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Getting Rid of Snakes

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Snake coiled in an evergreen tree.

Snakes are a cause for alarm for many of us, particularly when startled by one. There are a variety of effective methods to repel snakes. This is a guide about getting rid of snakes.



Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Snakes.

Question: Getting Rid of a Snake Under the Deck

There is a large snake about five feet long living under my deck and is responsible for death of one of my dogs. I have new rescue who smells snakes. How do I get rid of the snake? It maybe a water moccasin.

By Kimijohn


Best Answer

By frances [1]02/01/2014

Call your local animal control office. If you are right about the kind of snake, you do not want to tackle this on your own. If you are outside and sense that the snake is near, then call 911.

Question: Snakes in Retention Pond

My daughter has a retention pond behind her house and the snakes are starting to come out with the warm weather here in the South. She has fought them for 2 years and nothing seems to work. Is there anything that authorities can do to eliminate the snakes from being in the pond? Some counties will maintain the snakes for the protection of the people who live around them.

By Bonnie


Most Recent Answer

By Barbara [5]01/21/2013

You can use "sulfur" around the pond. I use it in my sheds. I also had a pond that attracted snakes, so I sprinkled it around my pond. It worked just fine.

Hope this helps you, as I don't like snakes.

Question: Snakes Under Our Deck

I just found out that we have lots of snakes under our deck, I am afraid of snakes, please give me an idea of how to get rid of them for good.

Most Recent Answer

By Kate Boddington04/28/2011

Dear All

I'm looking for case studies to be featured in an Animal Planet show about infestations and we are looking for an interesting story about how someone has successfully dealt with a snake problem in their home.

Please do get in touch with me to let me know if you are interested in telling me about your snake encounters in and around your home and how the situation was resolved.

You can email me on: kate.boddington AT

Many thanks, Kate

Question: Den of Snakes in My Basement

I am asking for help concerning a possible den of snakes found in my basement. We've lived in our house for about four years. This is the first time we have had a problem, it was the spring after we bought the house. I saw something moving in the ceiling of our unfinished basement and then suddenly realized it was a black snake. Every spring, it's the same story - just when you think you've gotten rid of them-they're back.

I say they, because for a long time I thought I was seeing the same snake. We even named him, "Henry." But Henry was quite elusive and refused to be caught, until about two months ago when my very courageous neighbor came over and devised a snake catching kit, and caught him unharmed.

We let him go in the woods behind our house, and naturally I thought snake-gate was all over with. Wrong! Two nights ago, two black snakes nearly fell on my head. We don't have mice.

Any advice,

B.J. in Virginia

Most Recent Answer

By Kate Boddington04/28/2011

Dear B.J. in Virginia

I'm looking for case studies to be featured in an Animal Planet show and your situation sounds like it could be perfect.

Can you please get in touch with me to let me know if you are interested in telling me more?

You can email me on:

Many thanks


Question: Snakes in House

I saw a snake go under my refrigerator, then under the stove; animal control could not find it. How can I get it out of the house? I'm scared!

By Tammy from Sacramento, CA

Most Recent Answer

By Raymond H.04/15/2013

I suggest you do a "reptile handling course" so that you will know which ones are safe and which are not and how to remove them if need be.
All the best

Question: Pet Safe Snake Deterrent

I live in the Outback at a caravan park and it is expected that we are going to have snakes and I do not wish to harm them. I would be quite happy to keep them away with moth balls, but I have a small dog and I am wondering if she will eat the moth balls.

By Toni

Most Recent Answer

By Carol Swanson [35]06/06/2012

I once bought spray repellent online from a man in Australia. What I discovered was that snakes or at least most snakes, are repelled by strong odors. I have good luck with moth balls and liniment creams. I guess you'll need to keep an eye on your pet if you think he might eat it.

Question: Snake Repellents

What kind of acid or chemicals can be used to avoid snakes?

By vishnunathgouda from India

Most Recent Answer

By Tanya06/28/2010

I once heard an old timer say that in olden days folks would burn an all leather shoe to chase snakes away. Granted in today's world that would be an awful expensive deterrent, but if you have an old pair it may be worth trying! Just make sure to remove any man made materials like rubber soles.

Question: Possible Snake Den in Front Yard

Last spring we noticed some holes in our mostly dirt front yard. We never saw anything come in or out of them, but there seemed to be several. (The yard is mostly dirt because our house was raised prior us moving in and still needs to be leveled and reseeded.). So, back to these holes. I believe them to be snake holes, but largely they got ignored.

I did once see a small snake in my driveway which my husband ushered over to a large field by our home. My two cats do bring home kills, small rodents and birds. Back to the holes- so this morning- 1-8-2014, I walked outside and just glanced something sliding back into a hole. I only saw about three inches, but I am pretty sure it was not a large earth worm.

Yes, I understand to keep rodents away, unfortunately, we live next to a field, so all we can do is control that population with our mighty ninja cats. What can I do to get this snake or snakes out from under my yard? I doubt they are poisonous due to our location- NW Oregon, but I am pretty sure I saw a reddish brown color leaving me wondering. I have two young children and certainly don't want an unwanted visitor. Help!

By Samantha D.

Most Recent Answer

By Lizzyanny [9]01/11/2014

I should have added, they never go in your house.

Question: Diamondback Rattlesnake in the House

I live in Texas in a canyon area and a diamond back rattle snake entered the kitchen. Is this unusual that this type of snake would enter a home?

By Georgia one from TX

Most Recent Answer

By Sandi [7]08/20/2009

I can't believe I'm reading this blog! I would never live in an area where there are such deadly snakes. If I were on vacation some place and these snakes happened by I would be out of there so fast, and I hope the Good Lord is watching out for you and yours.

Question: Getting Rid of a Rattlesnake

I had a 5 foot rattlesnake under my house. I put sulphur out everywhere except a small area where he could get out. The next morning I ran out and sealed the rest of perimeter with sulphur. But my problem is he left from under the house, but keeps hanging around wanting to go back under. How do I get rid of him forever except for a shotgun? Please help I am terrified of snakes! He will not crawl thru sulphur, but hangs close. Yikes!

    By Faith Pace [1]

    Most Recent Answer

    By cybergrannie [32]09/05/2015

    My son had a similar problem and when he had someone come to remove the snake, they told him that a snake does this when they have babies. They found several babies under his house so this may be a reason the snake is still there.

    Try to contact someone at your local animal control. They should have an emergency number for the weekend. If no luck with that, try calling your local police department or even your local radio station.

    Question: Getting Rid of Rattlesnakes

    I have a rattlesnake on my downstairs. I live in Rocklin, California. How do you get rid of them? Can they climb up to my second floor? Can they climb that high?

    By Joan

    Most Recent Answer

    By April [187]09/28/2014

    You need to call either animal control or your conservation agent.

    Question: Getting Rid of Rattlesnakes in a Hole

    What do you use to get rid of rattlesnakes down in a hole?

    By LR from TX

    Most Recent Answer

    By Linda [1]03/02/2014

    I don't know about getting rid of it but do know that snakes do not like slithering over garden lime. The powder burns their belly. So we used it when we didn't want them slithering under the porch to make a home when I was a kid. When dinosaurs roamed the earth. LOL

    Question: Baby Snake in the House

    I just found a very small, 6-8 inch wormlike black snake in my house. My son removed it in a trash can. How do I know if this was a single snake or if I have more? I have never seen a mouse in the house. I do have a small dog door.

    By Susan

    Most Recent Answer

    By Angie D.04/15/2014

    We've had a few ... look up garter snake on the web and see if any of the pics resemble the thing. I hate snakes. I found out that turpentine will paralyze them enough to get them out of the house, and they hate garden lime they steer clear of it because it will burn their bellies. I'm from Australia every snake there is poisonous but the corn snake, and the green tree snake. So naturally I felt I was dealing with a venomous reptile and smashed the living daylights out of the poor thing to find out many people prize these as pets (my apologies to the snake lovers) but how was I to know :) RIP oh garter snake ...

    Question: Snake in My House

    I think I saw a snake in my house. I don't know where he went. How can I get rid of it?

    By C. Davis

    Most Recent Answer

    By beth1206/05/2013

    If you have a cat, who is a good mouser, he will let you know where the snake is. I had two Siamese cats years ago. They were very intelligent, independent, and diligent. When hunting mice, they would stalk them and sit and stare at a corner, where a mouse would eventually enter the house, for hours.

    Once one of my cats was sitting in the open window in our bedroom upstairs and began to make a loud chattering sound and exhibited that stalking pose. I went over to the window and low and behold, a large black snake was slithering across the yard almost 20 yards away.

    I've had several types of cats over my lifetime, but the Siamese is the best. You wouldn't think it to look at them because they appear to be so tiny and slender. But they are agile, and fierce. Mine were also very loyal to me personally and very territorial.

    Question: Snakes in the Basement

    I found 4 rat snakes in my basement last week and 2 outside of the house. We caught them all and got rid of them. We sealed the hole where we think they were coming into the basement and we haven't seen anymore in 4 days now. How will I know if I got all of them out? And how will they get out if we sealed the hole up already?

    By Mary A

    Most Recent Answer

    By kristoffersava07/05/2012

    I will suggest you to go with Local Restoration company they will clean your basement. They have many years of experience of basement cleaning, fire, water restoration, mold remediation and Flood disaster recovery experience with home owners.

    Question: Getting Rid of Snakes in House

    I have snakes in my house! Is there any way to trap them? How can I get them out?

    By Diana

    Most Recent Answer

    By Frugal Sunnie [11]05/22/2012

    The safest way to deal with snakes in the house is to call in professional, expert wildlife handlers. Google using your town or area name in the search term, or check your phone book. You can also contact the local authorities who may be able to recommend someone.

    Snakes usually infest a house where they are finding an abundance of their preferred diet-rodents. So when the snake handlers arrive, make sure you also have made arrangements to deal with the rodent problem.

    I used to live out in the country (NW GA, and rural AL) and had to be constantly on action to eliminate the things that first attracted rodents, and then snakes. It's a constant-you should always be alert to increasing signs of rodent infestations and it's partly to keep snakes from showing up for dinner.

    Question: Keeping Snakes Out of the Yard

    Snakes are coming in my yard from the canal in back. How do I stop them?

    By Bob from Okeechobee, FL

    Most Recent Answer

    By Sheila [3]11/10/2011

    We use lime and have done it for years. My husband spreads it around the edge of our entire yard and have not see one snake since we have been doing it. We also throw regular moth balls around the house and a few under it to keep them and bugs out.

    Question: Getting Rid of Coral Snakes

    How do I get rid of coral snakes around the base of my house?

    By Moe T

    Question: Catching a Snake

    Every spring we find baby snakes in my home. They are crawling in the living room, falling from the ceiling, and even in the bathrooms. This only happens in the spring. We have never seen the momma snake.
    Is it possible to catch the momma snake before she lays her eggs in our home?

    By Dana R

    Question: Keeping Snakes Out of Yard

    What can you use in your yard to avoid the presence of snakes of any kind?

    By Tracy M.

    Solutions: Getting Rid of Snakes

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    By Sheila [3]06/07/2011

    Every year we put lime out on the perimeter of our property, at times we've had to put it out a few times due to rain, but snakes will not cross it. I haven't seen a snake in our yard in five years of doing this. You can also throw a few moth balls around, they work as well.

    By jaryel005/06/2011

    How to Make Homemade Snake Repellent

    things you'll need:
    Vacuum cleaner
    Cat litter
    Powdered sulfur
    Moth crystals
    Cinnamon oil
    Clove oil
    Spray bottle

    Get rid of spiders. Often, spiders will feed off of snakes in your area. Vacuum any spiders or spider eggs in your location before putting down snake repellent.

    Mix equal parts cat litter and mothballs together, and spread thickly across the ground to deter snakes. Snakes will get the cat litter stuck in their scales and do not like the smell of mothballs. You can purchase both cat litter and mothballs at your local grocery store or drugstore.

    Mix equal parts powdered sulfur with moth crystals for a more powerful snake repellent. Moth crystals have more surface area than mothballs, and sulfur is a common ingredient in over-the-counter snake repellents. Unfortunately, sulfur has a very strong smell that humans also dislike.

    Dust the powdered sulfur and moth crystals mixture in all cracks and crevices, as well as on any ground that you do not want a snake to cross.

    Spray a mixture of cinnamon oil and clove oil directly on the snake to deter it if you come in direct contact with one. Load equal parts cinnamon oil and clove oil into a spray bottle, and shake well.

    By jaryel005/06/2011

    Keeping Unwanted Animals Out of Your Yard:
    Most snakes are harmless, but that doesn't matter to those who have a fear of snakes. For those to whom snakes make their skin crawl and their bodies uncontrollably shutter, here are a few ways to keep them away from your home:
    1. Habitat. An ideal snake-free yard would have a large span of low-cut grass with no shelter for a snake to hide. Snakes like places to hide under and they will choose anything close to the ground to avoid potential predators and to escape the elements. Do not leave boards, tin, or plastics lying flat on the ground that snakes can crawl under. Do not pile up wood logs, sticks, rocks, leaves, or pine straw in your yard for extended periods of time. Keep in
    mind that anything you leave lying around on the ground, can become a potential hiding place for a snake.

    2. Cats and Dogs. Although, snakes don't like cats and dogs, having a pet will not reduce the chance of a snake basking in the sun in your yard. They will avoid your pet whenever possible, but sometimes, snakes are simply out looking for a meal and a place to hide when they enter your yard and are just passing through.

    3. Snake repellents can be useful in keeping snakes out of your yard. Snake repellents emit an odor that snakes don't like and some products affect the sensory system of snakes which helps keep them away. The repellent will not kill the snake. Applying a band around your yard eight to twelve inches wide can keep snakes from passing over the perimeter and entering the yard. If you know you have a snake in the yard, get it out first or you will trap the snake in the yard with the treatment.

    4. Natural repellants. Marigolds are known to distract snakes. Planting marigolds in your yard is a natural deterrence that will not harm the snake. You may want to plant the flowers around buildings and in areas where you have seen snakes in the past. You can also grow your own natural border to keep the snakes from entering the yard.

    5. In your home. If you find a snake has entered your home, you can try to catch it yourself. However, if the snake is venomous or if you are not sure it is venomous, you should call animal control. In areas where snakes are prevalent, animal control is usually accustomed to removing snakes from homes. If you know the snake is harmless and it is relatively small, you can place a glue board near the area were the snake was last seen. A heat lamp
    can help draw the snake to your board. Just be careful that you don't create a fire hazard with a heat lamp or a light bulb to close to other objects. Once the snake is stuck to the board, a little cooking oil applied will loosen the snake from the board. If you try to catch a small snake with your hands, be sure you have on thick work gloves. Snakes will bite, venomous or not.


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    The nice weather is here in NY and soon the snakes will be out. Yikes! Does anyone have info on how to lure snakes away from my flower garden without killing them? I freak out when I see them all coiled up laying there. I can't even take care of my flowers. Please Help!


    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    They HATE the smell of moth balls. Igot one snake out of my attic by throwing the moth balls up there! (04/02/2005)

    By guest

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    You can also use moth crystals which can almost look decorative in the flower bed. (04/02/2005)

    By cjgeo

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    Get cats! You won't have snakes. (04/02/2005)

    By Edie Leonard.

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    Snakes will keep the populations of other small animals, rodents, etc. in check. I don't like to kill them, even though I am afraid of them, too. You must have something that is attracting them. One snake we had disappeared after we removed a pile of old wood. He liked to hunt under it and once his hunting spot was gone, he went elsewhere. If you have piles of debris around your flower garden, you may want to get rid of them. (04/02/2005)

    By guest

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    Snakes aren't slimy, and if they aren't poisonous are beneficial to your home/garden by taking care of mice problems. The ones in my area are very venomous so I must admit I kill them, but bear in mind that the majority of snake bites are caused by people interfering/trying to kill snakes. Stamping around in the general vicinity will get rid of them - most of them are shy, retiring, and deaf creatures so making a lot of movement/vibration in the area to make them move away. Regards Jo (04/02/2005)


    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    Powdered sulfur has always been said to work for snakes, but there is probably a reason why the snake is in the garden. If it has a food source it will be there. Without the snake you could have moles and mice. If it is not poisonous, let it be. They will move away when you get near. Just stomp your feet and they will feel you coming, and leave. They benefit your garden more than you know. Dee (04/03/2005)

    By Diamondee

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    I can't believe someone of you are actually referring to snakes as "varmints" and suggesting that they be exterminated. Snakes prey on rodents and other genuine varmints and the majority of them are non-venomous. First find out for sure that they are venomous, and THEN ask for advice from an animal control agent on what to do. (04/11/2005)

    By Some Guy

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    I heard using lots of lime helps. From what I remember it burns their skin. Lime should be used twice annually on your lawn or property. If you have snakes just load up the lime & throw down weekly not to heavy. (08/07/2005)

    By Ron

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    The best way to get rid of snakes is to lay gravel down. They hate it as they cut themselves on the gravel. (10/24/2005)

    By rob

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    I know there is an inherent fear of snakes in many mammals -- from primates to humans. However, they are an important part of our ecosystem and "chopping their heads off" and dowsing them with gasoline is abhorrent! The BEST WAY to control snakes is to control your own behavior by learning about them! I live in the mountains of Virginia and have black snakes, rat snakes, copperheads and the occasional rattle snake. They have NO INTEREST in humans and, in fact, benefit us a great deal by eating moles, mice, rats, etc. In fact, the king snake, which is in the area but I have not seen on my property, is immune to venom and eats copperheads. Control of snakes is simple: remove all habitat for their prey. That includes brush piles, wood piles, junk and keeping the area mowed regularly. I used to have a fear of snakes much greater than most after a childhood experience with one. However, through education and understanding I now respect them and even look forward to seeing one! If we were to get rid of all the snakes in the world we would be over run by rodents that are far more destructive and deadly (disease, etc) to humans than snakes are. You can learn about the snakes in your area by contacting your game and inlands fisheries our county. One person from North Carolina wrote that they have "moccasins". Well, if they were to contact a reliable source, they would learn that mocassins/cotton mouths do not live in the mountains of NC but only in the coastal areas and even then in a few isolated pockets near the dismal swamp in NE NC. They fear something that does not even exist where the live! (05/05/2006)

    By Tab

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes! (07/15/2006)

    By gman

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    Try the electronic repellers from (07/19/2006)

    By Bob

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    I just have a warning about using moth balls or crystals to get rid of snakes. The vapor from them that is supposed to run off snakes is poisonous to humans, so don't fill the crawl spaces under your house with them. I have used them under my porches and it seems to work. Keep leaves raked up if you have copperheads- they don't like bare ground. I always rake leaves AFTER if freezes so I don't rake up a snake and have a heart attack. Keeping the grass short and weed eating helps too. I think the only real solution is to move to the city and worry about being mugged. The country is full of country critters. (09/26/2007)

    By Mama Cook

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    Poisonous and non-poisonous snakes do not usually co-habitate together and in my experience the more you have of one the less you have of the other. If you go around killing off the non-poisonous breeds you are actually increasing the survival rates of the poisonous breeds due to the increase in food supply and lack of competition among the different breeds. Most people would notice this statement to be rather common-sense but for those of you who do not, well, now you know. STOP killing off the garters, blacks, and king snakes that you find around your home. If one does happen to get in, it is usually because their food supply has also found a way in. Get rid of the food supply(mice, rats, large insects and lizards) and you get rid of the snakes. Call someone who has experience dealing with snakes to remove them from your home and place them in a safer location outside. And Yes, I also live in a heavily wooded area and have for all my life so you can take it or leave it, just don't say that I didn't tell you so. (04/23/2008)

    By Not An Idiot

    RE: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    I have camped in Mammoth, Ca. my whole life and there are no snakes in the area, odd for mountains! Well I was told that it's because the pumice rock on the ground they don't come around. It cuts there bellies. Maybe get some pumice if you can find it. (07/03/2008)

    By Geoff

    Archive: How to Get Rid of Snakes!

    I have found a snake in my home. It was brown with lighter colored brown stripes. How can I be sure I will not be getting any unwanted guests anymore.