Holes in your backyard could be the openings to snake burrows. What exactly does this mean? Holes provide the perfect nesting spot for snakes and other wildlife. In most cases, snakes inhabit burrows that have been abandoned my other animals, such as small mammals, gopher tortoises, and other vertebrates. If you think you may have snakes around your property, the presence of holes may provide harborage for them. Here is some information that may help you identify potential snake holes.
Recognize The Habitat
Different species of snakes inhabit different environments. For example, cottonmouth snakes prefer water-laden environments like drainage ditches, ponds, lakes and streams. Garter snakes prefer tall grass, marshland (near water), forested areas. While in these environments, snakes may seek shelter in tree hollows, under logs, leaf litter, underground holes, rock outcroppings and/or burrows that have been abandoned by other animals. Here, they hunt for food, lay eggs, hide from predators, and seek shelter for thermoregulation. Thus, if you find a snake slithering into a hole in your backyard, you may have issues with other burrowing wildlife issues, as well. Your backyard, basement and/or porch may provide an area of shelter for snakes.
Look for Shed Snake Skins
Snakes are known for regularly shedding their scaly skin and this can occur once per month in actively growing snakes. This process allows snakes to repair damaged skin and get rid of parasites. When preparing to shed, snakes may rub against rocks and/or sticks to help break off the skin. Snake skins can show details of the snake’s previous scale patterns and body shape, including its eyes. It may be difficult to locate snake skins, though, as they’re usually eaten by rodents or insects within a matter of days. If you spot a snake during its shedding period or any other time, leave it alone. Snakes are easily irritated during the shedding process and may bite if they are threatened.
Look for Feces
Like all wildlife, snakes excrete waste as feces. To help identify snake feces, it’s important to recall a snake’s diet. These often include insects and small mammals, such as mice and rats as well as smaller reptiles. As such, you may find traces of prey in the feces, including hair and bone fragments. The size of the feces depends on the length and size of the snake. In general, snake feces appear as thick, pasty, dark-brown smears with a white chalky deposit at one end. Like their shed skins, snake feces may biodegrade relatively quickly.