Snakes are common in many parts of the United States. While it pays to be alert and keep them away; it is also important to note that not all snakes are harmful. In fact; some snakes are actually beneficial. Many snakes are endangered species and are protected by wildlife protection Acts. Sometimes, snakes may only be using your property to pass by. So please react with caution and wise judgment before taking any steps to kill or harm them. You can also use some of the following tips and methods to reduce the threat of snakes:
1. Remove clutter
The clutter around your yard, house, in your garden, in the kids’ play areas, underneath the decks and patios, and your garden is a surefire invitation to snakes. De-cluttering is a great way to avoid snakes. Remove discarded iron piles, wood chips, brush piles, rocks, bricks, rubble, and other rubbish from your yard and garden to deter hiding places for snakes. Also remove old bikes or tires, unused playsets, cans, gardening tools and store them in a secure shed. Make sure that the shed does not have any openings. Secure, caulk and seal these storage areas. Remove old sofa sets and chairs from patio and decks. Avoid keeping unused shoes or footwear which make snug hiding places for snakes.
2. Remove food sources of snakes
Most species of snakes feed on mice, vermin, moles, gophers, voles, rodents, birds and bird eggs, pests, bats, and rabbits. Prevent these animals and you will automatically prevent snakes from coming near your property. Use the tips given in this article here to keep mice or rodents away. Note that snakes love eggs. So if you keep a chicken coop or chicken run, collect the eggs right away and discard broken eggshells immediately.
3. Keep the lawn trimmed
There was a reason why people would burn their lawns once a year in the olden days. This activity would make yards homogenous and the smoke would repel snakes. Today, you need not burn your yards but be sure to keep the lawn trimmed and grass blades short. This will help in two ways: it will repel snakes by reducing hiding places and also prevent ticks, fleas, and rodents which are snake food. Make sure that the entire lawn is one monotonous and tacky lawn with no shrubs and bushes sticking out.
Many snakes do not like landscaped yards and actively avoid them. You could even consider paving your yard over entirely if you live in a snake-infested area. An all-concrete yard, with no piles of wood, and no aerial pathways usually assure a snake-free yard.
4. Know that snakes climb trees too
Be sure to trim back any branches of trees as you could get tree-climber snakes from your neighbors’ yards. (Please note that tree climbing snakes are usually non-venomous). Avoid creepers and ivy-like plants which encourage snakes around the property.
5. Install aluminum drift fences
Drift fences with aluminum flashing work well for repelling trespassing snakes. Snakes will crawl up to the fence and crawl along its edge as long as there are no gaps under the fence. Make sure the fence is installed at least a foot into the ground. Also, make sure that the fence is made of aluminum flashing 5 feet tall. If possible, install a sliding gate that opens and closes when you drive in and out. Always be vigilant when parking your car!
6. Use solar-powered snake repellents for outdoors
Nowadays days, there are excellent snake repellents for yards and gardens available in the market. These devices create vibration frequency changes (every few minutes) which are then transmitted through the ground. Snakes dislike vibrations. So these devices safely repel moles, mongooses, snakes, rats, mice, and other unwanted pests from your garden without any negative impact on humans or the environment.
Snake repellents are easy to install: you simply dig a hole in the yard using the sharp pointed end of the repellent device. Make sure that the device top is about 10 cm from the ground’s surface. The downside to using the snake repellents is that you must remove them when it rains as they need to be kept dry. Most of these devices are solar-powered and quite economical. You need a pack of two devices at least to cover an area of 40 m diameter in 360 degrees. The best part is that they are completely humane and do not emit chemicals, sprays, or toxins in the environment.
One of the traditional ways to repel snakes is using mothballs. Place mothballs in a paper or rag near the fence. However, you will need to use hundreds of mothballs for this home remedy to work. Also, mothballs can be extremely toxic to chickens, dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals. Even humans can get poisoned due to mothballs. So do not use this method of repelling snakes if you have pets, chickens, or babies. Also, this is not a proven method. Don’t forget that all that naphthalene is eventually going to evaporate and wash off, so the use of mothballs is not a foolproof method of keeping snakes away.
Sprinkle a mixture of cayenne pepper and sulfur powder along the fence and yard to repel snakes. Snakes hate the smell of both these things. This is a popular and effective home remedy to keep snakes away.
9. Welded wires and ropes
Snakes hate climbing or slithering on anything rough and abrasive. That is why many cowboys sleep with coiled lassos around their torsos as the rough texture repels snakes. Some people use rubber pipes or rough ropes around their fences or chicken coops to prevent snakes.
Sprinkling salt repels snakes. The abrasive texture of salt is uncomfortable for snakes to slither upon. This may not be the most efficient home remedies for keeping snakes away.
Spray ammonia around your trash cans as the strong scent helps repel snakes as well as food for snakes like rodents, rats, etc.
12. Plant trees/shrubs that keep snakes away
Citronella (Cymbopgon), lemongrass, and Fava danta plants are known to repel snakes. Plant these in the four corners of your yard. Bougainvillea is another plant that repels snakes. Egyptians even used to plant onions to repel snakes in their gardens. You can also strew or burn basil thyme herb to repel garden snakes. Avoid planting ivy creepers around your yards and gardens as they attract snakes.
When in doubt, contact a herpetology center near you to seek more information about the snakes in your yard. They can also guide you to licensed snake removalists near you.