Enjoying an outdoor oasis comes with its fair share of unwanted guests - from pesky mosquitoes to the occasional snakes. After all, you’ve created the perfect home for them to live, hunt, and thrive. So, how do you get rid of snakes in your yard?
While many species are harmless, you likely want to keep these uninvited guests away from your home and outdoor living spaces. Not only do they create uncomfortable vibes, but some species are dangerous and could pose a threat to your family or pets.
Luckily, there are several methods of snake prevention that you can try to dissuade these slippery visitors. From natural repellents to barriers, follow the steps below and learn how to get rid of snakes in your yard!
What Are Common Backyard Snakes?
Snakes are actually more common than you may think. Depending on where you live, there may be snakes living just below the surface of your yard or garden. These common yard snakes help reduce rodent populations and even help control insect populations.
It’s essential to be able to identify snakes you may encounter so you know if they pose a danger. Here are some of the most common backyard species:
- Garter Snakes - These are the most common small snakes you’ll find, often featuring colorful stripes. They are non-venomous and not aggressive and prefer moist shady habitats.
- Rat Snakes - These are medium-sized snakes that come in many different colors and patterns. They feed on rodents, birds, and eggs, so they can help reduce the population of pests around your yard.
- Copperheads - A species of venomous snake with a distinctive copper-colored head. They’re usually found near water and have a wide variety of habitats. It’s important to be aware that these are venomous, so you should not attempt to handle them if you encounter one in your yard.
- Water Moccasins - These venomous snakes are found in lakes, ponds, and swamps in southern regions. They can become agitated if they feel threatened, so it’s important to take extra care if you come across one.
- Rattlesnakes - Known for their iconic rattle, these venomous snakes have a triangular-shaped head and brown or gray coloration. They live in dry open habitats such as woodlands and fields, so if you come across one, it’s best to give it plenty of space.
- Coral Snakes - Highly venomous snakes with red, yellow, and black colored bands. Rarely found near homes, these snakes live in tropical and subtropical climates. If you do come across one, it’s best to keep your distance and call animal control.
Getting Rid of Snakes ASAP
Most of the time, you’ll come across a snake that poses little to no threat to you or your family. Remember - they are more scared of you than you are of them! If a snake is causing trouble in your yard or home, there are ways to get rid of it that are humane while helping ensure that it won't come back.
- Remove snake food sources: Get rid of rodents and other food sources that can attract snakes. Snakes love rodents, lizards, frogs, and other insects.
- Keep a tidy environment: Remove leaf litter, tall weeds, and any debris that may attract some snakes as places to hide. If you have a pond or other water source, be sure to keep it clean and clear of debris.
- Use natural deterrents: Plant onions or garlic around the perimeter of your property to keep away unwanted guests. You can also try sprinkling cayenne pepper or coffee grounds, which have been known to repel snakes due to their strong smells. Certain plants have been known to repel snakes due to their strong smells, such as marigold, wormwood, and lemongrass.
- Seal entry points: Close up cracks and holes in foundation walls, vents, or openings where snakes may enter to keep them from getting inside your home.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting: Place lights around the perimeter of your property that will come on when movement is detected.
- Make use of traps: If you suspect you have a snake problem, purchase non-poisonous humane traps to catch the snakes and release them in an area away from your home.
- Employ a professional: If all else fails, hire a pest control expert to help remove any unwanted guests and advise on how to keep them away for good.
How To Get Rid Of Snakes In A Pond
Ponds and water features are enticing for snakes, as many will use them to find food and shelter. There are a few steps you can take to discourage snakes from visiting and setting up shop on your property:
- Remove debris: Snakes will often hide under sticks and leaves so regularly remove these items to make it less inviting. If you have any vegetation near the water’s edge, you should also trim it back.
- Create a barrier: Installing a fence or wall around your pond can help prevent snakes from entering and/or laying eggs in the water.
- Utilize natural predators: Introducing certain species of fish to your pond can help ward off snakes as they will feed on the eggs and small snakes. Check with your local fish and game department for more information.
- Employ aeration and fountains: Running an aerator or fountain will make the water less appealing to snakes, as they prefer still, shallow water.
Still have questions about dealing with snakes on your property? Here are answers to some common FAQs:
What is the best thing to keep snakes away?
Sealing cracks, removing food sources, installing fencing, and landscape modifications make a yard less appealing. Natural repellents like sulfur and essential oils also deter snakes.
What smells will keep snakes away?
Strong odors from sulfur, clove oil, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil, and marigolds can overwhelm a snake's sensitive sense of smell and repel them.
How do you scare a snake away?
Making loud noises by banging pans, using music, or spraying with a hose can startle a snake and cause it to retreat quickly.
What kills snakes effectively?
While we always recommend finding ways to remove snakes without harming them, some people may choose to use chemical repellents and traps or hire a professional animal removal team.
What chases snakes away?
Loud noises, spraying with a hose, and repellent odors are effective ways to chase snakes off your property without using dangerous chemicals.
Can snakes climb walls?
Some snake species, like rat snakes, are expert climbers and can scale trees, fences, and walls. Proper yard barriers and removing hiding spots discourage climbing, as well as taking steps to remove any rodents that may be attracting snakes.
Does vinegar deter snakes?
A spray mixture of 30% vinegar and ammonia irritates snakes' sensitive scales and overwhelms their sense of smell, encouraging them to avoid treated areas.
Do snakes hate noise?
Snakes lack external ear structures but do detect vibrations. Sudden loud noises from pots, pans, music, or other sources can successfully chase snakes away – as this threat is perceived as a predator attack. Be sure to use the noise method cautiously so as not to stress or injure the snake.
What time of day are snakes most active?
Snake activity peaks on warm days and during their main feeding times, early morning and late afternoon/evening. Be extra alert for snakes during these high-activity periods.
Can coffee grounds repel snakes?
No - there is no evidence that snakes dislike or are repelled by the smell of coffee grounds. This is not an effective snake prevention method - despite the many anecdotal accounts on the internet. It is better to use other snake prevention strategies, such as removing potential hiding spots, keeping grass short, and using exclusion barriers around your home or garden.
Keep Your Outdoor Oasis Safe with Living Water Aeration
Snakes are a part of living in a wonderful world of nature – but knowing how to engage with these unwanted creatures is key to keeping your outdoor oasis safe.
Living Water Aeration is here to help you ensure that your outdoor water sources are safe and secure, and our team of experts can help you create a plan to keep snakes away from your lawn. Proper aeration, pond maintenance, and water source management can all help to deter snakes from entering your property.
Learn more about our products online – and read more great resources that will help you enjoy the outdoors while staying safe!