Do Bull Snakes Keep Rattlesnakes Away?
Bull snakes are often mistaken for rattlesnakes due to their coloring but actually belong to a different species. The bull snake is known to feed mostly on mice, eggs, and even other snakes while rattlesnakes usually feeds on small mammals, lizards, and rodents. But can bull snakes help keep rattlesnakes away?
Along With Good Rattlesnake Prevention Habits, Bull Snakes Could Help Deter Rattlesnakes
Bull snakes can potentially help deter rattlesnakes from an area by:
- Preying on rats and mice – Since their diets mainly consist of rats and mice, having bull snakes in an area could help reduce the rodent population, which in turn could reduce the opportunity for rattlesnakes to find their prey.
- Utilizing the same habitats – Both rattlesnakes and bull snakes can be found in a variety of habitats, including rocky hillsides and desert shrubland. If a bull snake outnumbers rattlesnakes in an area, the rattlesnakes may move on to find alternate shelters.
- Competing for food sources – As mentioned before, bull snakes are known for preying on rodents, eggs, and other small snakes. If there are more bull snakes than rattlesnakes, the two species may compete for the same food sources.
It’s Best to Follow Good Rattlesnake Prevention Habits
Even if bull snakes can help deter rattlesnakes, it is still important to practice good prevention habits to minimize the risk of being bitten by a rattlesnake. These habits may include:
- Avoiding walking barefoot or wearing sandals in areas that have been known to have rattlesnakes.
- Avoiding tall grass and staying on paths when hiking.
- Checking boots, wood piles, and other areas around the house for snakes before touching.
- Staying away from snakes and not trying to touch them.
In conclusion, having bull snakes in an area could potentially help decrease the number of rattlesnakes in the area. But since rattlesnakes are still very dangerous, it is still important to follow good rattlesnake prevention habits to keep yourself safe from potential bites.