How to Prevent and Control Snake Infestations Around Your Home and Garden

Updated on May 16, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of success in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

This article will detail various methods of controlling the snake population in your garden and around your home.
This article will detail various methods of controlling the snake population in your garden and around your home. | Source

As a child, I saw my first tiny green garden snake at a highway rest stop and was fascinated. They were not slimy like worms, and they were pretty with their bright green scales. They scared my mother, so I could not bring them home, plus they belonged to the Division of Highways.

Short of having a St. Patrick impersonator drive the snakes out of your home and garden, however, there are various methods of controlling the snake population around your home and garden, many of which do no harm to the snakes or other animals. This article will detail some of these snake control methods.

How to Control Snake Infestations Around Your Home

Here are a few of the main methods for keeping snakes away from your garden and your home.

Snake Fences

Some of my friends that have endured pest snakes recommend Snake Fence.

The device is a plastic net fencing material 1 foot tall that comes in rolls of 10 and 25 feet in length. The holes in the barrier come in six different diameters, from 4–36 inches. This represents the possibility of injuring other animals, however, including birds.

It is possible to purchase thin aluminum flashing or some small-holed netting to place all along your total fencing like a tall baseboard, but you need a fence all the way around your property for this to work. Animals can chew through the netting, however; less so, the metal.

Snake Repellents

Snake repellents have a good chance of preventing the reptiles from entering your property perimeter, much less your house. Applying it is like spraying your door jambs with ant spray to prevent ants from entering.

Before purchasing any such chemical repellent, check the labels for information about any poisoning agents in the mixture to find out what it is likely to do to the snakes, as well as potentially your small children, your pets, your landscaping, and yourself. Choose the least harmful or a nontoxic variety.

There is also an electronic snake repellent that pulses vibrations that snakes do not enjoy, and you might consider this alternative.

Poisonous Snakes and Animal Control

If you need to ward off poisonous snakes, however, you may feel that you need to destroy them. Or you could call animal control, which might relocate them.

This is a rough green snake. It grows 2–3' in the southeastern United States and is kept as a pet.
This is a rough green snake. It grows 2–3' in the southeastern United States and is kept as a pet.

Hiding Places for Snakes

When it's cold, snakes like to go where it's warm, and quickly. So rather than pack off to Florida, they stuff themselves into the cracks in your patio, concrete, wooden steps to the house, basement walls, or house foundation—or in a heated driveway if you have one of those.

There may be similar hiding places in garages, tool sheds, backyard greenhouses, and dog houses. A 1/2-inch wide crack is all many of these animals need, like the mice that can squeeze under the smallest air leak beneath a door. Look for these cracks and openings and seal them off.

Landscaping Tricks

  • Try making it hard for snakes to hide in the ground and in low-hanging branches. Remove their camouflaging landscaping where you can.
  • Trim your shrubbery and trees to make an open space 6 or more inches from the ground to the first branches of the plants. Ground cover plants might still afford some hiding places for garter snakes, but you likely don't want to remove all your ground cover. It's a personal call.
  • As much as possible, keep your lawns mowed short. The larger you can make this closely mowed area, the harder it will be for your legless reptile visitors to hide and refuse to leave.
  • It would be greatly convenient to have grass that is a different shade of green than that of your snakes as well. A bright green snake against a dark green lawn shows up pretty clearly. Brown snakes are harder to see in dark grasses.

Note: You probably will not be experiencing large tree snakes in your backyard, unless they have escaped from a neighbor's home where they are kept as a pet, legal or illegal. If you do find one of these, it's best to call either the neighbor or animal control to help you and the snake by removing it to a better home.

A grass snake admiring a water lily.
A grass snake admiring a water lily. | Source

Other Ideas for Controlling Snakes

  • In addition to ridding your lawn, garden, and house of mice, you need to eliminate rats, frogs, and other small animal life that snakes can eat, as well as fruit fallen from trees and bushes. Pools of standing water, including garden ponds, can also house snakes. You may need to eliminate all of these features, depending on how massive your snake infestation becomes.
  • If you have a vegetable garden, you might consider placing a fence around it that will keep the snakes out, but which you can step over.
  • It is wise to dispose of any debris and piles of trash/leaves or old clothing you have around the yard or garage. Cardboard boxes may also be good hiding places.
  • Sometimes, a large inflatable snake will scare off smaller snakes, but not always.
  • A cat may also capture and eat snakes, but likely inconsistently.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I used to have a ton of snakes in my yard. Most were harmless, but a few were not. I have not hear about a snake fence before. I will have to look into that. I have had a pest control Denton company come by to get rid of the insects in my yard. I did not want to do the same thing with the snakes, so I think that the fence is a great option.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That was not a pleasant surprise at all to find snakes in the house. Without experience, one never knows for sure which are poisonous or not. Plugging up the holes should help a lot.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just found 3 or 4 snakes in my townhouse in Richmond,VA. Nearly died from a racing pulse. One of them was nearly 5 feet long. The weird part, incase that's not weird enough, is that I have thought for years that I had snakes in my house!!! I don't know why I thought that other than it was a feeling I had. I hope that it is not a full blown infestation. I called animal control and a lady came out and looked around for them with my son and his friends. They didn't find anything except holes by the fireplace and around the furnace areas. She said they did not climb walls and that she thought it as a black snake and that they are usually alone. I think she's just wrong because my grandmother had one that went up her wall near the door frame, as I understand it. Also, years ago I lived in an apartment complex where one of the units across the street was infested with snake and you read about and there are tv shows about it. Tomorrow I am going back there to plug up every hole I can find with steel wool and mothballs and lime. If you have any other suggestions or information, please let me know.

    • Green Lotus profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I've become so interested in this subject I just couldn't stop myself from Hubbing about it too :) Of course, I've included a link to your fine Hub. Cheers.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for posting, Green Lotus and Fay Paxton. Best wishes for handling the situation!

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      9 years ago

      Patty, we had a hard rain and suddenly, I was finding snakes. I've been too terrified to go outside. I thought I'd look around hubs for some answers. If I had thought, I would have come here in the first always have all the answers. THANK YOU!!

      up/useful and awesome

    • Green Lotus profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Wouldn't you know it, I was doing research for another Hubber (fay paxton) and Googled your Hub. Great info Patty..I have forwarded the link and have ceased to create a similar Hub :)

    • profile image

      Reptile Removal 

      9 years ago

      For any home owners or business owners in Southern California that are experiencing problems with rattlesnakes or any other reptiles that are causing alarm, please consider our services. Our professional willife control experts will remove the unwanted reptile safely and we never harm the animals involved. We also perform thorough property inspections and make recommendations and alterations to keep unwanted pests from your home or business.

      Visit our website at:

      Or email

    • daisygreen profile image


      9 years ago from China

      I am afraid of any kinds of snake----

    • bayoulady profile image


      10 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      I am just a stone's throw from a bayou with brush and trees that we are not allowed to cut.Around here, we see cottonmouths and rattlers,along with harmless garden snakes. We sprinkle sulfur in our sheds, piles,near home entrances,etc. It seems to help.

      I was walking down my steps in early May and saw a three foot or so cottonmouth at the bottom step.I threw a dog brush at it ,and it quickly raced to the closest shrub and curled itself around the base.

      I will take your suggestion and trim the bottom 6 or 7 inches off.

      Thanks for the hub page.

    • rust profile image


      10 years ago from East Texas Woods

      Snakes are a continuous problem on our rural property. Two of our dogs have already been bitten by copperheads. I have to scour the backyard at night each time before we let them out. I sometimes find two copperheads outside per weekend. Nothing we've tried has truly been effective though keeping the yard cut and clean does seem to help. At least they're easier to see.

    • profile image

      Endangered snakes 

      10 years ago

      It is wise to dispose of any debris.Great story and good luck


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      very interesting post... I dont live in a place where snakes are an issue mostly just garter snakes but I love reading about them... they are so fascinating....

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That's interesting, Bard of Ely, and I am fascinated with Tenerife. I knew nothing about it until I began reading your Hubs. I have not seen a frog in years.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      11 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I love snakes but there are none on Tenerife. If I did live where there were snakes and I had a garden I would welcome the creatures though!

      Here we have plenty of geckos and they come inside the houses. There are plenty of lizards and frogs here too so snakes could do well but none have been introduced and there are no native species.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      OH! I do not want you dogs bitten by rattlesnakes. I wonder if the nearest university extension service has better ideas, expressly for your area?? fine meshed or aluminum fences are really supposed to be good, though. How high can the snakes wiggle up a fence?

    • shibashake profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi Patty, Thanks for answering my question. I am mostly worried that one of my dogs will get bitten by a snake when they poke their noses at it. There are some rattlesnakes in the hills that I live close to. Most of the people that I talked to suggested the fencing, but, like you, I was concerned about its safety.

      Thanks for the many other ideas. Toxic repellents are out; so I am currently researching a scent solution - maybe some snake predator scent or something. I am not sure how effective scent will be though ...

      The electronic snake repellent that you mentioned also sounds interesting. Will definitely have to start looking into that.

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      11 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Fantastic hub. Great info. Can always count on you for that Patty!

      Our Siamese cat Vincenzo teams up with our Bullmastif, Boris and they somehow or other get them inside (oddly it's a team effort) and they take turns until Vinny kills it or gets it to play dead. I then have someone get me a Y stick and a plastic bag and throw it away.

      Great hub idea. Thanks!

    • Gin Delloway profile image

      Gin Delloway 

      11 years ago

      Nice article!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I don't have snakes myself -- I have 4 deer that come barreling up the driveway and through the back yard regularly, though - and this is near a busy street.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      11 years ago

      Snakes are fine if I "see them coming". I don't like surprises. We do have a few around the yard occassionally...thanks for the tips!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I didn't put an ad for Snake Fence, though - that's like advertising for people to throw away 6-pack plastic connectors for gulls to strangle upon. Yuck-ko!

    • RKHenry profile image


      11 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      I hate snakes but understand they serve a valuable purpose in our ecosystem. Good tips and thanks for having matching products along with the hub.


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