Loads of people are afraid of snakes. According to research, ‘Ophidiophobia’ – fear of snakes is one of world’s greatest fears. Unfortunately, the likelihood of experiencing garden snakes is quite likely.
Many gardeners shiver in their garden boots once they sight one slithering by. After investing time and money in your garden, the last thing you want is to cross paths with anything that deters you from enjoying it, right? Guess what! Part of having a garden is getting rid of garden beasts that may visit from time to time.
Well, they may be slimy, sneaky, and scary but a vast majority of snakes are non-venomous..
In fact, snakes play a key role in the food chain. They keep the population of rodents such as mice and rats in check and also feed on slugs that may wreck havoc on our greenery.
Garden snakes are elusive creatures and are likely to disappear upon sensing your footsteps. If you can stomach them, then let them be. Chances are they are just as afraid of you as you are afraid of them. If you can’t imagine sharing your garden with them-or they have started raiding your chicken coop, then you better get rid of them.
However, getting rid of garden snakes may not be as easy as you think, the process shouldn’t be too scary though. Read on to know more, but first.
- Read more: How to Keep Squirrels Out of Garden?
Things to Know About Garden Snakes
- Habit. When attacked, they shape their heads in a triangular shape and flatten out to resemble a poisonous snake. If the attacker persists, they release an oily musk from their anus, this is quite smelly but not dangerous.
- Food and Habitat. They normally feed on frogs, slugs, toads and earthworms. Active both during the day and night. Commonly associated with some water source, lake or pond. Stays in any place that’s moistly and grassy. Sprinkle watering your garden may attract them.
- Physical Appearance. They are about 1-4 feet long and have green, brown, dark red or tan stripes along their body. The females give birth through viviparous method whereby the young ones emerge as live snakes and not eggs. She can give birth to about fifty baby snakes at one go.
- Easily agitated. They easily bite but also are quick to calm down.
- Tastes and Preferences. They are in your garden for a reason and are very specific to certain conditions. Once that attractant gets eliminated, they’ll also disappear.
Reasons for Getting Rid Of Garden Snakes
- You’re afraid of snakes
- They’re feeding on animals that you love, e.g. slugs. Get rid of the snakes and eat them yourself.
- Fear of them coming inside the house and refusing to pay rent
How to Get Rid of Garden Snakes
In our opinion, and considering the harmless effects of garden snakes, we could easily say ‘don’t. However, only you know where it pinches most. Considering that, maybe you should just let the snake wiggle away. That’s easier said than done. So, here is how to eliminate garden snakes.
1. Mow, rake Grass and Keep it Clean
Snakes seek areas they can hide without your notice. Overgrown garden is therefore a perfect place for them. Long grass is also abundant in rodents, another factor that attracts them to their food source.
Without the protection of overgrown grass, they’ll feel exposed and run away. As such, mow raking your grass is a great way to discourage garden snakes population.
2. Eliminate Moisture
Considering we ought to water our gardens, this is quite contradictive, right? Well, garden snakes are usually searching for a source to quench their thirst. They love damp surroundings.
Getting rid of excess water in your garden may help keep them away. Look out of puddles, leaking pipes or any blocked rain gutters and repair them.
3. Use Mulch
Garden snakes hate sharp materials. Mulching your garden with crushed up pine cones, rick chips or any chopped wood may be a perfect way to eradicate them from your garden.
4. Clean Up and Care for your Garden
Garden snakes love hiding in garden debris. Storage sheds, fallen branches and limbs, piles of wood and shrubs are other ideal hideouts for these reptiles. Now, go around your garden and assume you are them.
Are they any outdoor junk or anything that’s dark and cozy that would entice them to hide in? If yes, it needs to go. Be careful when clearing your garden to avoid any snake bites.
5. Starve Them
Again, garden snakes are there for a specific reason. Apart from mating, they’re looking for food. Maybe there is a buffet in your garden that’s attracting them.
Is your garden full of frogs, insects, slugs, lizards and other small mammals? If yes, eradicate those using best insecticides and dentifrices.
It may be impossible to do a total wipe-out but it will greatly make your garden unwelcome to their prey.
6. Rear Some Chickens For Your Garden
Garden snakes fear chickens, save for their eggs and a day old chick. In fact, in just a week or two weeks old, chicks are already a threat to garden snakes. J
ust ensure you collect all your eggs daily, the chickens will serve as a natural pest control and help chase away the snakes. Other natural predators include Guinea hens, pigs and cats.
Fox urine is also a great natural repellent when sprinkled around the garden.
7. Use Natural Snake Repellent
Rumor and research has it that there are varied commercial snake repellents that can help eradicate garden snakes. For instance, it’s rumored that they hate the smell of ammonia.
Soak rags in it and scatter them around the garden and see them stay away.
This may be unscientifically proven but it worked for me. Unfortunately, most of these repellents smell awful thus repelling humans as well.
Organic chemicals such as clove oil have also proven handy in repelling some types of snakes if reapplied occasionally.
Note that most of these snake repellents won’t deter garden snakes from visiting your garden if you’re not keen to observe other measures suggested herein.
8. Identify their home
A key method to get rid of snakes out of your garden is to know their hide outs. They cherish water sources or warm areas. Get to know where they hide around your garden and you’ll be ready for them.
9. Construct a snake fence
These are usually a few inches small perimeters that help keep off garden snakes. Ensure you angle the fence in a manner that makes it hard for the snake to slither over it.
Using wire mesh is a crafty way since the snake gets stuck whenever it tries to get over the fence.
This may prove a little bit expensive but it’s worth every effort towards preventing garden snakes from entering your garden.
10. Trap and then relocate
Use of humane traps is a great way of getting rid of garden snakes. You can either DIY these traps by using a simple funnel trap or buy them.
Use lizards or even eggs as bait. If you opt to buy the trap, the bait will be therein. Lay the trap where you’ve seen the snake before.
Check the trap often and once you’re successful to collect your unwanted guy, relocate them far from your garden. Get a wooden area or comfy park miles away of possible.
11. Avoid bird feeders in your garden
These tend to be an attractive site for mice. Mice loves birds, garden snakes loves mice.
12. Human Hair
Believe me you, snakes hates humans just like you hate them. As such, let them know you’re around. Get some human hair and sprinkle it the infested garden. The garden snakes will smell it and run away.
Garden snakes shouldn’t make you hysterical. So, before you pick that garden hoe and aim at its head, get to know what you’re up to. Before you send your unwelcome visitor to the maker, something that’s not recommended for non-professionals, think about its benefits to the ecosystem.
However, we know that for most of us, interacting with these scaly unexpected garden guests isn’t easy.
Hopefully, with the above information, you’ll embrace the need to manage your garden with expertise to deter these slithery burglars from taking over. I
n case you don’t know what to do, get in touch with a pest and wildlife control company, they’ll help get rid of any size of garden snakes infestation.