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How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard — Easy Expert Tips Stop Them From Slithering

Hint: They don't like short grass.

Unless you live in one of the very few states with no native snake populations, odds are you’ve had to deal with a snake slithering through your yard at least once or twice over the years. The good news is that over 90% of snakes found in the United States are non-venomous. But while they can’t really hurt you, it doesn’t mean you want them hanging around your home. But if you’ve noticed one or many, keep scrolling for tips from experts on how to keep snakes out of your yard.

Why are there snakes in my yard?

Snakes come into your yard seeking food, water or shelter — or to escape predators, cold or heat, says Zachary Smith, owner and founder of Smith’s Pest Management in San Jose, California. Reduce their opportunities for those things, and you’ll drastically reduce the number of snakes that wander through.

How to keep snakes out of your yard

1. Keep your grass short

short grass in yard for how to keep snakes out of your yard

Tall grass is always snake habitat,” says Drew Ricketts, associate professor and extension wildlife specialist for Kansas State University Research and Extension. That’s because tall grasses help snakes hide from their natural predators, birds like hawks and owls. Since snakes are also generally shy animals and prefer being left alone, taller grasses give them ample hiding places. So neglecting to mow your yard can be a problem.

2. Seal up open foundations and crawl spaces

Because snakes also like to cozy up inside nice damp, dark, warm hiding spaces, openings under sheds or at crawl spaces provide ideal locations for them to hide away. They can also be home to rodents, which are a food source for many types of snakes. “These create habitats for lots of wildlife, including snakes,” says Ricketts. So board up or block any openings under your home or garden shed — after first checking to make sure nothing is already hiding there!

3. Remove clutter or trash

Just like snakes like to hide in tall grass or in foundations or crawl spaces, they’ll also take advantage of other opportunities to hide, so any clutter in your yard can provide a home to local snakes. Get rid of things like wood piles, compost piles or any other type of debris that could provide a hiding space to a snake. Store firewood elevated or in boxes. Likewise, any trash can provide both a food source and a hiding place, so make sure it’s properly disposed of in a garbage pail with a lid to stop any uninvited critters — including snakes! — from getting into it.

Watch this YouTube video from Trim That Weed gardening resource for ways to take action

4. How to keep snakes out of your yard: Get rid of water sources

“Most snakes don’t necessarily need a lot of standing water, but it’s not true for all of them,” says Ricketts. “If you have water snakes in the yard, then goldfish ponds and other standing water can attract water snakes and snakes that have intermediate water needs — like garter snakes — and part of that is because it’s providing more prey for them.” The frogs and insects that like to hang out around water are often things snakes like to eat. By eliminating the water source, you’ll also be getting rid of a snake’s main food source, which then deters the creature from staying in your yard.

5. Control insect and pest populations

Snakes eat a wide range of both insects and pests, including slugs, grubs, cockroaches, mice, rats, voles and more, so one key to preventing snakes from hanging out in your yard is to control populations of insects and other pests. This means removing their food sources as well, and treating any pest outbreaks. First, avoid leaving out pet food that can attract mice, rats or other pests. And if you experience a pest nuisance of any kind, call a professional pest control company to help you deal with it.

6. How to keep snakes out of your yard: Don’t feed birds

Just like some birds like to eat snakes, there are snakes that like to eat some varieties of birds. “Bird feeders can be something snakes use to target their prey,” says Ricketts. “We do have snakes that eat birds and they do ambush birds at those feeders.” Bird feeders also attract rodents and rodents are snake prey — so that feeder you use to watch the local birds could be attracting snakes to your yard. Additionally, many feeders are placed in tall grasses or trees, which can provide camouflage for snakes, so skip the bird feeder. And don’t feel bad for not feeding the birds, says Ricketts. “They’re actually places where we see increased disease transmission and there are studies that show that birds that are fed have lower reproductive success, so there’s actually science behind not using bird feeders.”

7. Be wary of landscaping rocks and mulch

Rock piles as well as deep piles of mulch also provide places for snakes to breed. “Eliminate these hiding places and snakes will go elsewhere to live,” says Smith. This means keeping any decorative rock piles to a minimum — or at least placing them far away from your home or immediate yard area, and minimizing the use of deep mulch or replacing it instead with crushed stone, which is much less friendly as a snake habitat.

8. Keep shrubbery trimmed

Bushy, low-to-the-ground shrubs can also be great places for our scaly friends to hide within, says Rickets. “Any dense landscaping like flower beds, shrubs, and those sorts of things can make for a good snake habitat.” Creating a 24-36-inch gap between the bottoms of any trees or shrubs and the ground will prevent snakes from hiding within— and help you see them if they do sneak in. Likewise, keep branches off the ground and trimmed away from both your home and garage.

9. How to keep snakes out of your yard: Use natural repellents

Some household products have been known to repel snakes, say the folks at Northwest Exterminating, who explain, “these natural snake repellents can be used around the perimeter of your property, around pools, along the edges of ponds and anywhere else you have noticed snake activity.”

These can include:

  1. Ammonia-soaked rags placed in open bags around pools.
  2. Cinnamon and clove oil combined together and sprayed near where snakes have been seen.
  3. Lime mixed with hot pepper or peppermint oil and sprayed around the perimeter of your yard.
  4. Vinegar poured along the edges of pools and ponds to deter snakes.
  5. Garlic and onions chopped up and mixed with rock salt and sprinkled around your yard.

Keep in mind, though, that any natural repellent — and even a store-bought one — would have to be reapplied frequently — and could potentially harm other animals or even plants, so be careful with their use. There’s also some controversy over whether or not they truly work.

This TikTok from social media sensation @ceithgriffith shows one of his homemade snake repellents:

This TikTok from @simplysoutherncottage demonstrates how to use store-bought snake repellent:


Here’s how I keep snakes away at one of my wooded properties 🐍 #notsponsored #gardentips #gardeningtips #greenthumb #snakeaway #snakesoftiktok #gardening101 #lawncare #lawntok

♬ When I Come Around – Green Day

10. Consider a snake fence

If you’re seeing a lot of snakes in your yard, a fence can be built as a last resort if removing food sources and hiding spaces hasn’t worked. According to the Utah University State Extension, the fence should be either ¼ inch or smaller rigid mesh or solid metal sheeting and it needs to be buried a few inches into the ground to prevent snakes from getting underneath it. The top should also be curved out to prevent snakes from climbing up and over it.

For more tips to keeping snakes out of your yard, watch this video from a snake removal specialist:

For more tips on keeping pests away from your home, click through the links below!

10 Easy Ways To Keep Deer Away From Your Garden Without A Fence

The Genius Castor Oil Spray That Keeps Moles From Ruining Your Lawn and Garden

How To Get Rid of Mice — Pest Pros Reveal The Best Cheap, Easy Home Remedies

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