How to Find Snakes on Your Property
This is a topic very few people like to discuss – how do you find the snakes that are living on your property? For many, this is a scary prospect. Most people are happy to never see a snake, much less actually go looking for one on their property.
But whether you are deathly afraid of snakes or simply don’t care to be around them, having an idea of what sorts of snakes are in your neighborhood is a good idea – particularly if there are poisonous snakes in the area.
Now, let’s makes this easy for many of you. If you’re the type of person who has a perfect lawn with no heavy shrubbery and no standing water (such as a water tub or small pond for goldfish and the like), then you likely have very little chance of finding a snake on your property.
While snakes do sun themselves on open grass, snakes like to hang out near places where they can crawl into things or under things. They also like to be near water, not only to drink but also to eat the toads and frogs that are also attracted to the water. If you have a perfect lawn and very little shrubbery, you may see a snake once in a while that is simply passing through.
But if you live near water and have a shed on your property or thick shrubbery or various pieces of wood or metal on the ground, then you likely have snakes. The number of snakes, of course, depends on where you live and the time of the year. Also, remember, for every snake you see, there are many more nearby that you can’t see.
Before you go looking for a snake – particularly if you are deathly afraid of them – bring a friend who is not afraid. This way, nobody will panic and try to kill the snake (which may be protected, meaning you’d be breaking federal laws). If somebody calm is there, they can identify the snake or at least take a photo of the snake to show to an expert.
Remember, do not kill the snake, even if you think it is poisonous. If you think it’s poisonous, make a note of where the snake is located and call a local reptile catcher. You can usually find such a person by calling a pet store or calling the local police.
Places to Look for Snakes
- Thick shrubbery – If there is thick shrubbery, that usually means there is a thick undercover on the ground. Smaller snakes love that. The undercover heats up during the day and keeps the cold-blooded snakes warm at night. To see if you have any snakes, take a flexible rake and gently rake the undercover out. If there is a snake around there, there is a chance you will get to see him (or her).
- Shed (wood or tin) – Open the shed and immediately look along the area where the wall meets the roof. Snakes like stretching out on that horizontal beam to absorb the heat. If you have anything flat lying on the ground, gently and carefully lift it up and look underneath. The worst thing you can do is panic and drop the flat item, crushing the snake.
- Wood pile – Snakes love wood piles because the piles absorb heat and because wood piles are where mice and rats hang out. The best way to see if you have a snake in your wood pile is to take a flashlight and look through each opening created where one piece of wood sits on other pieces of wood.
- Leaf or mulch piles – Again, this stays warm and night and is where mice and rats hang out. That means snakes hide out there, too.
- Tin or wood on the ground – Flat pieces of tin or wood on the ground are some of snakes’ favorite places. The piece of wood or tin can be as wide as your hand and provide a great place for snakes. The bigger the piece, the better the chance. If the flat item is sitting in the sun and if it’s near water, you have the best chance of all.
- Screened-in porches – Unless you have a perfect back porch where all the screen is tight and where the aluminum door shuts tight, you likely have spaces where snakes can squeeze through. Why would a snake do that? Well, at night, the frogs and toads are attracted to the light you leave on because they want to eat the bugs flying around. And if there are frogs and toads hanging around, snakes won’t be too far behind.
(By the way, if you are searching for ways to actively make snakes stay away from your property, try reading Lindy’s World hub “How to Repel Snakes.” And you wonder what you should do if you find a snake inside your house (besides running and screaming), read What Should I Do If I Find A Snake In My House?)