A few weeks ago, when the wren house was invaded by rodents, I half-jokingly said to my husband, “What we need is a snake.”
Apparently the yard was listening.
(My first instinct was to label these photos “Eastern Rat Snake.” A few clicks through the Virginia Herpetological Society’s website changed my mind, and their quick response to my e-mail ID request confirmed that our visitor was a Northern Black Racer.)
I gave the snake an hour or so, to recover from the fright of being photographed by a pajama-clad woman carrying a noisy camera, then I measured the fence with a ruler. Each board in the fence is a little over five inches wide…
…and the snake was about seven boards long.
Perhaps that’s big enough to tackle the wren house rats? Because after we took down the wren house, one of the rats moved into a small pile of branches we keep forgetting to haul away. Today, the snake moved into that same pile of branches.
The last time we had a rat problem, a hawk solved it. I think a snake is an equally elegant solution.