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How to Get Rid of Snakes from your Homes and Garden

Filed in Articles by on June 22, 2021

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Have you been wondering how to get rid of snakes in your homes or your garden area? For many homeowners, the sight of a snake is among the scariest of all pests. Whether a snake is venomous or not is almost beside the point, as many people suffer from ophidiophobia – the abnormal fear of snakes.

how to get rid of snakes

Snakes – scaly, legless creatures that slither into your yard and sometimes even your home. While your first instinct may be to run the other way, there are several benefits to keeping them around.

Home Remedies on How to Get Rid of Snakes

Snakes are more commonly encountered when temperatures average between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit; usually during the spring and throughout the summer.

They are most active in early morning and late afternoon, as summer temperatures are often too hot for them to be out in during the hottest times of day. Snake activity will pick back up again in late summer and early fall before they go into hibernation.

But if you suffer from ophidiophobia – the abnormal fear of snakes, then getting rid of them would be the best option. Lets show you some tips and ways to get rid of them below:

Eliminate Food Supplies:

Snakes are often found in areas where rodents are present as this is one of their primary food sources. Snakes are also known to eat frogs, birds, moles, voles, insects, and even fish.

If you have a problem with any of these animals, consider getting rid of that pest issue first. Once the source of food has been eliminated, snakes will move on in search of another source of food.

Eliminate Hiding Places:

Snakes prefer dark, damp places and are known to live and hide in cracks, crevices, and holes. Eliminating these hiding places can help deter snakes from taking up residence on your property. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home and your property and repair any cracks or holes you find.

Repair any damaged gutters, piping, and ventilation ducts. Repair or replace any damaged screens on windows and doors. Snakes will also hide in wood piles and compost heaps.

If possible, store firewood in sealed, lockable wood boxes. Try to get rid of any piles of wood chip mulch, straw mulch, leaves, etc. that may be collecting on your property.“How to Get Rid of Snakes ”

Change Up Your Landscaping:

If your yard or garden is prone to snakes, consider making changes that will deter these pests from coming in. Garden regularly to remove any snake attractants like debris, holes, and overgrowth. Keep the grass cut short to eliminate hiding places for snakes.

Consider installing snake-proof fencing made of steel mesh, plastic sheeting, or catch net. If you do install fencing, make sure it is flush with the ground and angled outward and that it is at least 3 feet high and 4 feet deep.

You can also use materials that make it difficult for snakes to slither over like holly leaves, pine cones, egg shells, and gravel. You can also consider planting snake repellent plants that provide a natural deterrent. Some common examples include marigolds, lemongrass, and wormwood.

Smoke Them Out:

Snakes have an elevated sense of smell and are ultra-sensitive to odors and fumes. One smell they particularly dislike is smoke. One remedy is to dig a fire pit and let it smoke for several days – covering the embers with moss and leaves can give you the best effect.

Use Natural Predators:

Foxes and raccoons are common predators of snakes. Guinea hens, turkeys, pigs, and cats will also help keep snakes away. If foxes are indigenous to your area, fox urine is a very good natural repellent for snakes when spread around your property.

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More Tips to Note on How to Get Rid of Snakes

Snakes keep rodent populations under control, with a single snake able to eat 3 to 4 mice at one time. They also eat moles, voles, insects, and even fish.

Know a Snake’s Habits:

Because snakes are cold-blooded, they will always seek a location that offers warmth, moisture, and a food source. In other words, they look for a homesite of convenience with a plentiful number of rodents nearby. As disturbing as snakes may be to homeowners, they are not known to cause any damage to homes or structures. 

Know Where to Look:

A shed snakeskin seen on or near your property means you should check the area. But proceed with caution: You’ll need protective clothing, a flashlight, and snake tongs so you can manage a live serpent (if you spot one) from a distance. You should probe outdoor areas such as:

  • Tall grasses and shrubs
  • Under storage buildings or sheds
  • Piles of wood
  • Tree branches or limbs that reach your roof

getting rid of snakes

If you find a snakeskin indoors, your search will change as snakes are skilled at hiding in small spaces. Snakes are capable climbers, and you’ll need to examine locations in your home such as:

  • Near heat sources and water pipes
  • Piles of clothing and/or boxes
  • Wall ledges and rafters
  • Near and behind appliances
  • Small cracks or openings near doors and windows

Consider Elimination:

Because most homeowners don’t have experience with snakes and may not know the differences between species, it is recommended that you consult a pest control professional for advice about protecting your property and removing any potential habitats.

Preventive Measures

There are several ways you can prevent snakes from invading your home, farm, or store. These measures will help you stop them from coming around.

Clean Up Your Yard: Take the time to eliminate debris, trash and vegetation that builds up on your lawn. It’s best to rake regularly and never leave piles of leaves or branches sitting out. This also goes for toys, decorations and even rocks.

Trim Your Trees and Shrubs: Don’t let your trees, bushes and shrubs become overgrown. Not only will they provide the perfect cover for snakes, but they’ll also create an ideal environment that insects like mosquitoes and roaches thrive in.

Keep Your Grass Short: An overgrown yard can be unsightly, so it’s a constant reminder of when you need to be mowing the grass. This step is also especially important if you have pets and children, because snakes love to hide in tall grass.

If they go unseen in the middle of your yard, they’re much more likely to be stepped on, and this will aggravate them and cause them to bite.

Eliminate Moisture: In addition to the hiding spaces that backyards provide, they also tend to offer the perfect climate for snakes – cool and damp.

There can be so many holes and objects in your yard that retain water, and these are all appealing to snakes. After it rains, check to see where water is pooling.

Fill in any  divots or holes in your yard as best as you can, and take the time to drain bird houses and flower pots that might still contain rainwater.

Cleaning up your yard goes hand in hand with this step, because you’ll also be able to remove the debris that tends to soak up moisture and retain it.“How to Get Rid of Snakes ”

Mulch: In the areas where you already mulch around your house, you can switch to using sharper materials like rock chips and crushed up pine cones. Snakes won’t want to move over these materials, so they’ll act as a deterrent.

Utilizing Natural Products

There are several natural products that work well as snake repellents. Some of the more common ones include:

Napthalene: Napthalene is a common ingredient found in many commercial snake repellent products. It is one of the most common snake repellents. If you don’t want to spend money on a commercial product, napthalene is also the main ingredient found in moth balls.

The smell of napthalene irritates snakes without harming them. Place mothballs in holes, cracks, crevices, or any other areas around your property where snakes may be a problem. 

Sulfur: Powdered sulfur is a great option to repel snakes. Place powdered sulfur around your home and property and once snakes slither across it, it irritates their skin so they won’t return.

Sulfur does give off a strong odor so consider wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth when applying it.“How to Get Rid of Snakes ”

Clove & Cinnamon Oil: Clove and cinnamon oil are effective snake repellents. These should be mixed together in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on snakes for maximum effect.

Use caution as snakes will often run in the opposite direction of the spray. This mixture can also be used in a diffuser indoors as a fumigant, as well.

Garlic & Onions: The sulfonic acid in garlic and onions (the same chemical that makes us cry when we chop onions) repels snakes.

Mix these with rock salt and sprinkle them around your home and yard for effectiveness. You can also infuse garlic into any essential oil and use to fumigate rafters, basements, and other hard to reach places.

Ammonia: Snakes dislike the odor of ammonia so one option is to spray it around any affected areas. Another option is to soak a rug in ammonia and place it in an unsealed bag near any areas inhabited by snakes to deter them away.

Vinegar: Vinegar is effective at repelling snakes near bodies of water including swimming pools. Pour white vinegar around the perimeter of any body of water for a natural snake repellent.“How to Get Rid of Snakes ”

Lime: Create a mixture of snake repellent lime and hot pepper or peppermint and pour it around the perimeter of your home or property. Snakes don’t like the smell of the mixture and the fumes are also itchy on their skin.

getting rid of snakes

How to Get Rid of Snakes (If you have started seeing them)

If you’ve already started seeing snakes coming around your property, the best way to prevent an infestation is to start making your property less and less appealing to them. There are a multitude of repellents you can buy at the store, and these usually come in granular or liquid spray form.

They contain chemicals that emit an odor snakes hate, so they don’t try to go anywhere near them. You may also find nontoxic snake repellents on the market that are safe to use near pets and children.

Plants:

There are certain plants that snakes seem to hate the smell of, so they’re a great option to use especially if you’re finding snakes in and around your garden. These include marigold, garlic and lemongrass. Some of these plants also have repelling properties for insects like mosquitoes.

Oils:

Similar to the reason why plants can deter snakes, there are some types of essential oils that snakes can’t stand the smell of. These are a great natural snake repellent to use close to your home since they’re also non-toxic. Some of the oils that have been proven to repel snakes include cinnamon oil, clove oil and eugenol.

You can even use the spray directly on snakes to cause them to flee, but it isn’t encouraged to deal with a snake in close proximity if you aren’t sure whether or not it’s venomous.

If you know there are certain areas where snakes congregate around your home, you can also soak a piece of cloth, cotton ball or cotton-tipped swab with the solution and place it in the area. This will concentrate the smell and make it even worse for the snakes.“How to Get Rid of Snakes ”

Barrier:
Snake fences are one of the most laborious and costly methods for treatment, but they’re one of the most effective. It’s recommended to look into a snake fence if you live in an area with many snakes and you own children and pets, or you know of a nearby infestation.
Even though it may be expensive, a snake fence is a great investment because it’ll keep out snakes as long as you’re keeping up with the fence’s maintenance, and you won’t have to worry about any other treatment.
Removal:

You are not advised to remove it yourself. Especially if you don’t know the species you’re dealing with, it’s best to contact a wildlife control expert who will come with the proper tools and expertise to take the snake elsewhere.

But if you have identified the snake as safe and know that it isn’t a threat, there are some steps you can take to cautiously remove it from your property:

Steps to Go about in the Removal

Before you begin any type of physical removal with a snake, make sure you’re wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a thick pair of gloves as well. If you’re only dealing with a single snake, you can simply sweep it away to a different area.
If there’s a larger snake on your property that looks like it could pose a problem for your family, you can purchase a snake tong to move it away outside the perimeter of your property.
The tongs allow you to pick up the snake while maintaining your distance, so you’ll still be safe if the snake begins to struggle.“How to Get Rid of Snakes ”
snake

With the tongs, you should grab the snake about 1/3 of the way down its body – not too close to its head nor its tail. Too close to the head can be harmful to the snake, and closer to the tail will give it the room it needs to bite you.

Once you have a secure grasp of it, slowly lift it up but don’t take it completely off of the ground. Instead, drag it away toward wherever you’ve decided to move it.

Even if you do feel you can successfully remove a snake on your own, always contact a professional or do the research necessary to find out what to do with a certain species.

Snakes that are deemed invasive may need to be taken somewhere specific, and there are also laws protecting endangered and native snakes that determine how they’re dealt with.

Any poisonous snakes you see should always be reported to professionals so they can deal with it in the best way possible and make sure you’re out of harm’s way.

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