This article will explain 3 methods to humanely trap and remove snakes. For reference a previous article talked about keeping snakes away from your house.
- The Funnel Trap
- These traps allow you to humanely capture, and transport snakes to another location. It works by allowing the snake to enter, but giving it no means of escape. They not only capture snakes, but also small rodents and lizards can be trapped by them. This means they must be checked on a daily basis to ensure that any animal caught in it does not suffer.
You can either buy a pre-made funnel trap at a local hardware store or you can construct one on your own. The video below explains how to make your own funnel trap.
After you’ve made your funnel trap place it alone a wall or fence where you believe snakes go. If one travels that way they are likely to crawl into the funnel and find themselves caught. Be sure to check the trap at least once a day. Once you’ve caught a snake (or other animal) take care not to get bitten by it. Don’t reach your hand in and grab it, instead cover the opening with a bucket and then flip the trap upside down. This will cause the cone and the snake to fall into the bucket and you can then take the snake to another location in order to release it.
- Glue Boards
- A glue board uses a non-toxic glue to catch a snake as it tries to crawl over the surface. Once the snake is caught and you’ve relocated it to a more desirable area simply apply liberal amounts of vegetable oil to the snake and the trap. This will allow the snake to work free of the glue. You should also wipe down the snake with a damp cloth to remove as much oil from its skin as possible. If you don’t the oil can potentially cause the snake to lose its scales which could result in death. A glue board should be checked twice a day because snakes have been known to pull their skin off struggling to get themselves free.
- Professional Removal
- Sometimes calling a professional animal removal company is the best thing you can do. If you are uncomfortable around snakes or if it is a venomous species and you have no experience with them it is better to have someone else handle trapping and removing the snakes. Nearly every town and city in the United States has a “pest removal” service. A look through your yellow pages will turn up someone you can use. You can also call a local veterinarian and ask for a referral.
A note of caution about trapping snakes
Neither the glue board or the funnel trap will incapacity a venomous snake. If you have trapped one be sure to practice due diligence in the handling and release of the animal. If you don’t recognize the species of snake don’t attempt to handle it. Call your local humane society or law enforcement and tell them you need help. One bite, even from the tiniest rattlesnake, is not worth being reckless.
Finally don’t set either the funnel trap or the glue board trap in direct sunlight. Because snakes are ectothermic it’s body has no mechanism to cool itself down and if left for hours in the hot sun it could be fatal.