To have a snake or two in the garden is good. Non-poisonous snakes, such as the common garter snakes, are beneficial creatures because they eat pest insects, mosquito larvae, slugs, snails, crickets, rats, mice, voles and even other snakes which may be poisonous.
But if you really don't want snakes in your yard and garden here are a few tips to eliminate them without hurting or killing them.
Keep the lawn neatly cut and clean. Be careful using weed eaters because the sting from the fast moving string can kill them.
Snakes need cover for protection. Don't leave wood or brush piles sit in one spot for more than a month.
Keep leaves and other debris picked up.
Don't keep piles of rocks.
Stack firewood on a rack 12" off the ground.
Remove old lumber or junk piles.
Remove their source of food. Keep the insect and rodent population under control.
Place garbage bags in sealed trash cans away from the house.
Repair cracks along the foundation and fill holes around pipes. Snakes only need about a 1/4 inch crack to get inside.
Sprinkle moth balls around the perimeter of your yard or garden. But beware that these can be dangerous to pets and children.
Sulfur from a garden center is said to keep snakes away.
Don't plant bushes and other plants too close to the foundation of the house.
Use mulch in the garden beds but not too thickly.
Trim the lowest limbs on shrubs and bushes so they are at least 12 inches from the ground.
Construct a fence around your garden with heavy galvanized screening. Make it three feet wide with quarter-inch mesh. Be sure to bury the bottom of it six inches below the soil surface.