Man and snakes have had a vendetta since the beginning of time. And whenever the two meet, a clash is imminent. That is why getting a snake out of your house, or compound can be one daunting task. Or should it be?
The most recommended method of getting a snake out is by hiring a professional snake catcher and expert. These professionals can be found locally, via a simple Google search. Alternatively, you can opt for glue traps, though some snake lovers claim it’s an inhumane way of trapping snakes. For something more humane, consider a cage-style minnow trap.
One thing to note is that exactly how you would get a snake out of its hiding spot will depend on where it’s hidden. More importantly, you also need to consider whether it’s venomous or not. In this post, we’ll help you figure that out.
General Methods of Getting Snakes Out
The kind of method you’ll use to lure a snake out of its hiding spot should primarily be based on two factors:
- Where the snake is hidden
- Whether the snake is venomous or not
According to expert advice, a venomous snake should be handled only by snake and wildlife professionals. These men and women are mostly herpetologists who have studied the behavior of amphibians and reptiles and are thus well trained to handle them.
But for a more general, non-venomous case, a glue trap or minnow trap will serve the purpose well.
How to Use a Glue Trap to Get a Snake Out?
The idea behind the glue trap is simple. You place bait inside the trap and place the trap close to the spot where the snake is hiding. When the snake slithers in, it gets trapped to the glue lining of the trap’s floor.
Once you’ve managed to get the snake out, you can now take it to the wild where you’ll pour non-toxic oil over it to dissolve the glue and let it slither freely.
Glue traps come in either small or large sizes, depending on the size of the snake you want to catch. Some are reusable, which makes them perfect if you live in a snake prone area such as wetlands with standing water, heavy vegetation, or in an area with an abundance of rodents.
These traps can be ordered online with a good number of different brands available in the market.
How to Use a Minnow Trap to Get a Snake Out?
The problem with the glue trap is that you have to keep buying new glue inserts after every use. But for a minnow trap, no extra purchases or inserts are necessary.
The idea for the minnow trap is simple. The trap is constructed out of wire meshing, and it’s mostly cylindrical in shape.
To use one, you just place eggs, as bait. The snake is then lured into the trap through either end.
A key thing to note is that this trap is not suitable for venomous snakes, due to their wire mesh construction. This is because they do not offer optimum protection against a scathing attack from a venomous snake, such as a spit of venom from a spitting cobra.
Do Glue Traps Attract Snakes?
Glue traps are known to be effective in the trapping of snakes. A pre-scented glue board may do just fine in attracting the snake to the board. However, in some cases, additional bait may be necessary to attract the snake to the glue trap.
How to Get Snakes Out of the Attic
Snakes can be really hard to spot. This is because, according to the experts, they tend to maneuver in inconspicuous areas that suit their survival and hide them from predators.
One such place is the attic.
The attic would mostly attract climbing snakes such as the yellow rat snake. Gladly, these snakes are not venomous.
In the worst-case scenario, in case you did not perform proper reptile and rodent inspection, baby snakes can also get born and spread from there.
Why speak of rodent inspection?
Because snakes mostly get attracted to the attic, for food. And most rodents, such as rats, love living in such abandoned areas.
The yellow rat snake, for example, being a climbing snake, can easily follow the trail of rats up through the attic. Thus, in most cases, a snake problem in the attic would also point to a rodent problem in the same place.
How do I know I have a snake up the attic?
- Hissing noises – a couple of people say that they heard hissing noises up the attic, and that was the sure flag that there was a snake, or snakes, up there. However, this method is not reliable.
- Snake skin – a snake skin on the attic, or gutter/crevice/hole leading up to the attic is a sure sign that you have a snake up there.
- Rodent problem – this is not a sure sign, but it is a highly probable cause for a snake problem up the attic. If you happen to have a rat problem up the attic, then there’s most likely a snake up there making use of the hunting grounds.
So, how do I get rid of them?
The first thing to do is to seal all crevices and holes that lead from the ground up to the attic. These can be roof vents, soffit vents, or even an open gap in an eave.
If you desire to completely rid your property of the snakes, then you can seal the holes from outside. Then, make use of the glue trap or minnow trap aforementioned to trap the snake inside the attic and find a way to return them to the far wild.
But in case you just want to keep them out, seal the holes and crevices from the inside. This will work easily because snakes tend to linger around their hiding spots, such that immediately they sense someone approaching, they can slither back to safety.
Once they do, you can easily seal the gaps and there won’t be an internal snake problem anymore.
How to Get Snakes Out of Your Yard
The yard is one of the easiest places to spot a snake. Matter of fact, before you see a snake in your house, it was probably lingering somewhere in the yard.
The best advice, in case you spot a venomous snake in your yard, is to immediately call animal control or your local snake control company. If it’s not venomous, then there’re a number of easy ways to you can get the snakes out of your yard.
1. Properly maintain the yard
Garden snakes are the most common trespassers in the yard. What primarily attracts them is lush vegetation in your yard or more specifically, your yard’s garden.
To control this invasion, ensure that you pull weeds, excess vegetation, and piles of debris that provide hiding places for snakes in your yard.
Also, keep the lawn mown. This will help keep rodents, pests and thus snakes away.
2. Use the garden hose
Believe it or not, the garden hose can be a pretty effective tool in repelling a stray snake from your yard. Simply spray one with water from the hose until it slithers away from the yard.
However, please note that this is a temporary solution. You need to find out what is attracting the snake to the yard and deal with that.
3. Use a repellent
Off the shelf repellents are highly not recommended for snake control in the yard. This is because most of them contain the chemical naphthalene which has been labeled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a class C carcinogen.
Additionally, there are reports that these repellants cause anemia and damage to the liver.
So, what should you go for?
For starters, good old ammonia. Snakes are known to hate the smell of ammonia and would thus not come near it. Simply take some rags, soak them in ammonia, and place them, in unsealed plastic bags, in areas where you see the snakes most.
Alternatively, you can use approved insect and rodent repellents to keep their prey away, thus keep the snakes at bay altogether.
Lemongrass is a natural snake repellent that can come in quite handy in your yard. You can plant some, or use them in your landscaping to keep the snakes at bay. And the best part is, lemongrass also helps repel mosquitoes and moles, so that’s a triple win for you.
How to Get Snakes Out of Your Garage
Just like in the attic, a snake’s main attraction to the garage will be food, made available by rodents and insects living in the garage.
However, hot weather may also attract a snake to an open garage as they seek out cool shade from the harrowing weather. Yard litter and long grass around the garage would also offer a suitable environment for the snake.
A snake would snug up through any small opening to get into the garage. This means that you need to pay attention to and seal all crack and crevices that may be present in the garage. Even a trim that doesn’t go all the way down to the concrete may offer sufficient space for a snake to slither in.
Also, beware that climbing snakes can make use of open windows and pipes to get into your garage. Thus, ensure those are well-sealed and locked at all times.
So, how do I know my garage has an unwanted scaly visitor?
Snake skin from the molting process can be one tell-tale sign of a snake invasion. And if your garage happens to be dusty, a trail can be a useful sign. This trail will normally look like someone pulled a hose through the floor.
Finally, scat, which is basically the snake’s excretion, can be another sign of a scaly visitor. A snake’s scat almost looks like bird poop – black and white, small, and moist.
So, how do I get one out?
1. Use a snake trap
This is the safest option you can use. You should avoid trying to directly catch the snake since even a bite from a non-venomous snake can be extremely painful and lead to serious infection.
However, you should only use a snake trap if and only if the snake is not venomous. If it is, seek immediate help from a professional service.
2. Use a repellent
Ammonia can be an apt option for this case. However, this is not a lasting solution. Rather, this is what you should couple it with:
3. Organize your garage better
Snakes can only inhabit your garage if it suits habitat for its prey and itself. This means that you need to reduce clutter in your garage and organize stuff even better.
Thus, make sure that you move most items on the floor to higher areas – probably shelves. In case you store food or other perishables in the garage, ensure that they are in airtight containers that will discourage rodent activity.
If your garage is inhabitable, then there would be no reason for a snake to pitch tent in the first place.
How Do You Find a Snake in Your House?
Snakes can be quite sneaky creatures. Most times, they may only come out to hunt then head back to their hiding to hibernate and stay away from other predators. And this may be dependent on several other factors such as temperature.
Thus, in case a snake gets into your house, tracking it down may be quite a daunting task. But there are a couple of tricks that may help you sniff out the reptile from its hiding spot:
1. Lower the house’s temperature.
Snakes are ectothermic animals – meaning they thrive in warmer temperatures. In case you have the air conditioning on, lower the house temperature and wait for the snake to sneak out of its hiding while searching for warmer areas.
These areas may be near the radiator, windows, or even in bed.
2. Place a water bowl down at the wall’s base
Snakes are attracted to still water, which they use to soak themselves in and quench their thirst. In case you suspect that you have a loose snake in the house, place a water bowl at the base of a wall, and muster the patience to wait for the snake to come out and take a drink.
This method may not bring immediate results and thus requires an immense amount of patience.
3. Lure it with a heating pad and hiding box
Most snakes will maneuver through the walls and avoid straying into the open area. Thus, if you really wish to find one, using a heating pad, a couple of newspapers, and a hiding box might come in handy.
The idea is, you take a heating pad, place it in some corner in the room you suspect the snake is, and cover the heating pad with a bunch of newspapers and a hiding box.
As the snake traverses through the wall, it will bump into the heating pad setup and set base there. Why? Since the temperature makes the spot hospitable.
4. Time your search well, based on the species of the snake
If you happen to know which species the snake is, then the search can be made far much easier. A diurnal species will be active during the day thus a day search will be the most effective in finding the snake.
On the other hand, nocturnal will be best spotted at night.
Are Snakes Active at Night?
This depends on the kind of snake species you are dealing with. Generally, we have the diurnal and nocturnal species.
The diurnals are mostly active during the day, while nocturnal are highly active at night. However, despite the diurnals being active at day, most of their prey are active at night. This is because most rodents and reptiles are nocturnal.
In addition, you also need to consider the fact that snakes are cold-blooded. This means that most of them will be inactive on cold winter nights, and be highly active in the hotter summer nights. This explains why nocturnal snakes are more common in tropical areas.
What are Snakes Attracted to?
Two primary things: food and shelter. These may be unknowingly provided by the host/human.
For instance, a dirty store/environment, in general, may attract rodents, which in turn will attract snakes, since that is ripe hunting grounds for the snakes.
An example is the Taipan snake which is known to feed on rodents. This particular species of snakes is usually attracted to farm sheds and gardens, where mice and rats would be found most.
In case you breed chicken, a brown snake may be attracted to your yard since chicken is their prey. Most times, they would get trapped in the coop after feeding on one.
Your garden may also attract snakes, especially if it is bushy and swamped with still water puddles. Since frogs love such an environment, tree snakes may be attracted to these potential hunting grounds.
However, the garter snake may be beneficial to your garden since it feeds on snails and slugs which are notorious garden destroyers. They also feed on most pests that destroy crops in the garden.
The ceiling can also host the carpet python, thanks to the warmth and security it’s provided with there.
Do Snakes Make Holes in Your Yard?
Technically, they don’t. Inherently, snakes can only burrow through very loose soil and leaves. Thus, they are not capable of making their own holes. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t spot one.
Otherwise known as snake burrows, these holes provide nesting grounds for snakes living in your yard. Instead of making one, snakes take over holes that were abandoned by other animals. They may either scare the existing residents away or eat them.
Do Snakes Live in Holes?
Yes, they do. This, in fact, is the safer option for them as they seek to hide from predators such as other mammals and birds.
In most cases, snakes live in holes that were abandoned by other animals such as moles, gopher tortoises, and other vertebrates. In here, they will lay eggs, seek shelter, hunt for food, and hide from predators.
In addition, they will also take time to hibernate inside this hole, especially since their digestion takes longer and they are highly inactive over this period.
If you spot a hole with snake skin or excretion left in there, then probably that’s a snake burrow with an active snake in your yard.
Do Snakes Eat Every Day?
Not really. Snakes have a tendency of going for long before the next meal. Typically, an adult snake may take a week or even, typically more, before the next meal.
Younger snakes, however, may feed more frequently, approximately twice a week. On average, it is expected that a snake may feed once a week, or once every two weeks.
What Smells Do Snakes Hate?
Snakes are repelled by a myriad of smells, with some being repelled by specific smells that may emanate naturally from specific plants.
However, these are the most common repulsive smells that the slithering reptiles hate:
1. Onion and garlic
Yes. Seems like stashing a few of this in your home and planting a couple of them in your garden can go a long way in keeping snakes at bay. The smell of onions and garlic not only repels snakes but also confuses them.
Garlic, however, is considered to be the best repellent. When a snake slithers over a clove, the plant gives off an oily residue that pretty much acts like a sliced onion – it feels like pepper spray to the snake.
2. The Citrus smell from west Indian lemongrass
The citrus smell from the west Indian lemongrass is another common deterrent of snakes. And as a plus, this lemongrass also excretes citronella which repels mosquitoes.
Lemongrass is a drought-resistant plant and it’s easy to maintain, thus it’s a great addition in your yard.
3. An array of essential oils
Basically, cinnamon oil, clove oil, and eugenol – derived from clove oil, are some of the well-known snake repellents. These oils are known to make the snake uncomfortable, once they make contact with their skin.
One way to use them is to spray them directly to the snake, so as to scare them away.
These are among the most commonly known snake repellents in the market. They are the main component in naphthalene, a chemical compound used in most, harsh chemical snake repellents.
However, the use of naphthalene is not encouraged as it poses harm to the body. Additionally, its smell can linger around for weeks and can be very pungent.
This also serves as a great snake repellent. Stashing it in areas where snakes normally pass or live in your yard can help get rid of them.
Ammonia’s pungent smell is also known to be unattractive to snakes. Thus, keeping some in your yard, close to where the snakes live or pass by, can help control their numbers.
To use ammonia, just place some in open plastic bags, such that the smell can get to the environment. This way, the snakes, will be deterred from getting to the locations where these bags have been kept.
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare