This summer’s persistently dry and hot weather has pushed snakes into residential lawns. Snakes are shy and will avoid people when possible. However, they do need well-irrigated areas, good cover, and provide food. It’s much easier for them to find what they need in your yard during extremely dry and hot weather. I don’t mind snakes. They will eat slugs and grubs as well as insects and other pests. My daughter loves to find garter snakes and insists on releasing them into the flower beds. But I understand that not everyone likes them and wants them out of their yards. They are easy to deter. Make your home less conducive to snakes, and they’ll return the way they came in.
Tips for landscaping
- Now often Snakes are less likely than other animals to live in or move through short grass. This increases their vulnerability to predators. Do not overwater your lawn. Snakes can be attracted to worms, snails, and frogs by overwatering. Your yard can be more attractive to snakes if it has excess water and food.
- Trim shrubs and trees. This will keep snakes away from your yard.
- Do not use large rocks or mulch in your landscape. They can be used to attract snakes and other wildlife, and create breeding and overwintering areas. Instead, use smaller gravels or river rocks that are tighter fitting.
- Does not plant water gardens or Koi ponds in your landscaping
- Keep firewood out of your home. This makes it a great place for snakes. For the same reason, you should keep scrap metal, trash, and other debris out of your home.
Find and seal cracks and crevices that are 1/4 inch or larger. Pay special attention to foundations and sidewalks.
You might consider installing a snake fence. Make sure to use 1/4-inch thick or smaller rigid mesh or sheeting for your fence. To prevent snakes from climbing up, you will need to bury the fence 2 to 4 inches below the ground. To be effective, the fence must be at least 24 inches tall and should surround the entire yard.
Modify an old chain-link, picket, or split-rail fence. Attach 24-inch high hardware cloth (1/4 inch weave) or aluminum flashing at the outside bottom. The bottom of the flashing or hardware cloth should be buried 2 to 4 inches below the soil. Gates should also be snake-proofed and kept closed for maximum effectiveness.
Tips for backyard chickens, pets, and birds
- Keep your bird feeder out of your home. Birds often leave seeds behind after getting their fill. Rodents will then be attracted to the seed that has been left on the ground. Snakes may then be attracted to the rodents. If the rodents are bothering you, clean up around your feeder daily or stop feeding them.
- Keep your pet indoors. Outside feeding attracts rodents and insects, which can be food for snakes. You should ensure that you dispose of any food left outside.
- Make your chicken coop look better. Use the same techniques that you used to improve your yard and house. To discourage snakes from eating ceramic eggs or artificial eggs, glue them down.
- Keep animal food out of sight. Use metal garbage cans that have tight-fitting lids to store dog food, bird feed, or any other animal food.
Do not use these things
- Avoid using snake repellents and sulfur.
- Avoid using mothballs. These chemicals are toxic to both insects and mammals but not snake-killing. Mothballs used outside of your home may also be a violation of product labels, which can pose a danger to your pets and family members.
- Avoid placing sticky traps outdoors. These traps can cause slow death and capture non-target animals.
- No guns, shovels, or other weapons. Spray the hose to get a snake moving quickly.