A friend of mine was watching a cute, and ironically snake-like, Snapchat video she had made with her family as she stepped out the door. She heard a rattle but thought it was coming from the video. Then she heard it again.
She looked down and found a rattlesnake curled up right next to her shoe. It wasn’t even a foot from her back door.
Needless to say, she just about had a heart attack. And considering that she has three small boys under the age of four, she can’t have venomous snakes just hanging out on the back patio.
So how do you deter snakes around your home?
Some people suggest buying snake deterrent products and applying them around your yard. Guess what? Scientific studies have shown that those don’t work, and your children are more likely to get into those poisons than a snake in my opinion. (At least that’s what would happen at my house!)
Luckily, there are things you can do to deter snakes and it’s all about habitat. You want to change the habitat around your home so it’s less desirable for snakes and they make their home in another location.
Here are five strategies that you can use to deter snakes around your home:
- Remove junk and brush piles from your property. Stacks of trimmed branches or piles of junk provide great habitat for snakes. It’s like living in an all-inclusive resort because rodents love to live in these places too. Snakes get shelter, protection, and a buffet!
- Pick up your kids’ toys. It can be hard to pick up after our kids daily, but if you do nothing else, try to pick up their toys outside. A snake may find shelter under a turned-over dump truck leading to an encounter with your toddler who tries to play with it the next day.
- Plug up any holes. Snakes love to hide, so the more holes you have (in your house, under your sidewalk, in a rock wall) the more places a snake can call home. Plus, these holes are a great place for rodents to live which will attract snakes.
- Cut back vegetation. Keep grass mowed, shrubs trimmed, and gardens pruned. By cutting back vegetation you’re giving them fewer places where they can hide.
- Control rodent populations around your home. If you know you have a rodent issue, hire an exterminator or trap them. Not only do rodents attract snakes to your yard, but they carry diseases that could potentially harm your children.
Originally published August 2018.