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Pet Snakes provides easy to understand, practical information and facts to help the new snake owner take care of their animals. At Pet Snakes we want to provide information that will help you enjoy your reptile more than ever.

Snake control 101: The basics of keeping snakes away

For people with ophidiophobia (aka: ophiophobia), a fear of snakes, finding a way to control snakes is important. They are creatures of habit and tend to be attracted to areas where there is food, and shelter. Snakes are controlled by manipulating their environment so it isn’t appealing to them. There are several steps to make an area less than desirable. No method used alone will control the snake population in your backyard, but everything used together will.

Take care of your yard to control the snakes
Cleanliness is next to Godliness when it comes to controlling where snakes go in your yard. Clean up the clutter that provides them with nooks and crannies to hide in. Start at the furthest point away from your home.

  • Break up piles of debris
    Wood, grass clippings, metal, trash – it all has to go. Snakes rest and hunt in piles of debris. Don’t scatter it around, get rid of it. This helps control the snake population in two ways: 1) it gets rid of many of the hiding areas that snakes take advantage of. 2) rodents, which snakes eat, also use debris for their shelter. By breaking up the shelters you’re discouraging rodents from being in the area.
  • Cut your lawn
    Long grass and tall weeds provide cover for snakes that is just as appealing as piles of debris. You have to keep the lawn cut to control the snake population.
  • Check your house
    You’ll want to make sure your house is well sealed so a snake can’t get in from the outside. Check the foundation for openings large enough for a snake to get in and if you find any seal it closed. More than one snake has managed to get inside a home despite various control methods because of holes in the foundation.

Take care of the snake food
Your next step in getting control of snakes is to take away any food they eat. This difficult and time consuming but it is essential. If a snake can’t find food to eat it isn’t going to stay around very long.

  • Rodent removal
    Many snakes eat mice, rats and other rodents. Remove them and you eliminate their food source. Here’s a few methods of rodent control:

    • Cats provide good rodent removal services. It costs to take care of a cat, but most of them are worth their weight in gold when it comes to mice and smaller rats.
    • A pest control company can come to your home and do the work for you. Often this involves setting out traps and poison to kill the rodents. Beware if you have family pets or children. The poison and the traps don’t discriminate.
    • You can do the work yourself. You can set your own traps, lay your own poison, clear your own debris and all the rest. It will probably take you much longer and be more of a trail and error situation but you won’t have to pay a professional to do it, or to take care of a cat.
  • One thing to consider about removing the rodents in order to remove the snakes is that the rodents will come back and reestablish themselves which will bring the snakes back. In short it makes rodents removal a temporary solution to the problem.

After everything else is done, yard and house is cleaned up and rodents are removed (as much as possible), if snakes are still out of control you can start setting out snake traps. These are just flat pieces of material, usually a cardboard, that has a sticky substance on it. The snake crawls on it and will get stuck on there. Some extermination companies will set these for you and have someone come around every few days to check them for snakes. Which means they deal with the snake instead of you having to do it for yourself.

Finally we will examine the idea that mothballs repel snakes. They don’t. There’s no scientific nor empirical evidence that mothballs have any use as a snake repellent. In fact there is no known snake repellent that works. It’s a simple as that. They are all scams. Even if one of them did work it would evaporate or be washed away almost immediately. If you want to test this for yourself go right ahead but you’ll have wasted both time and money.

It might seem overwhelming, especially if you are afraid of snakes and have a large population of them. But with steady directed effort you can bring your snake population under control. You’ll never completely eliminate them, nor would you want to because of the benefits they provide your local ecosystem. In the end cleaning up the debris, and removing the rodents will go a long way towards keeping populations of snakes under control.

  • Dr Dilbag Singh

    In tropical Indian weather, particularly July/August/September, I have noticed snakes during humid and perspiring hours. It is not possible to clear all the surroundings, can someone suggest some some practical solution. Once a friend of mine, suggested to spray the phenyl in specific areas. He has even told that once the snake comes in contact with phenyl, it gets killed. Is it OK.

  • There is no such thing as a snake repellent that truly works. Best advise is to get things cleaned up and the food sources removed.

  • Vickip74

    so you are saying that the electronic pulse snake repeller doesnt not work ? Even if it is send out a certain vibration that snakes can sense , will not keep them away ????

  • Kittybirdsong

    Ever since I moved to this all-but-abandoned farmstead last year, lots of people have asked me if I have snakes. The old lady had had a copperhead nest under the porch, they've told me, repeatedly. So now that the weather is getting chilly I've started worrying–not because I've seen ANY snakes AT ALL since I've been here (I haven't) but because it seemed like looking for warmth would be the issue. But there are also the cats, the youngest of whom nominated himself, “the mighty hunter” and now has to range far for his game. This article, and the one I clicked here from, both make me feel better (especially the cats part!) but the house is old and is coming down next spring and I shudder to think what I'm going to find under/within it.

  • Well, I was hoping to find a cure all snake cure to keep them away.  I have heard of snake away and snake fences, but do not have a whole lot of faith in either.  I guess I will just have to keep up with my snake proof gear.  I wear snake gaiters and snake boots to keep me safe from the rattlers we have around here and they have saved me before!

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