The Grass Snake: Should We Be Careful?
- Is a grass snake dangerous?
- Do grass snakes attack?
- What should I do if I encounter a grass snake?
One thing is for sure, and the only thing I can grant you is that you will be experts at the end of this article.
These famous green snakes are harmless so they will never attack you even if you threaten them. All this is because they have no venom and they can't strangle you of course. Yet you and I would be surprised or rather scared to see such a snake roaming in front of us, we wonder why? Could it be their resemblance to the really dangerous snakes 🐍?
Snakes are a fascinating species that looks a lot like the ordinary snake. If you are a fan of these beautiful creatures, then the snake ring collection will be your paradise.
WHAT IS A GRASS SNAKE?
The snake we are talking about today is a very special species because it is not dangerous, YES it will not hurt you. Its size can reach the 1 meter long all this over a life of 25 years. Their body is between black and brown with black stripes on the sides to finish with a contrast with the white on the belly. They also have a yellow and black collar at the back of the head. 🐍 Last detail on their physique, they also have very esthetic round pupils.
Their habitats have almost no borders, they live in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Unfortunately, they could not conquer most of the Channel Islands (Scotland, Northern Ireland,...).
WHERE DO GRASS SNAKES LIVE?
Grass snakes are most comfortable in moist environments such as meadows with tall grass, rivers and lakes nearby. But also one of the most important criteria is the number of prey, if the place is in shortage of prey then it is not suitable for them. Dry areas may be acceptable as well, but less comfortable of course.
Grass snakes are often very active, but sometimes they will go to bed and enjoy the sun 🌞 and then attack their prey with more energy or just for fun?
The winter is the period when all reptiles will be in a second state called hibernation. For grass snakes, this period takes place between October and March, and they like to hibernate in dry places for example old rabbit warrens, in holes or in walls.
ARE GRASS SNAKES DANGEROUS?
As we said earlier in this article, these grass snakes are harmless. When they feel in danger they will not hesitate to use their secret weapons (swelling, whistling, or hitting with their heads). This is often enough to persuade humans but does not deter a fearless cat or dog.🐈
In this case, the animal will use an amazing recourse. In other words, it will play dead. It will stick out its tongue, leave its mouth open, and lie down on its back. This performance is worthy of Hollywood: it works, but predators often walk with a leash on it. Finally, if this technique doesn't work (rarely) the snake will release a disgusting liquid with an unbearable smell. So NO, they are not venomous.
DO GRASS SNAKES ATTACK?
These creatures remain very shy when humans are around them. When they see a human they will often take their shelter and try to go unnoticed. If you are interested in seeing a grass snake then you should go to the parks in the morning when they come out to sunbathe and allow their bodies to huddle. Try to avoid bothering them as they will disappear directly and you will not be able to see them.
DO GRASS SNAKES HAVE PREDATORS?
Yes, a number of animals attack grass snakes.
Their predators are really numerous, you have weasels, mink, large birds, badgers, dogs, cats, foxes, ravens, magpies, and domestic chickens. For you to know the danger these creatures feel, even a poor hedgehog is a predator for this snake.
The only danger is not predators. We have roads that can cause a lot of deaths. But the biggest killer is the net. When a snake puts its head in the net, it can't get out of the net at the size of its body, that's why it will try to get deeper and deeper and eventually get stuck forever and end up losing its life. It's a rather sad spectacle that we don't advise you to attend. 😥
So to avoid unknowingly killing animals, try to pick up your nets. If you find a net that has a snake stuck in it then place a towel over the snake and cut it up leaving plenty of room. After sending it to the veterinarian to save it. If you take it off directly it can cause it to get infected and die a slow and painful death, of course, you don't want that to happen. This applies to any wildlife you find entangled in garden or soccer goal nets.
Perhaps you now have a little pity for snakes? So am I!
WHAT DOES A SNAKE EAT?
Their diet depends completely on the period of the year, to learn the diet of ordinary snakes then discover our blog: snake diet.
March - Mid-May: The targets will be small fish in large quantities. This target in question is not chosen by chance because this species in spring is really abundant. They are found everywhere in the perennial weeds of the rivers. You can often see prairie snakes lying in lawns and stalking winged fish. 🐟
From May to late June/early July, the focus is on newts, as their own life cycle does not include a terrestrial phase until late July.
July: It is more likely that frogs and toads will fall into the mouths of grass snakes during this period. All this is due to the displacement of both species away from the ponds and into the deep forests. The wooded groves and long grass/ground cover and a higher number of frogs and toads will then be taken. So this encounter is only a coincidence of nature bringing them together during a specific period of the year.
Rats (for mature females) and waterfowl nests are also targeted by Grass Snakes (mainly to supplement an otherwise limited diet); newborns consume young/small fish, late tadpoles and the recently metamorphosed generation of frogs and toads. It is also mentioned that worms have sometimes been eaten by snakes, but this has not been scientifically proven. 👨🏻🔬
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THERE IS A SNAKE IN MY GARDEN?
You see that finally, this snake is not so dangerous. On the contrary, it is surrounded by danger and predators. So understanding it is the least we can do to respect it, who can blame them?
If you see an elongated creature that looks like a snake. The most likely possibility is a slow worm. But if you live near a pond or in a wet or semi-rural area, it may be possible that it is a grass snake. 🐍
For us, we saw snakes in the evening around a pond. It hunts rather well but especially their way of swimming is incredible. It is always a shock to see them, but it is beautiful! So if you see an animal of this kind don't do anything to it because to hurt it is forbidden and don't forget that it's afraid of you but especially that it's just looking for something to eat.