There are few things more unsettling than finding a snake slithering around somewhere in your home or on your property. While it’s certainly true that they are more scared of us than we are of them, they need to be taken very seriously. Even a non-venomous snake can cause significant injuries to you or your loved ones, and snakes are known to become aggressive if they feel cornered. The best course of action is always to call a professional if you spot snake activity on your property, but there are things you can do to help keep them at bay.
Things like fire wood piles, mounds of rocks, or piles of leaves all give snakes a perfect place to hide out. Keep these to a minimum on your property, and always keep them away from the side of your house.
Keep the Lawn Mowed
Most snakes are only an inch or two tall which makes it easy for them to go undetected in tall grass until it’s too late. Keeping your grass at a reasonable height is important, especially during those warmer summer months when grass grows quickly.
Keep Those Hedges Looking Neat
While the hedges aren’t a snake’s first choice for a shelter, they often hunt for pretty that calls that area home. Eliminating food sources plays a big role in discouraging snake activity, and by keeping your hedges trimmed neatly, you’re helping to keep frogs, insects, and other food sources away.
Check for Entry Points around your Home
Due to their slender body shape, snakes can squeeze through even the smallest gap or crack. A hole as small as ¼” can invite snakes into your home; putting your loved ones at risk. Simply sealing off these gaps with expanding foam or wire mesh goes a long way towards denying their entry.
While these are great preventative measures for discouraging snake activity, the possibility of an infestation still exists. If you spot snake activity on your property, we strongly advise against removing them on your own. Instead, call the removal specialists at Critter Control® of Orlando today at 407.295.7194.
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Snakes are cold-blooded, which means they can’t regulate their own body temperatures the way mammals can. During summer, they have to stay in cool places or they’ll overheat and die. Snakes survive the hottest times of day by taking cover in underbrush and other forms of shade and shelter. Some even burrow under topsoil or dig makeshift hollows beneath rocks, wood piles, porches, or decks. Snakes remain stationary for most of the day, emerging to hunt only when temperatures fall around dusk.
Snakes need cover to survive, so naturally they tend to stay around areas where they can access it easily. Depriving the reptiles of opportunities to stay out of the sun will make your home inhospitable and unattractive to them. Try to clear clutter around your property as much as possible, especially near your home itself. Fence off outdoor gardens, especially if you use mulch or loose, thin topsoil. Check for areas around your deck or porch where snakes could access shade and block them off.
Snakes rarely move around in broad daylight without cover. Not only would this tire them out and heat them up, it would also make them vulnerable. They need to move from place-to-place without exposing themselves to heat or predators. They accomplish this by slithering under tall grasses, brush, plant life, fallen foliage, and other natural cover. The easier it is to move around your yard in cover, the more comfortable the pests feel approaching your home.
The harder you can make it for snakes to sneak and slither their way around your property, the better. First, mow your lawn regularly. The longer your grass, the more cover it provides. Some of Michigan’s snakes get surprisingly small, so even slightly overgrown grass may suit them just fine. Make sure you also trim your bushes, ornamental shrubs, and other greenery. Try to reduce the number of “avenues” they can use to move through your yard as much as possible.
Yes, unfortunately rats and mice won’t leave you alone just because it’s summer time. Rodents will try to infiltrate homes to access food, shelter, and nesting material pretty much all year. Rats find their way into homes using their highly-developed senses. These senses lead them straight to tiny openings they can use to squeeze their way into your home. Some rats even carve their own paths indoors by damaging weatherstripping or chewing through worn caulk or insulation.
Unpleasant as this all sounds, you’re probably wondering what it has to do with snakes. As rodents hunt for ways into your home, snakes hunt them. Sometimes, they’ll even follow rats into your home while hunting them. Then not only do you have a rodent infestation, you have snakes in your home too! Try to find places where rats and mice could get into your home and seal them off. Pay particular attention to door and window frames and openings around utility lines. Preventing rodents from getting into your home well also deter snakes. If you need help getting the rodents out of your home once and for all, give Griffin a call anytime!
Most of Michigan’s snakes may not be dangerous, but they’re certainly unpleasant. To avoid dealing with any slithering reptiles this summer, keep up with the simple maintenance projects outlined in all three tips.
It’s harder to get snakes out than it is to keep them from getting in, so stay proactive to have a snake-free summer!
Editors Choice: Formei Ultrasonic Solar-Powered Repellents
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This ultra smart, solar powered, 100% environmentally friendly snake repellent is our top choice when it comes to snake repellents. We love the maintenance free aspect of this device, all you need to do is install it in the ground and that’s it – snakes will be repelled without you having to worry about whether or not you need to reapply smelly or toxic sprays. It is also fantastic if you have children running around your garden as it is completely safe in this regard. This product gets our vote.
When it comes to snake repellents you want something that is effective so that you can use your outdoor spaces without fear of being bitten or having snakes disturbing your plants or pets. The products reviewed above use different methods to repel snakes, whether you want a strong chemical based repellent, a natural essential oil based repellent or a repellent that uses vibrations to deter snakes this article has given you a breadth of options to choose from.
All of the products reviewed will not cause any permanent damage to snakes, so you can rest easy knowing that you are not disturbing the natural order of things. And if you are super environmentally conscious the essential oil based or solar powered sound repellents are a good option for you. These types of repellents are also a better option if you have children or pets running about the garden as they are a lot less dangerous than the chemical based alternative.
Whatever you decide, your fear of snakes can be a thing of the past with one of these good quality snake repellents.
Choosing Snake-Free Areas
The best method to keep the snakes at bay is to choose your campsite carefully. These are the areas that you should avoid:
- Areas next to rock piles or outcrops
- Areas with a lot of deadfall and heavy brush. These are prime hiding spots for snakes.
- Areas directly adjacent to water sources. Snakes use these areas to hunt and to travel.
How Should I Store My Food?
Even though snakes have little interest in human food, smaller animals like mice and birds do. And snakes have a big interest in them! Storing food incorrectly could, therefore, attract snakes inadvertently. In the same way that you would bear-proof your campsite, the following rules also apply to snakes:
- Never leave trash bags outside of your tent even if they are sealed. Dispose of correctly or store in an air-tight container until you are able to do so.
- Be conscious of dropping crumbs near your tent and clean utensils thoroughly after use.
- Place any leftover food/scraps in air-tight containers and store away from your tent in an elevated area (such as a tree branch) to further protect it from rodents.
PRO TIP– pack away anything on the floor when you leave the campsite such as picnic blankets and tarpaulin as snakes can use them as hiding places.
How Can I Safely Check for Snakes?
There are a number of things you can do regularly to check for snakes in and around your tent area:
- Make sure there are no holes in your tent by doing a thorough check after set-up. It’s a good idea to carry a repair-kit just in case a branch snags your tent for example.
- Before you leave the campsite, make sure all zips are shut on your tent and there are no small gaps/openings. You should check this whenever you leave your tent unattended even if you are still close by, as it doesn’t take long for a snake to slither in.
- Get into the habit of shaking out your sleeping bag – you don’t want any surprise visitors as you climb inside!
- Snakes are attracted to shade so don’t forget to check underneath your tent too.
- Boots are another potential hiding place for snakes, especially if you leave them outside your tent overnight. Never put your feet in without checking first!
PRO TIP – stuff socks in the bottom of your boots to stop snakes crawling in whilst you sleep.
What Should I Do If I See a Snake?
If you do come across a snake lurking near your campsite or when out hiking, stay calm and follow this advice:
- If you see a snake in close proximity, freeze and assess its reaction. It will more than likely look for a way out. If it is cornered, back up slowly. Similar to bears, slow movements are seen as less threatening.
- Don’t provoke a snake. This includes poking it with a stick or prodding with your foot to encourage it to move. Snakes can attack quickly if disturbed, even from a distance, as they see this as a threat.
- If you step on a snake by accident, move away immediately.
- Don’t get too close. Some species play dead and may strike if they feel threatened.
- Only stamp your feet if you are a good distance away. This usually alerts the snake and they will vacate, however this can also be perceived as a threat if you are too close.
- You should treat all snakes as dangerous for your own safety. Even if you encounter a dead snake, the fangs still store poison which can cause envenomation if it pierces the skin. They may also retain muscle reflexes, meaning a bite could still occur after death.
- Baby snakes can also be dangerous: they are typically harder to spot and can have an erratic and impulsive nature, leaving their next move unpredictable.
PRO TIP – never attempt to kill a snake. Chances are you will only aggravate it which is more likely to result in a snake bite.
How Do I Treat a Snakebite?
Although snakebites are rarely fatal these days, it is always important to know what to do in this situation in case the bite is indeed life-threatening. You should treat all bites as venomous in the same way you treat all snakes as dangerous.
- Call 911 for medical assistance.
- Stay calm and still, keeping the affected area below the heart to slow down the spread of poison.
- Remove any restrictive items as the area may start to swell.
- Apply an immobilization bandage as soon as possible, tightly covering the whole limb. Watch this short instructional video to learn the correct technique:
- Try to suck out the poison.
- Apply a tourniquet or restrictive bandage as this can cause serious damage to the limb, nerves and blood flow.
- Clean the wound as the hospital might need to identify the snake using the poison left on the skin.
Cover All Openings
For keeping snakes out of a building, filling in all holes that are larger than 1/4 inch is recommended by the U.S. Geological Survey. The hole need to be covered with hardware cloth or another type of sturdy mesh less than 1/4 inch that can’t be filled. Observe your coop and find out holes or gaps in it. If you find any then cover the holes or gaps in the windows, roof, floor, walls, doors, skylights and the entire fenced and the outdoor area of the chicken coop. Don’t use too much hardware cloth for keeping snakes out of chicken coop and preventing other predators. Your chickens also need flow of sufficient amount of fresh air and light. You can consult with your neighbor or take suggestions form an expert.
What kinds of snakes are seen frequently in the Oklahoma area?
According to the Skunk Whisperer, the most common snakes found around homes in HVAC units or inside the walls in Oklahoma homes is a Black Rat Snake. “Another common snake to get into the house – specifically after a rain – is a Texas Brown Snake. Both snakes are relatively harmless and are typically there to regulate their body temperature and/or to [utilize] the water in the units/pans. And Texas Brown Snakes can [even] fit through brand new door seals.”
How to prevent snakes from entering your home:
Of course, the easiest way to keep snakes from entering your home is keeping them away from your property altogether by following the advice given above in regards to keeping your yard well maintained. However, you can also take other steps to ensure snakes don’t make it into your home again:
- Look for gaps under your doors – and fix them. If you find gaps under your doors, add weather stripping to seal up the holes and potential entry points for snakes.
- Check your foundation for holes and cracks: Check your foundation well all around your home, and seal up any holes you find. Holes in the foundation can allow snakes or rodents (which are snake food) to enter your crawl space.
- Remove wood piles: Wood piles are a favorite hiding place for snakes and spiders. Store your wood somewhere away from your home or make sure it is stacked at least a foot off the ground.
- Use crushed rock instead of mulch: Mulch is another material that snakes love, so opt for crushed rock instead in your flower beds.
There are many pests that make homeowners’ lives miserable by becoming unwelcome house guests – but the snake might be the worst of them. But by following the tips above, you can keep these unwanted house guests from getting into your home – and giving you a nasty surprise!