Q: Last summer, my lawn care crew killed a copperhead snake in the ivy behind my house. There is a creek nearby. I’ve heard that spreading lime or mothballs in the ivy would deter the snakes. Do either of these methods work?
A: Neither of them works. Snake control is best done by removing environments they like. It’s easy for snakes to find food near a creek and shelter under low groundcover like ivy. Since you have both, you’ll have snakes for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that you are not likely to find many poisonous snakes these days. Unless the dead snake was positively identified by a wildlife expert, my bet is that it was a non-poisonous water snake of some sort. These creatures resemble copperheads.
My best advice is to prop a “snake stick” by the back door. When you venture into the ivy or walk to the creek, use the stick to rap on the ground and swish through the leaves. Snakes will invisibly disappear so you can enjoy your property.