The average person will not be happy to find snakes in their home or even on their property, but in most cases these reptiles are completely harmless. Even if they won’t do any harm, you should still know how to get rid of snakes in case you see a poisonous one or simply don’t want to have them around.
1. In most cases, you can actually just leave the snake where it is without any problems, provided it isn’t inside your home.
2. If you need to remove the snake, then sweep it using a broom as this will keep you a safe distance away; this method is ideal for when the snake is inside.
3. For those with the ability to positively identify a snake and confirm it isn’t poisonous, put on some thick gloves and physically pick up and move the snake.
4. Some snake traps are reasonably effective at catching snakes, but repellents do not work.
5. If you don’t want any snakes to ever come on your property, you need to install a snake fence.
6. Property modifications can make your home less desirable to snakes by getting rid of shelter.
7. When in doubt, hire a snake removal professional, particularly if you aren’t sure whether or not the snake is poisonous.
Use Snake Traps Outside
If you already have a snake on your property and want to get rid of it without having to touch it, then traps are your friend. There are specially-made snake traps that can get the job done, but they work best if you know the snake is in the immediate area; you can’t just guess that they are somewhere nearby. The trap typically gives off the smell of live mice, which attracts the snakes and then trap the serpent when it gets inside. You can find a range of sizes of traps to meet your needs, but you should always be careful. You will still have to handle the snake when removing it and you don’t want to be bitten by a poisonous one or have it end up wrapped around a limb (or your neck), putting you at risk. Because of the risks of dealing with snakes, most people should just leave trapping and removing them to a professional.
What About Snakes Inside?
While traps work well outside, dealing with a snake in your home, shed, or garage is a more immediate concern. If you can confirm that the snake isn’t poisonous and not large enough to cut off circulation if it wraps around a limb, you can just put on a glove and pick it up. Or just use a broom as suggested to move it out. Otherwise, just hire a professional. Of course, if the snake is in your shed and you don’t use the space often, you can probably just leave it alone, assuming it isn’t poisonous. Snakes are likely to move on after a few days.
Why Repellents Are Less Than Ideal
You can see results with getting rid of snakes by using repellent, but they won’t last. The problem is that the smell of the repellent fades quickly and this is what keeps the serpents away. That means you have to reapply them regularly. You also have to be careful with the repellent you choose if you have pets or children as many contain harsh chemicals.
Make Sure They Can’t Get Inside
As with any other wild animal you want to get rid of or keep away, the best way to keep snakes out of your home is to ensure they don’t have a way to get inside. This means inspecting your home and sealing off any opening that could provide an entry point. Pay close attention to areas by doors, windows, and pipes.
General Lawn Maintenance Will Discourage Snakes
Instead of having to get rid of snakes, it is much easier to make some simple modifications to your property and home to ensure they never approach in the first place. Snakes are attracted to the hiding or resting spots on your property such as thick foliage, bushes, and shrubs. To discourage them, always cut your grass and keep the shrubs trimmed, minimizing hiding spots. Don’t forget to rake up and bag piles of leaves and clear wood piles as well. Not only will it discourage snakes, but keeping your lawn and shrubs well-maintained lets you see any snakes on the property at a glance.
The most common issues homeowners have with these guidelines are keeping the grass short and getting rid of wood piles. While having wood on hand is convenient for starting a fire in your fireplace in the winter, it also offers a nice, cool spot for snakes to hide. Just store you wood somewhere else, such as inside a shed that has been snake-proofed. If you like the look of tall grass, you are out of luck as this is just too much temptation for snakes thanks to the cool temperatures and the fact that the grass also attracts insects and rodents, providing food for the serpents.
A lot of people are afraid of snakes and it is no wonder, as they have gotten a bad reputation throughout the ages. Most people will associate snakes with venom and though some snakes can inject venom with a bite, most of them actually won’t. Most snakes, even the venomous ones will rather avoid a human than confront one; because of that chances are that even if you are in an area with a lot of snakes you will not come across one. That said there is a small chance that snakes will make a home on your property. Some will find a rock fence or decoration too tempting not to make a home there, so you have to know the things that you can do in order to keep these snakes off of your property. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
Safety First: Even though most snakes are not poisonous there are some that are. If you do not know how to recognize a poisonous snake then you are better off leaving the removal to a professional. In the United States there are a total of four snake types that you should be really concerned about and they are the rattlesnake, the copperhead, cottonmouth moccasin and the coral snake. There are different species of those and the most dangerous is the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. If you are familiar with the types of snakes in your area you should be able to recognize the ones mentioned before. Also keep in mind that just because a snake is not poisonous that does not mean that you cannot be the victim of a nasty bite, so when removing snakes you should take every precaution necessary. Catching a snake is not as simple as they make it seem on TV.
Repellents: You can find some snake repellents o the market, but in reality they are not the most effective way to remove or keep snakes off of your property. Some snakes will avoid the repellent while others will act as if the repellent is not even there. Some wildlife experts will also tell you that the snake repellent is simply not efficient enough to be worth the money. Some that are effective are the ones that give out the scent of a predator. That in some cases will work, but as a matter of effectiveness you may want to go with a trap instead. There are of course some negatives to the trap as well, for example the size of the trap as compared to the size of the snake, but even then a trap seems to be a lot more effective than a repellent. Try the trap first, if you already have the repellent you can try it, but it is not recommended as a first and only solution.
Change A Welcoming Habitat: By far the most effective way to keep snakes away from an area of your property is to make the property not suitable for the snakes. Most of the US is home to snakes and yet you see very few times when a snake makes a nest or den in a person’s home. Usually snakes will choose to go into someone’s property if the home provides them with proper shelter. That in most cases means debris and rocks that can look perfect for a hiding spot, a warm moist area or a hunting ground with rodents. These kinds of habitats will allow the snake not only to have a place for shelter, but also a place to hide after a hunt. Clean up the debris carefully as there is a chance that there is already a snake there. Removal may be dangerous, is very tedious and in some cases is better handled by a professional service.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.