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SNAKES

Snakes exist in every province throughout the country. If left alone, they prefer not to conflict with man. But we continue to invade their domain. This displacement leads to confrontation and such confrontations are on the rise. Snakes are drawn to our yards, homes and buildings because we unintentionally create environments they like. However we use some chemicals to control them. We often combine these with other methods which limit their movement.

All snakes are strictly carnivorous, eating small animals including lizards, other snakes, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, snails or insects. Because snakes cannot bite or tear their food to pieces, they must swallow prey whole. The body size of a snake has a major influence on its eating habits. Smaller snakes eat smaller prey. Juvenile pythons might start out feeding on lizards or mice and graduate to small deer or antelope as an adult, for example.

Cobras, vipers, and closely related species use venom to immobilize or kill their prey. The venom is modified saliva, delivered through fangs. The fangs of 'advanced' venomous snakes are hollow to inject venom more effectively, while the fangs of rear-fanged snakes merely have a groove on the posterior edge to channel venom into the wound. Snake venoms are often prey specific, their role in self-defense is secondary.

Venom, like all salivary secretions, is a predigestant that initiates the breakdown of food into soluble compounds, facilitating proper digestion. Even nonvenomous snake bites (like any animal bite) will cause tissue damage. We have various solutions to snake control which include biological, mechanical and chemical.

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