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How to Keep Snakes Away From Your Home - 7 Useful Tips

Every animal, including pests, has its own preferred habitat. Snakes are no exception - they are drawn to cold, dark, and damp places for shelter. Unfortunately, there are quite a few such potential hiding spots in most yards or gardens. Woodpiles, sheds, dense shrubs, and compost are just a few examples of such places. If you’re not careful, you could be creating the perfect habitat for these scaly reptiles and inviting unwanted visitors into your home.
The best way to snake-proof your property is to turn it into an inhabitable environment. This means cutting off their food and water supply and eliminating potential hiding places. Below, we list 7 mistakes that attract snakes to your property and how to fix them.

1. Rodents

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home mouse
The primary reason for snakes to end up on your property is their prey. Even though snakes can survive without food for weeks or months at a time, they try to hunt weekly or once every few weeks. Many snakes prey on rodents, birds, bird eggs, frogs, lizards, and other small animals.
According to Adrienne Vosseler, an animal control expert, "Many species of snakes seek rodents for food, and if you have rodents living in your attic or property, it is very possible for snakes to be present, too." Signs of a rodent problem include small holes in the ground or rodent droppings.
Solution tips:
- To free your property of snakes, you’ll need to get rid of the rodents first. We have an entire article on dealing with a rodent problem here: A Mouse in the House?! If mice are the cause of your snake problem, you will start seeing fewer or no snakes after the rodent issue is taken care of.

2. Leaving food out for pets

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home pet food

Leaving cat or dog food out for stray cats is an admirable act of kindness, but it can backfire if you’re not careful. The smell of kibble attracts rodents to your home, and snakes will follow their prey wherever it goes. But pet food isn’t the only food source to look out for: bird feeders, open trashcans, unharvested fruits and vegetables, and any other source of food could attract pests as well.

To learn more about the ways rodents get into your home, read Rodent Alert: Ways You May Be Inviting Mice into Your Home.

Solution tips:
- Whenever possible, feed your pets indoors.
- If you have outdoor animals or feed stray animals, teach them to have a feeding schedule instead of leaving food out for them all day. Make sure to put away any leftover food.
- Leave food out in the open. Rodents are afraid of open spaces, so leaving a food bowl in the middle of the lawn may deter them from stealing the kibble.
- Shut or seal any other potential food sources in the yard or garden.

3. Compost

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home Compost
Composting is great, but it’s also one of the most common ways to invite mice, possums, raccoons, and snakes into your home. For all of these critters, your compost bin is like a free feast. Of course, it would be unreasonable to ask you to stop composting altogether, so instead, we recommend that you either use a compost bin with a really tight seal and lock.
This will keep any alluring smells away from pests and will prevent them from accessing your compost. It also helps to keep your compost pile as far away from your home as possible. Ideally, you’d want to keep it at the far end of your yard, away from any buildings.

4. Ponds, birdbaths, and other sources of water

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home birdbath

Did you set up a pretty birdbath to attract birds into your yard? Apart from birds, it could attract other, less than welcome scaly critters as well. Natalie Barrett, a pest control expert points out the following, "Snakes do need water to survive, so if you have an easily accessible birdbath in the garden, chances are that you'll attract snakes."

Several snake species prefer wet environments, and with the added opportunity to snatch a bird, a birdbath seems like the best habitat ever. The same can be said about other sources of water, such as fish ponds, pools, or even large puddles after heavy rain.

Solution tips:
- Prevention is key when it comes to water sources. A smart way to prevent these pests from getting into your home is to have a fence around fish ponds or your entire yard.
- Putting birdbaths in open spaces or raising the height in your yard can prevent some snakes from getting into them. Even though some snakes are good climbers, many are too small to climb up high. 
- Trimming the grass around sources of water can help too. Even though snakes like cooling off in the water, they also need a place to hide after their swim. If you keep the plant life around the pond or birdbath sparse, you’ll deprive them of a potential hiding spot.

5. Tall grass and big shrubs adjacent to your home

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home grass
Tall and dense vegetation is the perfect shelter for snakes. It’s the perfect camouflage and hiding place that allows them to sneak up on prey. An overgrown lawn can also prevent you from noticing a snake, which could lead to a bite. Therefore, keeping up on your lawn care and trimming any long weeds near the fence is pretty are crucial for discouraging snakes from entering your property.
It’s also a good idea to trim the bottom of bushes and shrubs so that the leaves don’t touch the ground. The same trick is also good for preventing other critters, including rodents, from living on your property.

6. Decorative rocks, sheds, and woodpiles

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home woodpile

Any structure in your yard that’s shaded and damp is the perfect hiding spot for snakes. Woodpiles, decorative rock constructions, gaps in the foundation, and sheds are all favorite shelter options for these reptiles. 

Solution tips:
- Seal any holes or cracks in the foundation of your home, garage, or shed with some cement.
- Move any woodpiles or rock piles as far away from your home or any other structures as possible. Raising any woodpiles may also help prevent pests from turning them into a shelter.
- If you have snakes living in your garage or shed, lowering the heat or humidity can chase them away. Most snakes prefer between 40-50% humidity and cold temperatures, so using a dehumidifier can be helpful.

7. Leaf piles

Things That Attract Snakes to Your Home Leaf pile
Do your kids or grandkids love jumping into leaf piles in the fall? While this can be big fun for the little ones, we’d caution you against it. Leaf piles and hedge trimmings act as a hiding place for snakes, especially if they’re located close to a tree or a building. Some dangerous venomous snakes, such as coral snakes, favor hiding under leaf piles.
Therefore, we advise you to clear any loose vegetation from your yard as quickly as possible and do so carefully and while wearing thick gloves.
Share these useful tips with family and friends!
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