There are over 100 species of snake in North America, most of which are nonvenomous. However, both venomous and nonvenomous snakes can present a threat to you or your pets if startled or disturbed.
If you have seen a snake pass through your garden or take up residence in your home, you may want it removed. Fortunately, there are measures for snake prevention and trapping. You can also hire a professional to remove it for you safely.
This guide will tell you more about how to get rid of snakes and why repellents aren’t worth your money.
If you see a snake on your property:
- Leave it alone; don’t risk your safety.
- Identify it. If you don’t recognize the species, there are websites for identifying snakes based on color, scale type, geographical location, etc.
- If it’s venomous, hire a snake removal expert.
- If not venomous and you want it removed, call an expert or place traps.
The best way to get rid of a snake is to call a professional to take care of it for you. Don’t try to catch a snake yourself; they will attack if provoked. Even if you have a nonvenomous species, their mouths are full of bacteria, so a bite can quickly become infected.
There are no repellents or deterrents for snakes. Though there are some available for purchase, they are ineffective.
- Scent-based repellents won’t work. The snake’s sense of smell is different from most animals; identifying an animal or object, rather than picking up ‘good’ or ‘bad’ scents.
- Plastic Owls. Snakes don’t just rely on sight but scent to identify their surroundings. It may look like an owl, but as soon as the snake “tastes” the air, it will know that it’s not.
- Ultrasonic sound or vibration emitters are a money-making scam and have been marked as fraudulent by the Federal Trade Commission.
PREVENTION / EXCLUSION
You can take measures to minimize the chances of snakes taking up residence in your home or yard.
- Clear clutter and debris from your yard, such as wood and rock piles.
- Install a solid fence, flush with the ground around the entire perimeter.
- Keep your lawn mowed short.
- Trim hedges and shrubs.
- Check the house and shed for holes that may allow the snake entry, and seal them.
- Keep your home free of rodents (a primary food source for snakes) to reduce the chance of a snake moving in.
As a last resort, you can try trapping the snake. Before you buy a trap, be mindful that you’ll have to know what to do with the snake once you’ve caught it. It’s better to hire a snake removal expert for your own safety and the wellbeing of the snake.
If you’re set on doing it yourself, there are a few different snake traps available.
- Box trap
- Minnow trap
- Maze trap
- Use gloves when setting the trap to minimize transferring human scent onto it.
- Based on your observations of the snake’s movements, place it somewhere that you think it will be most active.
- For bait – snakes won’t eat dead meat, but you can buy lures designed to smell like live bait, though fresh eggs will work too.