Ways to Keep Snakes Away from Home and Yard
It may take a lot of work and maintenance, but it's worth it.
Snakes are unwelcome visitors in our homes and yards. Although they play a crucial role in the ecosystem, their presence can be unsettling. Some species can even pose a deadly threat if they’re left to roam around aimlessly. This is why you need to understand snakes and how they behave so you’ll know how to deal with them without harming them in the process.
Understanding their behavior and the conditions that attract snakes is important because snakes in the yard can pose a safety risk not just for us but also for these slithering animals.
If the snake you happen to chance upon is venomous, the bite can cause issues that may lead to coma or even death. If the snake is non-venomous, it may still be a threat to the members of the family, even your furry pets.
Needless to say, snakes are not out to harm us by default. Actually, they make every effort to stay away from people and stay as quiet as possible.
We also need to keep in mind that they are a vital part of the ecosystem because they keep the balance. For one thing, they help eliminate lots of problematic pets, such as ticks and rats. Lack of snakes to help balance out the population of these animals can lead to infestation that can directly affect us in the long run.
Several venomous species live in the Philippines, such as the Philippine Cobra (Naja philippinensis) and the Pit Vipers (copperheads and rattlesnakes, to name a few). Familiarizing ourselves with their appearance can help us take pre-emptive action to prevent unpleasant encounters.
Looking at a snake's head is one of the simplest ways to differentiate a venomous one from a non-venomous one. Non-venomous snakes usually have round heads. On the other hand, venomous snakes typically have triangular heads.
Furthermore, venomous snakes have keeled scales and have a rough texture. They have a ridge running through the middle part of their bodies. On the contrary, snakes without venom will have smoother scales.
Keeled scales are usually found on the dorsal or back part of snakes and other types of reptiles. Experts are still not sure why they have these scales, but one possibility they’re looking into is that venomous snakes use this as a form of camouflage. Furthermore, keeled scales are less shiny than the smooth scales that non-venomous snakes have. Therefore, these do not reflect sunlight.
Examining their eyes will help you distinguish them from one another. The pupils of venomous snakes are often vertical. It’s similar to those that you see in a cat. As for the non-venomous snakes, they have round pupils that somewhat make their eyes look bigger.
The Puff Adder (Bitis arietans), the Speckled Green Snake (Philothamnus punctatus), and the Nose-Horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes ammodytes) are some snakes with keeled scales.
On the other hand, some examples of non-venomous snakes include the Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus), Common Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus), and Brahminy Blind Snake or the Flower Pot Snake (Indotyphlops braminus).
Snakes are attracted to clutter, wet, and dark places as these areas provide them with the perfect environment to hide and hunt. They are also drawn to their food sources, which may include rats, insects, frogs, or small birds that usually frequent the yards.
Keeping the Snakes Away for Good
Remove the snake habitats
First off, you need to make your property less attractive for snakes. Check for clutter in your yard, such as piles of wood, fallen leaves, and overgrown vegetation where snakes may seek refuge.
Regular maintenance of your property like clearing out the grass from your front yard, removing debris, and keeping your yard tidy can discourage snakes from visiting and nesting. Clean up any standing water as snakes can also be drawn to moist areas.
Cleaning up your yard at least once a week is highly recommended. This is to ensure that you don’t have to deal with massive clutter in one go. At the same time, it drastically decreases the overwhelm you get when cleaning out your yard.
Seal the entry points
Snakes can slither through surprisingly small gaps. As such, you need to make it a point to seal potential entry points so they don’t get inside your home. These entry points can include holes in your walls, crevices in the foundations, door gaps, or any damaged window screens.
Aside from preventing snakes from entering your home, it discourages their food sources like rodents or insects from making their way inside as well.Use natural snake deterrentsSome of us prefer to avoid harsh chemicals, and for this, nature has provided several natural snake deterrents.
There are certain plants that repel snakes. Try planting some Lemongrass or Snake Plants around your property. In addition, you may consider spreading cinnamon or clove oil to ward off our slithering friends. Other natural deterrents to consider include a vinegar or ammonia solution, which the snakes normally dislike.
Build some physical barriers
If you want to take things to the next level, consider having some physical barriers around your home. Snake-proof fencing or fine mesh wire can do the job for you if you install these correctly.
You can install these barriers around your yard or place them on specific areas like the garden or chicken coop. If you’re a pet owner, you should consider creating snake-proof enclosures to keep your beloved furry friend safe.
Modify your surroundings
Altering the environment of your yard can discourage snakes from visiting. For instance, good outdoor illumination can dissuade nocturnal snakes from getting into your property. Installation of motion sensor sprinklers or sound emitters can also keep snakes at bay.
Professional Snake Control Services
If the idea of facing down a cobra gives you the shivers, or your DIY prevention methods aren't doing the trick, it may be time to contact professionals. They have the knowledge and resources to safely remove the snakes and ensure they don't return. Needless to say, hiring a professional to get rid of the snakes and prevent them from coming back can be a bit costly. But for the amount of peace of mind it brings, it’s worth a shot as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some signs that indicate a snake may be present in my home or yard?
Signs that a snake might be present include seeing snake skins, noticing slither tracks, or your pets acting unusually nervous.
Are there any plants that naturally repel snakes?
Yes, some plants naturally repel snakes, such as lemongrass and marigolds.
Can I use mothballs to keep snakes away?
Although mothballs are rumored as a snake deterrent, their toxicity makes them a risk for kids, pets, and the environment, so it’s best not to use them.
How effective are snake-proof fences in keeping snakes out?
Snake-proof fences can be highly effective, especially when installed correctly and maintained regularly.
What do I have to do if I see a snake in my yard?
If you spot a snake in your yard, don't panic. Keep a safe distance, don't make sudden movements, and contact a snake removal professional, either from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, your local city government, or a private company.
Remember, our goal is not to harm these creatures, but to live alongside them safely. Understanding snakes better and taking appropriate preventative measures can help us achieve that.
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