On the Job

Patience is also a form of action. ~Auguste Rodin, French sculptor

Meet my newest ally in an ongoing Battle against the Critters:


Fake Snake

Ever since our temps warmed up, I’ve noticed “droppings” tucked away in one corner of the front porch (you can see them in the photo — those little black dots behind my snake’s tail-end).

When I watered the shrubs and plants, I’d hose off the mess, solving the problem…until the next time, which like as not was the very next day.

Finally, I got infuriated and asked a friend how to prevent unknown critters from using our porch as their coffee klatch. She recommended I bring in a fake snake, as that worked for her.

Enter Severus.

(Isn’t he cute??)

He’s only been on duty a few days now, but his presence seems to be working.

The amount of “poop” in the corner hasn’t increased, leading me to believe he’s doing something right.

For sure, he frightens me whenever I catch sight of him!

As for what kind of critters we’re battling, I have no clue. Could be raccoons. Could be possums, rabbits, squirrels…the list goes on.

Not that I want to slay the interlopers. I merely want them to move their party down the block, far from where I live (and take their droppings with them!)

Because wild things often carry diseases. They bring their friends. They take over.

I considered other options, including spending the night on the porch and shooing them off myself.

No way.

All Severus has to do is lie there, looking ferocious.

With his tongue splayed and his tail slightly erect.

Waiting to pounce.

Patience is a virtue, and Severus has plenty of it.

But just to be on the safe side, I bought a bright green companion snake and set her up on the patio.

In case Severus runs the front yard critters to the back.

As long as the neighbor kids don’t think I’m giving away free toys, Severus and Shamrock can peacefully go about their jobs.

I’m good with that.

34 thoughts on “On the Job

  1. What a noble beast is Severus! He has certainly put me off pooping on your patio. I tried to get a close look at the poop but I wouldn’t want to say who it belonged to. Keep up the good work, Severus and Shamrock! Maybe they will have have baby fake snakes.

    • Severus thanks you for the compliment, Lucy, and I’m pretty sure he’s been eyeing Miss Shamrock. I hadn’t thought of fake baby snakes, but that would be something! Then I wouldn’t have to buy more to place strategically around the house.

    • HaHa — the bathtub? Are you sure, Kim? Might want to be certain they have a strong, healthy heart before hiding a snake in the bathtub! By the way, I picked him up at the dollar store, and there were lots of colors to choose from, in case you’re interested. xx

    • Severus thanks you, FF. Dallas sniffed once or twice at both of them, then promptly found something else to do. Perhaps if they had a little battery that made them wiggle around a bit they’d be more interesting?!!

  2. I hope Severus is a good guard snake! I once put one in the front flower garden and my mailman about had a heart attack! I felt awful at how scared he was…stopped him from cutting through the flowers; he started walking up on the stoop to the mailbox. It wasn’t put there for that reason though…I think the kids and I were hiding it from one another, silly little jokes we played on one another. The kids hid it in the house one time and scared the MIL…she was snooping in something she shouldn’t have been in!

    • See?? These $1 rubber snakes do have a purpose! I’m sorry about your poor mailman, but the snake taught him not to walk through your flowers, and your MIL shouldn’t have been snooping either! All I really want is to move the critters on down the road. Perhaps the trick is relocating him just a wee bit every evening, so the critters won’t be expecting him in the same place.

  3. Brilliant idea. I do hope you told your Mom in advance tho…I wouldn’t but I like to think you are a nicer person. If you told Domer, I am bit disappointed. Moving him around is a good idea–to add some more authenticity. I do hope you don’t attract a mongoose that eats the snake that Debbie bought to chase the critters away. . .

    • Mom knows about the snakes…BOTH of them, though I think Shamrock still creeps her out a bit. Domer, I’m sure, wishes he’d thought of it first! Mongoose?? Yikes, is that a kiddie story like that thing Domer used to love about giving a mouse a cookie?!?!

  4. He looks scary to me. The snake reminds me of the fake snakes and bugs that my children used to scatter around the house to scare me when they were younger. 🙂

  5. Debbie, I LOVE the names you gave to your two poop-watching snakes – BRILLIANT!

    And I’m so impressed by the effectiveness they’ve had on deterring the critters. I would think that other animals could “sense” if the snakes were real. GENIUS idea!

    Glad to hear that they solved your problem 🙂

    Have a GREAT rest of your week, my friend!

    • Well, let’s HOPE they’re solving the problem, Ron! I’m refraining from singing their full praises until I know for sure the critters are gone.

      I was actually wondering whether the interlopers would “know” the snakes weren’t real. Perhaps snakes have no particular odor? I know Dallas doesn’t seem to smell them, and dogs are famous for their sense of smell. Maybe moving them into slightly different positions every day — while a nuisance for me! — might help convince the critters they’re real. If only they’d do a little wiggling on their own, ha!!

      Happy rest of the week, my friend! xx

  6. Debbie, that seems like a good idea there that you have with the two snakes. I have to admit that even a plastic Severus creeps me out! I need something for a dove who is a bully, he scares the cardinals and finches away with his territorial personality.

    • You know, I’d be willing to bet a rubber snake would “solve” your bully problem, too! After all, the friend who told me about this idea said she had used one to prevent birds from making nests in an area of her house that she didn’t want them — and it worked. Maybe birds are more afraid of snakes than other critters?!?

  7. I love his name, Severus. Reminds me of a character in the Harry Potter books. Severus Snape? Or in your case, Severus Snake. Glad it’s working. On the plus, you don’t have to feed Severus any rodents. It’s a win-win!

    • That’s EXACTLY where I got the idea for his name, Monica! Domer and I saw ALL the Harry Potter movies…and read all the books. In fact, when I told him I’d named these fake snakes, he wondered why I hadn’t given a Slytherin name to Miss Shamrock, too, ha!

  8. I hope Severus does the trick for you. People here try them to keep birds off their boats, but that’s generally a magnificent failure. Birds are pretty smart, though. It may be that, if you’re dealing with mice or rats, they’re a little dimmer, and a little more easily scared. If you have a raccoon, you probably can anticipate finding your snake tied into a bow around your doorknob. 🙂

    • I’ve heard that about raccoons, and I had to chuckle at the mental picture! They’re not famous for nothing, right?! Side note: I figured if Severus was handling the porch, I might need another fake snake for a hanging basket one of the tiny birds appeared interested in. Well, to my chagrin, after placing a lovely yellow snake inside the basket, I came upon that bird using it as a perch…AFTER building its nest in among my begonia. Grrr!!!

    • I can’t tell from the droppings what kind of critter I’m dealing with. Dallas would probably herd them into a corner for me, but I don’t want him anywhere near them!

  9. I love it! Hoping they continue to serve you well. Natural solutions are often the best. Any boys run off with the “toys” yet?

    • I imagine Severus has given our mailman and paper carrier cause to pause! But no, thankfully, he’s still on the job…and so’s his counterpart. The third one I bought for a hanging basket, but it’s a complete failure!

  10. Pingback: Epic Fail | Musings by an ND Domer's Mom

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