Get Snakes to Slither on Out of Your Home With These Tips
Does the idea of a slithering invader just give you the shivers? Most people don't want to share their homes with unwanted snakes, so it's often an unpleasant shock to find them wriggling around on your property.
Removing snakes is often something you should leave to a professional — especially if there’s a chance these snakes could be venomous. However, some smaller infestations can be treated by the homeowner.
Seeing an occasional snake in your yard might not be cause for concern, but if you see them frequently or see several snakes at once, you could have a problem. Some other signs of a snake problem on your property include:
- Snake holes
- Tracks in dust or dirt that look like an S or other squiggly shapes
- Shed skin
- Slithering sounds or the sound of snakes bumping things when they move
- Snake droppings, which look similar to bird droppings but might have hair and bones in them
- Strange smell in enclosed places
If you suspect you have a snake problem, look for these signs and keep track of snake sightings. You can also sprinkle flour in areas where you suspect you have snakes and look for their tracks in the flour.
Being familiar with venomous snakes that live in your area can help you determine if yours are dangerous. There are also some characteristics that generally appear on a dangerous snake that can help you assess the threat level by sight. Venomous snakes have yellow-green eyes with thin, vertical pupils, while nonvenomous snakes have round pupils — although, you likely don't want to get close enough to see the snake’s pupils! You'll also notice a broad, triangular shape on a venomous snake.
If in doubt, do not approach the animal. Call a professional for assistance.
If you find a venomous snake in or near your home, don't try to remove it on your own. You need an experienced wildlife removal professional to handle dangerous snakes. It's also a good idea to let professionals handle nonvenomous snakes, especially if you're not comfortable around them. Nonvenomous snakes that are outside your home might not need to be removed if you're okay with them being on your property.
You'll want to relocate a snake that's inside your house. If you're sure it's not venomous and you're not scared of snakes, you can put on gloves and pick it up carefully to move outside. Be sure not to hurt the snake. If the snake is near a door, prop the door open and scoot the snake toward the exit with a broom. You can also put a bucket over a snake if it's coiled up or small enough and wait for a professional to help.
Excluding snakes from your home by sealing up potential entry points can be effective. However, you want to ensure you don't have any snakes inside your home first. If you do, sealing up their exits means they can't leave and will likely die in your house. You can use one-way snake doors over the entrances that let the snakes leave but not reenter. A simple DIY version is to create a tube using aluminum window screen and insert it into the hole where the snakes enter. You want it to end a few inches off the ground. The snake will drop to the ground when it exits, and it won't be able to get back up into the tube to get back inside.
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Professional snake removal typically costs between $100 and $600. The price can vary based on the number of snakes, type of snakes and any conditions that make the removal more difficult. Preventative measures to keep snakes out of your home generally cost $100 to $500, but the total cost can vary depending on how many holes and cracks you need to seal. While the cost can be high, it's often worth it to let a professional handle the snakes.
You can also minimize snakes around your home by cleaning up your yard. Keep the lawn mowed, so snakes can't hide in the long grass. Warm, damp, sheltered areas are ideal for snakes, so remove wood piles, dense brush and other piles from your yard. Get rid of standing water to eliminate a moisture source. Gravel and other uneven surfaces can present a challenge to snakes compared to smoother surfaces, which make it easier for snakes to move. Controlling rodent problems around your home can also help since they're a food source for snakes.
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