Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - July 12, 2011

From: Auburn, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pests
Title: Discouraging rattlesnakes in northern California
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Searching for information re: managing your garden to discourage snakes, especially rattlesnakes. I live in northern California and we have many. I found one of your articles, but the link to an U. of Miss. article on this very topic does not link. Could you please send me that link or tell me more about being a more informed gardner. I have heard that rosemary attracts them and am asking if this is true and what also can be done to discourage them. Thank You !!!

ANSWER:

Sorry the link to discouraging snakes did not work for you.  Here it is again.  I hope it connects this time.  The main points are to remove all potential hiding places for snakes and their prey. 

Most experts claim that plants do not thenselves attract or deter snakes.  But they may attract rodents or other favored snake prey.  So you should consider whether any of your plants might be in that category, e.g., if they produce edible fruit or nuts that fall to the ground.  One effective deterrent is the king snake, which eats rattlesnakes.  Keep them if found, but remember that the rattlesnake prey you should eliminate are also favorites of the king snake.

If you think you have more than one or two rattlesnakes, especially in early spring and fall, that raises the possibility of a rattlesnake den being in the vicinity.  Rattlesnakes den up for the winter in caves, sink holes and other sites protected from the cold and gradually disperse from that spot when warm weather arrives.  Get in touch with the Placer County Cooperative Extension Service personnel if you suspect that such sites may exist near you, and the officials can put you in touch with someone who knows how to look for dens.

Good luck, and watch where you step!

 

More Pests Questions

Texas Mountain Laurel oozing sap in Spicewood, TX.
July 05, 2012 - We have a Texas mountain laurel that seems to be sweating. Oozing sap with no apparent signs of any type of bore holes, or holes made from any birds.
view the full question and answer

Something damages leaves on Tecoma stans from Austin
November 08, 2013 - Help! Something is chomping my Esperanzas. I thought it was deer but they don't seem to be eating other yellow bells in my neighborhood. I think it's an insect. Something is completely stripping the...
view the full question and answer

Larvae swimming in water with plant cutting
September 09, 2010 - When you take a cutting from a plant and put it in water and bring it in your home a couple of days later you notice larvae swimming around, what is that?
view the full question and answer

Bare spot in Prairie Phlox in Austin
February 25, 2009 - I have Prairie Phlox in my garden that I have had for about 4 to 6 years. I got the original plant from the NPSOT at their booth one year at the Wildflower center. It is really lovely in the spring wh...
view the full question and answer

Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
June 28, 2012 - My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.