Golf Course Management

APR 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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research pipes or other objects a snake could use for leverage to escape. To capture larger snakes, use several glueboards tacked to a 16- × 24-inch (41- × 61-centimeter) piece of ¼-inch plywood. Drill a ¾-inch (2-centimeter) hole in one corner of the board. When you need to remove the board, use a hook on the end of a long stick to grab the corner through the hole. This type of trap, when placed against a wall, is capable of capturing snakes up to 5 or 6 feet (1.5 or 1.8 meters) long. This method takes advantage of the snakes' habit of crawling along edges. Use glueboards only indoors or under structures where children, pets and wildlife cannot reach them—the glue is quite messy and hard to remove. Use common cooking or vegetable oil to remove snakes from the glue. Afterward, be sure to close any holes or entrances so more snakes do not enter. Remember, snakes are an important part of our natural world. Whenever possible, the best approach to managing snakes is to leave them alone. (Above) Damage caused by a foraging woodpecker. Photo by Paul Curtis, Cornell University Extension (Right) In the wild, woodpeckers are beautiful, but they can damage buildings when they are looking for food. Photo by Dave Menke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Woodpeckers the ground, rock and junk piles, and trash piles. Trim shrubs and trees so limbs hang no lower than 12 inches (30 centimeters) from the ground. Stack lumber and pipe away from buildings on racks that sit at least 12 inches from the ground. Keeping the area clean also removes habitat for rodents, a favorite food for snakes. Capturing snakes in buildings Snakes enter buildings in search of cool, damp, dark areas, or places where rodents and insects abound. To prevent snakes from entering your buildings, check the foundation for cracks and openings ¼ inch or larger. Use mortar to plug holes in poured concrete, concrete block or brick foundations. Use ⅛-inch (0.3-centimeter) hardware cloth or sheet metal to seal holes and cracks in wooden buildings. Seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, electrical and plumbing pipes, and wiring with caulk or injectable foam. Occasionally golf course personnel encounter a snake inside a building or in a basement or crawl space. Snakes are attracted to these areas by warmth on cold days and cool shade on hot days. An effective method of capturing elusive snakes inside a home, under porches, in crawl spaces or under mobile homes is to use a glueboard. (Glueboards are often used to trap mice or rats.) Most small snakes can be captured using a single glueboard placed against a wall, away from 98 GCM April 2013 Several species of woodpeckers can cause damage to buildings on golf courses. Woodpeckers are federally protected so be sure to contact your state wildlife agency before implementing control measures. Before authorities will allow lethal control of woodpeckers, it must be shown that non-lethal methods have been tried. At certain times woodpeckers just want to make noise. Their hammering serves as a warning to other woodpeckers that a territory is taken. In such cases the birds may hammer on metal poles, metal siding or other surfaces that provide loud and enhanced acoustics. In some cases the woodpeckers may be pecking to get at insects under siding. This may indicate that an insect problem needs to be addressed. Some of the plywood-type sidings are manufactured in a way that leaves hollow spots under the surface. When a woodpecker taps the surface, the hollow spot falsely indicates there is an insect under the surface. In these cases the woodpecker makes holes in the siding while seeking an imaginary insect. Non-lethal control methods Several exclusion methods are available. One of the most effective methods of excluding woodpeckers from damaging wood siding beneath the eaves is to place lightweight plastic bird-type netting over the area. The netting can be attached to the overhanging eaves and angled back to the siding below the damaged area and tightly secured.

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