Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daniel Thompson

Authorities now carrying wasp spray for snakes


Four more reports of rattlesnakes within the city limits emerge have been reported in the last week, but no further dens have been discovered by city officials since last reported.

Kimball Police Chief Darren Huff has figured out a new line of defense against the rattling pests: wasp killer.

According to Huff, he had recently received a phone call from long-time Kimball resident Clark Huff, informing him of the unconventional solution to the problem.

“He starts telling me about how this wasp killer will ‘turn them upside down and they’ll be pushing up daisies.’ It kills them. At first, I thought this can’t be true so I did some research. Sure enough, there were multiple articles about it,” Huff said.

Wasp killer also benefits residents when encountering rattlesnakes in that one does not have to get to close to the snake in order for their endeavor to be effective.

“The neat thing about wasp killer is that you have quite a bit of distance. Because you’re trying to reach wasp nest that are high, the manufacturer will make it to where you’re shooting a stream,” Huff said.

However, there is one condition that one must meet when using wasp killer on a rattlesnake: you have to get it on their face.

“All you have to do is hit them in the face so that their tongue, their eyes, their nostrils, and all of their olfaction will catch it. They’ll get it in to their system, and it will kill them,” Huff said.

Though it is a certainty that the snake will die, it will not be instant and could take between 45 minutes to several hours before the snake succumbs to the effects of the spray. This is also only a solution for individual snakes and will not have any effect on a nest should the snake return to it after coming into contact with the wasp killer, according to Huff.

“Once they get sprayed with it, they’ll start to try to roll to get it off of them, but as soon as the tongue comes out they bring it in. They’ve ingested it, and it’s just a matter of time at that point,” Huff said.

Huff has also taken a proactive stance and has purchased wasp killer for all of the Police Department’s vehicles so that they can better handle the situation if called for a rattlesnake sighting.

Though, wasp killer is an effective solution and readily available for residents to buy, Huff discourages residents from actively seeking out rattlesnakes to test it out.

“I wouldn’t seek it out, but if you do have one in your yard or see one, that is a good way to deal with it if you don’t want to get too close to it,” Huff said.


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