What plants keep snakes away
After the grass snake is in the garden during the day, it usually retreats to the compost heap to sleep. Here she lays her eggs, from which 20 to 30 approximately 15 cm long grass snakes hatch after 2 months.
Once the grass snake has enjoyed the garden and found a comfortable place to sleep and digest its prey, it will remain a permanent guest. Then the croaking of frogs and life in the pond is quickly over.
Is the grass snake poisonous?
The grass snake is not poisonous, but it has needle-sharp teeth with which it bites in a flash. A grass snake bite is extremely painful.
In the event of danger, the grass snake pushes its head in the direction of the attacker with a loud hissing sound.
Sometimes the grass snake plays dead. The snake's body goes limp, it turns its belly upwards and its tongue hangs out of its open mouth. A few moments later, she escapes at lightning speed.
What is the grass snake doing in the pond?
In the past, the native grass snake was also known as the water snake. There are mainly two reasons for this: On the one hand, the snake is an excellent swimmer and, on the other hand, it often spends time in and around the water. With her head raised above the water level, she majestically draws her serpentine lines across the pond.
At the edge of the pond, she lies in wait for her prey: frogs, newts, fish and other pond inhabitants have no chance and are captured in a flash and eaten in one piece.
Catch grass snake
Like all reptiles and amphibians, the grass snake is under nature protection in Germany. Therefore it is forbidden to catch grass snakes.
Drive grass snake away
It is forbidden to catch, disturb or kill grass snakes. There are severe penalties here. However, it is relatively easy to drive the grass snake away: a strong stamping is enough to make the snake flee.
Sell grass snake in the long term? That's how it's done
In the long term, the grass snake can be driven away by taking its two beloved places away from it. A fine-meshed fence around the garden pond to protect the frogs and fish. In addition, a fence around the compost heap and soon the grass snake will voluntarily leave the garden and look for another habitat.
Multiplication of grass snakes
After the grass snake has left its winter quarters in March to April, mating will soon begin. Mostly in May the snakes look for so-called mating sites. These are special areas that the animals ready to mate selectively seek out.
There typically several males, who can be recognized by their significantly smaller body size, vie for a female at the same time. There are no injuries.
The females seek particularly warm places to lay their eggs. Often these are places where heat is generated by rotting organic materials. Our compost heaps in the garden or also district heating pipes are typical here. The place where the grass snake was born is always preferred. There the snake lays 10 to 30 eggs in a pit from July to August.
After about 2 months, typically between July and September, the 15 cm long young snakes hatch. If the onset of winter comes very early, the eggs can also overwinter and the young snakes hatch in the following year.
Spread of grass snake
The grass snake is native to all of Europe. Only in Ireland, Scotland and northern Scandinavia does it not occur. It also occurs far to the east - Siberia, Caspian Sea, Asia Minor and China.
Habitat in nature
Grass snakes are often found in mixed areas with a wide variety of bodies of water. Moist biotopes along rivers and streams are the ideal habitat for grass snakes. But also gravel pits, ponds and quarries are inhabited by the snakes.
At a glance: characteristics of the grass snake
- Distinguishing feature: typical drawing on the back of the head with 2 crescent-shaped light yellow spots. This means that it is not to be confused with any other native snake
- Anatomy: relatively slim
- Achievable size: Males up to 75 cm, females 140 to 150 cm
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