Snake infestations in a garden can be a serious problem for homeowners. Snakes can damage plants, eat insects and other small animals, and even pose a threat to humans and pets.
- Seeing snakes in the garden or near the house, both during the day and at night.
- Finding snake skin or shed scales on the ground or in plants.
- Missing small animals such as birds, lizards, or rodents, which may indicate that snakes are preying on them.
- Damaged or killed plants, which may be caused by snakes rubbing against them or using them for shelter.
- Seeing snake tracks in the soil or sand, which may indicate that snakes are frequently visiting the area.
- Burrows or dens in the soil or under rocks or debris, which may be used by snakes as a place to rest or hide.
- Presence of snake droppings, which may be dark in color and have a strong odor.
- Increased presence of insects, small mammals or reptiles which can be a food source for snakes. It’s important to note that not all of these symptoms may be present, and sometimes it can be difficult to spot an infestation. If you suspect that you have a snake infestation in your garden, it is best to consult a professional for help with identification and control measures.
What is a Snake
A snake is a long, legless reptile with smooth scales and a pointed head. They can range in size from a few inches to several feet, depending on the species. Some common characteristics of a snake include:
- No legs or visible ears
- Pointed head that is distinct from the body
- Smooth scales that cover the entire body, which can range in color and pattern depending on the species
- Forked tongue, which is used for sensing their environment and detecting prey
- Flexible body that allows them to move through tight spaces and over rough terrain
- Long and slender body that can vary in thickness depending on the species
- Rounded pupils, which help them see in low light conditions
- No eyelids, instead they have a transparent scale called spectacles to protect their eyes
- Can have venomous or non-venomous properties, depending on the species
Snakes can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, some are solid, some are striped or spotted, some are colorful and some are dull. These colors and patterns can help them to camouflage and hide from predators or prey. Snakes have a unique skeletal structure that allows them to move by contracting and relaxing their muscles, which makes them very good at slithering and crawling. They can also swim and climb. They are cold-blooded animals which means they can’t regulate their own body temperature and must rely on external heat sources to warm up and cool down.
Treating a Snake Infestation
It is important to note that no single method can provide a complete solution to a snake infestation in a garden. Often it is necessary to use multiple methods in conjunction to effectively control and prevent snakes from returning. For example, exclusion methods can be used to keep snakes out, while trapping and removal can be used to remove any snakes that are already present. It is also important to consider the safety of yourself and others when handling snakes, it is always better to hire a professional if you are not familiar with the species or if the situation is out of control.
- Seal off any openings or holes in the walls, foundation, or roof of your home, which can be used as entry points by snakes. This can be done by using materials such as caulking, expanding foam, or metal flashing to fill gaps and cracks.
- Install fencing or barriers around the perimeter of the garden to keep snakes out. This can include a solid fence that is buried a few inches below ground level or a mesh fence that is at least 4 feet high.
- Keep tall grass, weeds, and brush trimmed down to reduce hiding spots for snakes. Mowing the lawn and removing tall plants can make the area less appealing to snakes.
- Remove any debris, rocks, or wood piles that may provide shelter for snakes. This can include cleaning up any piles of leaves, branches, or other debris that may be providing cover for snakes.
- Keep the garden well-maintained, with no tall grass or weeds. By maintaining a well-manicured lawn, you can reduce the amount of cover that snakes have.
- Remove any standing water or areas of high moisture, which can attract insects and other small animals that snakes feed on. This can include fixing any leaks or drainage issues that may be creating damp areas in the garden.
- Use live traps to catch and remove snakes from the garden. These traps can be baited with scents or lures that attract snakes, such as mice or bird eggs, and should be checked regularly to ensure the captured snake can be release in a safe location far from your property.
- Use traps specifically designed for snakes, which can be baited with scents or lures to attract them. There are various types of traps available, including glue traps, capture cages, and even special box traps.
- Check traps regularly and release any captured snakes in a safe location far from your property. It is important to follow local laws and regulations regarding the trapping and release of snakes.
- Use commercial snake repellents, which can be sprayed around the perimeter of the garden or applied to specific areas where snakes are known to frequent. These repellents often contain natural or synthetic compounds that have been shown to repel snakes.
- Some repellents use scent or taste to discourage snakes from entering the area, while others use vibrations or sounds to startle them. Before using any repellents, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consider the safety of other animals and plants in the area.
- Hire a professional pest control service or snake removal expert to safely and humanely remove snakes from your garden. These professionals have the experience and equipment to safely handle and remove snakes, as well as knowledge of local laws and regulations.
- They may use a combination of methods, including trapping, habitat modification, and exclusion to effectively control the infestation. A professional can also help you identify the species of snake you are dealing with, which can be helpful in determining the best course of action.