I know it is illegal to kill copperheads in the state of MD, but we have a small toddler on our property that likes to run around the yard. We live cl...
Copperheads around with toddler? #790666
Asked May 13, 2022, 4:51 PM EDT
I know it is illegal to kill copperheads in the state of MD, but we have a small toddler on our property that likes to run around the yard. We live close to a lake and have lots of nice habitat for snakes. We recently have seen a few copperheads on the property and I have been relocating them a short distance away, but I imagine they just come back as we have a stone retaining wall that I bet they like to sun themselves on. Is there anyone I could call to relocate the snakes? Otherwise I just can't have them popping up all over the yard or even on our porch when there's a 20 month old baby toddling around.
Yes, it's illegal to kill any snake in MD, and we would not condone doing so either, be we understand your concerns. Fortunately, if it's at least some consolation, copperheads are very reluctant to bite. In either case, other than altering the habitat within the yard to be less appealing to the snakes for shelter or good prey hunting grounds, you may need to work with a licensed wildlife professional who can relocate them or offer other tips. We don't collect this information, but the MD DNR has a nuisance wildlife hotline that would be a good place to start to ask for advice. According to a nuisance wildlife site managed partially by the DNR, snake-excluding fencing for yards is a possibility (see the "How to Exclude Snakes from Your Property" button), though we do not know how costly or reliable a solution that may be. That site also provides a searchable list of permitted operators based on state and species, which does include snakes.
This work is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.