Why Missouri’s Largest Snakes are Your Friend and Don’t Hurt Them
I am not a fan of snakes so it pains me to say this, but you really should love the largest snake in Missouri because he/she/it really is your friend especially if you're a farmer.
This big reptile is the Bullsnake. I saw a brand new (and educational) video on Vimeo today that reminded me that this large snake is not to be feared. Here's the description from the channel:
Bullsnakes are Missouri's largest snake. They are beneficial to farmers for all the crop destroying rodents they consume.
Bullsnakes act intimidating, but it's all for show. They're really softies. More or less. The problem is they look a little like rattlesnakes which are bad news.
So Bullsnakes are farmer's buddies?
A to Z Animals calls the Bullsnake "the farmer's friend" and that's the truth.
What do I do if I see one?
Most snake experts will tell you Bullsnakes are docile and don't want anything to do with humans. Leave it alone and it will likely be perfectly still and/or quietly escape. If you get close enough though, they will rear up and try to look as big as possible. The huffing you'll hear if this happens makes them sound a bit like a bull snorting which is how they got their well-deserved name. These snakes are not venomous.
Be aware there is a myth that Bullsnakes kill rattlesnakes. That unfortunately isn't likely to be true. A to Z Animals debunks this. Still, they should be left alone and definitely not harmed as they do more good than bad.