Send snakes slithering away with these tips.

snakes on your property

Photo by Shutterstock

In general, snakes get a bad rap. These slithering reptiles are an important part of their ecosystems, as they help keep other pests at bay. In addition, snakes don’t start their mornings thinking, “It sure would be fun to creep out some humans today.” In fact, they’re often likely to hide if they sense you coming.

That being said, if you’re like most people, you probably prefer that your yard and garden be free of snakes. And we honestly can’t say we blame you. Especially if you live in an area of the country in which venomous snakes are common. So take a look at the following four tips for keeping snakes off your property.

1. Keep your yard clear of clutter.

Snakes like clutter for a couple of reasons. First, it gives them a good spot to hide from predators. Second, snakes are reptiles, which means they need warmth to survive. Clutter like compost piles or stacks of wood can make a nice, cozy den that protects snakes from the elements. Look for alternatives that are less attractive to snakes.

2. Cut Your Grass

You’ve heard the expression “a snake in the grass?” Well, there’s a reason that came about. Snakes like tall grass. It's where their prey lives. It provides the perfect cover for hunting, and also keeps them protected from predators. Keep your grass trimmed, and snakes will be more likely to look for areas in which they’re not as exposed.

3. Learn about the snakes in your neck of the woods

Reading up on the snakes that are local to your region gives you a better idea of what their habitat is. Once you understand what conditions create the ideal environment for different snake species, you can purge your yard of the elements that make it a snake haven.

Additionally, learning about the snakes in your area gives you a better idea of how concerned you need to be with the reptiles in your yard. Copperheads, which are very common in many eastern states of the United States, for example, are venomous and do bite people. You definitely want to take steps to prevent these from setting up camp in your yard. On the other hand, garter snakes are generally considered to be beneficial. 

4. Secure the perimeter of your home

One of the main issues with having snakes in your yard is that they can find their way into your house. Nobody wants that.

To keep snakes out of your home, you'll want to inspect the perimeter of your house — and other freestanding buildings like garages or sheds — regularly to make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes snakes could slither through. Be sure to check that basement windows are properly closed, and consider covering any openings or vents with a fine mesh (refer to your manufacturer's instructions or call a qualified professional to do so, though). If you do have cracks and holes, you’ll want to patch those as soon as you can.

HGTV Gardens
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife
Live Science