North Shore Gardening Life

Days Until First Frost

Snakes – How Wonderful They Are In the Garden!

These pictures were published on Facebook in March 2021, and are appearing again this year.  

The “snake” man is Pete Freckelton from the Annapolis Valley. 

Here’s what he has to say about our five native snakes and their usefulness in the garden:


“As our native snakes emerge from their winter dens to bask & mate over the next couple of months, I just want to

remind you that ALL of our local snakes are entirely harmless, and all fill a vital role in our ecosystem.

Our little redbelly & ringneck snakes feed almost exclusively on slugs, providing important pest control for NS fruit-growers. Our gorgeous smooth green snakes hunt a wide array of invertebrates, including pest insects and spiders.

Our largest & most common native snake, the Maritime garter, eats mostly amphibians, but will also make short work of rodent young on your property.

Garters, along with the much rarer Northern (Eastern?) ribbon snake, also help keep frog populations in-check so they remain healthy & thriving.

“There are NO venomous snakes in Nova Scotia, and all of our native species provide important services for us.

Leave them alone, and they’ll leave you alone. . . . BUT, even if you managed to terrify a local snake into biting you, most couldn’t even break your skin, and those that could, can’t do much more than make a few pinpricks. Nova Scotia snakes can’t hurt you. . . .

If a snake absolutely needs to be moved, just move it. . . . There are no fancy tools or special holds required to handle a NS snake. . . . I just pick it up, plop it in an old pillowcase, and gently release it somewhere nearby. They just want to get away from you.

Just for Pete’s sake, don’t kill any of our snakes!”                                                                                                 March, 2024

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