Tom Izzo, who is close with Crean. If Crean wants to reach back to his Marquette days and get someone who knows the SEC, he could talk to Darrin Horn, the former South Carolina head coach who has been an assistant for Shaka Smart at Texas the past two years. Horn was an assistant for Crean at Marquette. Another name: Bennie Seltzer was an assistant for Crean at both Marquette and Indiana, but was also born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., and and was the head coach at Samford from 2012-14. So he should know the southeast recruiting territory well. This isn’t football, where you get 10 assistant coaches, and now a bunch of quality-control spots. Those three full-time assistant positions are precious. If I had to guess now, I’d say that if Hayes is retained then the other two spots are likely to go to people closer to Crean’s orbit. Have a question for beat writers Chip Towers and Seth Emerson? E-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com The post Will Jonas Hayes stay on staff with Tom Crean? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Precious memories linger and flood our soul — even before that final hour comes. Some of the most uplifting and gratifying moments on this complex earth come when we remember the time and place where good things happened and memories were collected generously. Those memories that elevate spirits when we look back. Those are the moments of signature professional accomplishment, the birth of children and grandchildren, a trip that exposes one to the ancient world, a concert showcasing a virtuoso performer, the World Series, the Masters or a Super Bowl. Jesup’s John Donaldson would have enjoyed all that, but he could not get enough of what was at his fingertips: fishing the Altamaha (“Altamahaul” to the locals in Wayne County), Blackbeard Island on the Georgia coast and Christmas Creek at St. Simons. He was a versatile fisherman. I called him Mark Trail. On my wildlife showcase wall are some fish and winged mounts, which I passionately cherish. Each represents a memory that exhilarates and raises my spirits when I recall fishing and hunting with John, the consummate outdoorsman. What I have on display would pale when compared to the ultimate fishermen and hunters, but they are, nonetheless, emotionally fulfilling. I like to recall standing in mountain streams, my ears sensitive to the water’s movement, my eyes connecting with nature’s most splendorous views. I like the loneliness of a duck blind that suddenly becomes an explosion of fury and consternation when a flock of mallards descend within range of my shotgun. I like it when wood ducks require that your aim must penetrate the right opening in the woods for success. My friend John — the former Georgia halfback, coach of Jesup and later Wayne County high schools, assistant coach at Florida and UGA — passed away Tuesday at age 92 in his hometown of Jesup. Even in recent years when John’s health began to fail, I would walk by a marsh hen mount or look up from my computer at a spottail bass that once was a 35-pound collector of smaller fish and thought of him. I remember our football conversations. John played the game well; he succeeded Charley Trippi in the backfield at Georgia and later coached several of his teams to championships. He loved the running game. He could design a quick-hitting play that, accompanied with crisp blocking, would allow for a patented first down or a touchdown. He was a hit the hole with alacrity and verve, a knockout-punch kind of guy. Even with his predilection for the running game — his love for running the football and fishing for a 5-pound pass endeared him to his one-time boss, Vince Dooley — he had affection for the passing game. John taught passing principles to Steve Spurrier when he coached Spurrier as a freshman at Florida. John was not above matching the chicanery of fellow coaches, such as Wright Bazemore of Valdosta High School. While he espoused lasting respect to Bazemore, he took great pride in beating Bazemore at his own game. Before the center-keep was outlawed, Bazemore used it to perfection to win big games. The center snaps the ball, but the quarterback does not take the snap but instead goes through a series of fakes as if he is handing the ball off. After a couple of seconds as the defense is moving past the line of scrimmage, the center, usually a big man with superior speed for a lineman, sprints downfield through an unaware defense that is caught totally off guard, with the play often resulting in a touchdown.  What made the play work more often than not was propitious play calling. John found the sideline chess matches thrilling. For years, I heard John  recount how that play worked to defeat Valdosta a couple of times, recalling every detail as it unfolded in his memory banks — still savoring the moment after several decades had elapsed. After the game, he signaled for the band to parade around the field, blaring out victoriously in song “The Old Gray Mare.” Jesup was awash in celebratory retribution for any past failures to the Wildcats. I gloried in every fishing outing with John, especially at Shellman Bluff, motoring past the ballast that the celebrated pirate, Blackbeard, had dumped. The contrast was real: Blackbeard a dishonorable man with nothing in common with my principled friend. I can see John, a right-hander, casting with his left hand after making himself ambidextrous for more casting efficiency. John was good man who lived a good life. Neither alcohol nor tobacco touched his lips in his 92 years on earth. He owed his longevity, in part, to medical science — open heart surgery twice with pig valve replacements. He was about fair play and tending to your own knitting. He loved to breathe the salt air and commune with nature. After one prosperous outing near Sapelo Island, he enjoyed a serendipitous experience that I stewarded into print — my epitaph for my treasured outdoor friend. “Let’s cast a couple of times along the beach here,” John said as we were heading home. “Water’s clearing up, you never know.” As soon as he eagerly watched his line spin off his reel, he hooked something too big and strong for his lightweight equipment. A 25-pound spot tail bass had taken his bait. Only finesse would bring the quarry home. Only skill would succeed in boating such a fish. Power and force would lose this battle. Tiring out his prey, with the velvet touch, gained him the catch of the year. Today, my heart is heavy, but the sadness is ameliorated by an appreciation for John’s sportsmanship and masterly skills. Fishing with John Donaldson was like watching Monet paint. The post Remembering former Georgia player, coach ‘Jesup’ John Donaldson appeared first on DawgNation.
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