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.
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.
April 28, 2011
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 darlowsmithson.com
Many thanks, Kate
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.
B.J. in Virginia
April 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
February 1, 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.
By Tammy 1
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
April 15, 2013
I suggest you do a http://www.snakehandlingcourses.com.au "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
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.
January 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.
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.
June 6, 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.
What kind of acid or chemicals can be used to avoid snakes?
By vishnunathgouda from India
June 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.
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.
January 11, 2014
I should have added, they never go in your 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
August 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.
By Faith Pace 1
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!
September 5, 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.
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?
What do you use to get rid of rattlesnakes down in a hole?
By LR from TX
March 2, 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
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.
April 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 ...
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
June 5, 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.
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
July 5, 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.
I have snakes in my house! Is there any way to trap them? How can I get them out?
May 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.
Snakes are coming in my yard from the canal in back. How do I stop them?
By Bob from Okeechobee, FL
November 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.
How do I get rid of coral snakes around the base of my house?
By Moe T
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
What can you use in your yard to avoid the presence of snakes of any kind?
By Tracy M.
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!
They HATE the smell of moth balls. Igot one snake out of my attic by throwing the moth balls up there! (04/02/2005)
You can also use moth crystals which can almost look decorative in the flower bed. (04/02/2005)
Get cats! You won't have snakes. (04/02/2005)
By Edie Leonard.
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)
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.
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)
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
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)
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)
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!
Try the electronic repellers from stopsnakes.com (07/19/2006)
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
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
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)
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. I want to call someone, but don't know who to call.
Tracie from Central, Florida
My Dad was just telling me his trick, his property is very hilly and wooded and snakes scare the bejeezees out of his wife. He sprays turpentine around the areas he doesn't want snakes. Hasn't seen one in years. (08/14/2008)
I have heard that anything with sulfur in it might actually draw snakes, the egg smell since they sometimes eat bird eggs. Down here we have a lot of what they call rat snakes, and they can clean out a chicken coup of eggs in a hurry. (08/14/2008)
There is a device that makes ultra sound noises to keep snakes at bay. You plug it in and make a screeching noise. Humans can't hear. It's sensitive to all sorts of animals including mice to keep away. You can buy it at your local source future shop, etc. (08/15/2008)
Edie is right. Cats will take care of snakes. I lived in Louisiana for 20 years. I lived in dread of snakes coming in. I guess I would try to figure where they were getting in, maybe try a snake trap baited with eggs. I was always afraid to garden as you could reach in and get a "snake surprise". They especially liked to hang out in the strawberry patch. One time I cut the grass & somehow ran over a snake. I was so frightened, I left the lawn mower running & went into the house. The mower ran for an hour or so, until it ran out of gas. (08/16/2008)
Good suggestions. I don't want to kill snakes as I fully appreciate their value in nature. But the snakes in my yard are slithering up the brick steps (which are sunny and HOT several hours a day) and then living under the first-second clapboard of the house! This is perplexing me because the lowest clapboard is a minimum of 18"off the ground and the driveway touches the entire foundation on this side-there are no gardens, shrubs, etc. near the door. I don't want them in the cellar (found 2 last Fall)-don't want them damaging whatever is under the clapboards. Any suggestions? (09/22/2008)
We just bought a house and are in the process of remolding, while doing some work there we found a baby copperhead in our basement hallway right inside the door. The next day we found another one dead about the size of a large worm. Does this mean there is a den and what should we do? (10/26/2008)
I had two snakes on my porch and one on the side of my house. I'm afraid that I may have a nest under my deck. How do I get rid of them without getting hurt? I'm really afraid of them. I live in Florida and the snakes were tan and thin.
Alison from Tamarac, FL
I hate snakes. I don't care if they are good ones or not. I've been in this house nearly 3 yrs. Last year though was the kicker. We had a rattlesnake weaving his itself down our gravel driveway. I bought a product called "Snake Away".
It worked OK, but the smell was terrible. Just by luck and because we are re-landscaping our front yard, we needed cats to help get rid of gophers. The bonus? They killed a snake that was making it's way onto my front porch and they cornered 2 tarantulas. I don't know if the sex of the cat has anything to do with their hunting skills, but mine are all male. I'm suggesting on getting a couple cats. (12/18/2008)
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Call your County Extension agent. He/she is your best source of information on good and bad critters and getting rid of them. These folks work for you and are always glad to help. (01/06/2009)
Can you tell me if there is something that will freeze a snake that is in my basement? It is on the foundation and I don't want it there. I thought I saw something in a spray can that would freeze them.
By Law49330 from MI
I never heard of the product you are talking about. However, you may try a can of the computer duster stuff. Just hold it upside down and spray. It's very very cold and can give you frost bite if it gets on you too much, so be careful. (07/25/2009)
Could you call your town's animal control officer and ask him to get rid of the snake? They are usually accommodating. (08/03/2009)
How do I get rid of black snakes in the yard and keep them out?
By Barb from FL
Guinea hens and sulfur would do the trick. Keep the yard mowed. Also, I've heard of Snake Out. It's made from the same thing mothballs are made from. To get sulfur one would probably have to order off the web or go to a feed elevator in a farm town and ask. I face a rattlesnake problem. With sulfur one must get a big bag and circle the yard. Nothing can stop a snake from coming and going except to ultimately eliminate their food of rats, so keep out rat poison. (04/01/2010)
If they are not poisonous, rescue an indoor-outdoor cat or a dog. My cat kills snakes all the time and has chased off all the moles in our yard, too. Plus you will be giving an animal a needed home. Terriers were bred to dig-out rats and snakes to keep the farmers crops free of pests.
Watch out though, my cat brought a live snake into our home last year and it got away before we could catch it. We never did find the nasty little bugger! (04/02/2010)
Get several cats. You'll never see another snake. (04/02/2010)
I used to manage property in subtropical Florida that had a nice wet creek running through it and countless oaks with lots of leaves to hide in. It was SnakeFest USA and many poisonous snakes besides. After a few run-ins with coral snakes, we had a herpetologist come to help. They explained and it makes sense, that most venomous snakes are sluggish animals who move slowly. They go where there is the most prey. But, here's the catch about snakes, the non-venomous snakes are faster moving (that's why they call 'em racers).
If you kill the harmless snakes just because snakes scare you, "freak you out", etc., you are creating a better hunting/living-for-good environment for the slower snakes. You are inviting in the worst, venomous snakes, by removing the best. Garter snakes, king snakes, and whatever larger non-venomous snakes you have eat the same things the poisonous snakes do, and so by eating all the good stuff first, they "corral" the poisonous snakes into smaller territories. So, I have learned to recognize my local snakes and I never kill a "good" snake. They can have that shrub, that corner, those rocks so long as they keep the copperheads away, and with a preserve behind me, we have lots of snakes.
Around here (Virginia, where we have three kinds of venomous snakes), the suggestions from animal control are: 1-sulfur. But, it has to be spread around the perimeter in a thick and high line. Sulfur allegedly burns a snake's belly or some such, and because it will absorb into the earth, it's supposed to work for a long time. 2-the mothball suggestion and "Snake Away" both contain the same ingredient. My next door neighbor who is "freaked out" by snakes uses it every year. He sees more snakes than I ever have. 3-last suggestion is crushed seashells. Snakes don't like going over sharp things. I find that unlikely since I saw a gorgeous eastern Hognose come from sand dunes and cross hot asphalt last year, but I suppose if it was fine and sharp enough it might makes sense.
The absolute best thing you can do is: Keep wood piles, rocks, etc. away from the house/shed/etc. Don't make a home for rodents, grasshoppers, and frogs because their predators "will" follow and don't kill the animals who are working the hardest to compete with venomous snakes, non venomous ones! (04/03/2010)
Do cats keep snakes away?
By Kathy from Fair Oaks, TX
I spray Jeyes Fluid or if you burn car tires they disappear because they don't like the smoke and smell. (06/08/2010)
Cats will keep the mice away, and the mice are what attracts snakes. (06/08/2010)
Snakes also keep the mice away. My cat brings the snakes in the house as presents for me. Luckily, I am not as scared of the snakes as I am the mice. lol. I keep telling Sam, keep your toys outside as I pick up another live snake to put outside. (06/08/2010)
Ours do. Chickens will also do it and they will take the snake away from the cats. I've seen it. Luckily all we have here are garter snakes. (06/09/2010)
That whole burning thing sounds faulty, they'll just come back. Snakes are the best at keeping snakes away. King snakes eat other snakes and won't bother you and are not venomous. These guys are also better equipped to dealing with snakes rather than cats.
If you're dealing with venomous snakes on your property (coral, water moccasin, etc.) then your feline is at risk of getting hurt. So just check the snakes out and identify them by looking up the snakes native to your area and match your snakes to the photos. (06/09/2010)