For most people, finding a snake in your house or in your yard can be alarming. But the fact is, most snakes are harmless to humans, and many do the noble job of keeping more annoying pests (e.g., rodents) in check.
If you spot one in your yard, the best thing to do in most cases is to leave it alone, and it will probably go its own way eventually. Consistently seeing a snake on your property can be a sign of a rodent infestation.
Snakes are not the most noticeable creatures. They tend to hide and make little noise, so you might not see them in your house even if you have a full-fledged infestation. But even if you don’t see them directly, they do leave certain signs–namely, poop, skins, and tracks.
With that said, there are many steps you can take to make your house and yard unappealing to snakes.
How to Get Rid of Snakes Out of Your House
Snakes enter your home either to find shelter from the elements or to hunt for food (namely rodents). Although they are generally harmless, seeing a snake in the home is far from a pleasant surprise.
As snakes can be venomous and carry diseases, handling them directly is discouraged. Simply depriving them of food and shelter can yield good results:
- Eliminate food sources. No program for control of rodent-eating snakes is complete without removing rodents and habitats of rodents. Put all possible food sources for rodents in sealed containers. Be sure to clean up food for pets after each feeding and store it so that rodents won’t be able to get to it.
- Seal gaps. While snakes can squeeze through some very small openings, they can’t create new ones. All gaps exceeding 1/8th of an inch should be sealed with caulk. Holes in wooden structures can be sealed with sheet metal or 1/8th inch mesh hardware cloth.
- Reduce Clutter. Snakes love clutter, so if nothing else, a potential snake problem can be ample motivation to tidy up a bit. Try keeping your garage floor clear of anything that a snake could hide in or under. Storing wood piles off the ground (e.g., on a pallet) and keeping yards closely mowed and free of debris are other easy ways to make your home less hospitable to snakes.
- Set snake traps. If you suspect there are snakes in your garage, consider using funnel traps or glue boards. For the greatest effectiveness, set traps along walls and in corners. One downside of traps is that since they often use the smell of food to attract the snake, there exists the possibility of luring a snake inside your home with a trap. Live catching is also an option, but this can be risky and is best left to professionals.
- Call a professional. It is always best to contact a professional for snake removal, as snakes can be venomous and carry diseases. Furthermore, they usually occur alongside rodents, which are themselves a formidable nuisance that can be difficult to root out. For this reason, the safest option is always to consult with a professional.
Snakes are ectothermic, using the environmental temperature to regulate their body temperature. So as the temperatures drop, snakes need to find a warm place in order to remain active, which could be your home.
How to Get Snakes Out of Your Yard
Snakes in your yard may not be as bad as snakes in your house, but the sight of one can still be a bit jarring. If you do see a snake in your yard, the best thing to do is just leave it be, and it will probably leave eventually.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your yard remains unappealing to snakes:
- Cut grass often. Snakes are less likely to rest and move in short grass, as it leaves them exposed to predators like owls and hawks.
- Avoid over-watering your lawn. Excessive water in your yard may attract worms, slugs, and frogs, which will, in turn, attract snakes.
- Feed pets inside. Pet food left outside is a surefire way to attract rodents, and rodents are a surefire way to attract snakes. Keep pet food sealed in tight containers, or better yet, keep it inside.
- Garden them out. Marigolds, lemongrass, Mother-in-Law’s tongue, wormwood, onion, and garlic are common plants that keep snakes away.
- Keep bird feeders away from the house, or get rid of them. The thrill of birdwatching comes at a price—and not just the price of bird seed. Birds are messy eaters and often leave scattered birdseed on the ground below the feeder. This attracts rodents, and, you guessed it, snakes.
- Consider using fencing. If the aforementioned measures don’t work, consider using ¼ of an inch or smaller rigid mesh or solid sheeting and bury it a few inches into the ground. Include a bend at the top to prevent snakes from climbing up and over.
- Don’t bring out guns, shovels, or other weapons. It’s true; snakes carry a stigma. Many people feel the urge to kill a snake the moment they lay eyes on it—even a harmless garden snake. This is not recommended, since not only are most snakes harmless to humans, even those that are venomous won’t go out of their way to attack. Plus, killing a snake requires one to get at least somewhat close to it, which can be dangerous in itself.
Professional Snake Control
Finding a snake in your yard once usually is not a big concern. If you leave it alone, it will leave you alone. If you see a snake consistently in your yard, there could be another pest problem.
Trutech technicians are experts at identifying factors and conditions that will increase snake activity. We can effectively trap snakes utilizing various traps and baits, as well as using snake deterrents to discourage snakes from wanting to stay in an area. Most importantly, the experts can identify any signs of a rodent infestation and deliver a rodent control program to solve all your nuisance animal problems.