The fear of snakes is common among people worldwide, but some communities also recognize the benefits of having snakes in the area.
While this animal does provide many uses and benefits for our local environments and ecosystems, finding snakes in your home is one of the most terrifying experiences. There are numerous proven tips to keep snakes away from your home and yard. Experts and amateurs all agree it is better to deter snakes from ever entering your home than it is to have to kill or remove them once they have entered your property.
Unfortunately, some companies take advantage of your fear of snakes to sell products that rarely ever affective. Use these eight helpful tips to keep snakes away so you do not have to face these creatures inside your home or your yard.
Chemical vs. Natural Methods of Keeping Snakes Away
No matter how much you may dislike snakes, there is no questioning how much they benefit our environment and ecosystem. The main benefit snakes provide is population control for other potentially harmful animals such as rats and even cockroaches.
There are snake traps that can be set outside and around your home for both catching and killing snakes. However, depending on the type of snake, it is often better to deter it from entering your home by using natural methods, which do not harm or kill the animals. If you are a pet owner, you have even more reason to avoid chemical snake repellants, especially if your dog or cat can run freely through your yard.
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Here is a list of products you should avoid using to deter or catch snakes on your property:
- Mothballs and sulfur have been largely debunked as effective snake repellants.
- Essential oils, while largely natural but not necessarily ingestible, also do not deter snakes effectively or consistently.
- Using poisons or glue traps work but may harm other animals in the process including your own pets.
Tip 1: Build a Snake-Proof Fence
While no method has 100 percent success against keeping snakes away, a snake-proof fence has more success than most others. In order to make your fence snake-proof, you must build it with certain specifications.
- From bottom to top, your fence or wall must be dug at least several inches into the ground and have a curve or arch on top to prevent snakes from sliding under or crawling over it.
- The top curve must bend outward, away from your yard, similar to an awning.
- Lastly, be sure to use quarter inch solid sheeting or a smaller rigid mesh material so that snakes will be unable to fit through any openings.
Tip 2: Locate and Fill in All Holes in Your Yard
Snakes eat rodents, which is a good thing, but it is even better to have no rodents to attract snakes onto your property. Snakes also eat rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels. All of these animals dig holes that snakes like to use. Locate and fill in all holes in your yard to eliminate potential homes for snakes.
Tip 3: Keep All Pet Food Inside Your Home
Rats, squirrels and other animals are attracted to the food bowls you feed your pets in or leftover crumbs they may leave behind after a meal. Snakes are attracted to the animals most likely to be attracted to your pet’s food. To help keep snakes away from your home, you should keep all pet food inside your home and away from any small animals.
Tip 4: Avoid Bird Feeders
Bird feeders attract a wide range of beautiful bird species to your backyard. However, food spilling out of those feeders, can attract squires, rats and other small animals that are common prey for snakes. Keep all bird feeders as far away from your home as possible to help keep snakes at bay.
Tip 5: Frequently Mow Your Grass
Keeping your grass mowed eliminates a favorite hiding spot for snakes. Snakes prefer to lie in wait and ambush their prey and tall grass provides the perfect cover. In addition to removing valuable cover for snakes, lawn mowers produce vibrations that are unpleasant for snakes. This serves as a type of warning that can often keep snakes away.
Tip 6: Unclutter Your Lawn and Move Your Woodpile
Snakes like to hide in dark corners and underneath piles of objects where they cannot be seen. Here are a few examples of objects to keep off your lawn:
- Be sure your children do not leave piles of toys in the yard for long periods of time.
- Old tires or anything you store on your lawn all serve as likely hiding places for snakes, so be sure to store them in a shed or garage.
- If you have a woodpile, make sure it is kept at the very back or your lawn, as far away from your home as possible.
Unclutter your lawn of any unnecessary objects to prevent snakes from making a home in your backyard.
Tip 7: Shine a Light on Likely Snake Hiding Places
Keeping the walkways and the perimeter of your property lit up with outdoor lighting is a good way to help keep snakes away. Snakes prefer dark places to hide from their own predators, so shining a light on their potential hiding places drives them away.
Tip 8: Let Nature Battle Nature
Snakes are effective hunters, but other animals also hunt and prey on them. Predatory birds such as hawks, herons and owls all eat snakes when they can be caught. To encourage predatory birds to stop by your backyard, set up a perch pole for these predators in your yard.
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