Snakes are a natural component of many North American ecosystems, but can pose a safety hazard when present in your yard. Dangerous species that are found in the U.S. include the rattlesnake, the cottonmouth and the American copperhead snake. Protect your family and your pets from these wiggly reptiles using a combination of habitat modification and fencing.
Deter snakes in your yard by eliminating all hiding places; the reptiles don't like wide, open spaces. This is one of the best ways of getting rid of snakes, according to the University of Florida. Keep your lawn grass trimmed. Get rid of all debris, such as heaps of leaves, piles of rocks and stacks of old lumber. Prune the undergrowth of shrubs to keep dense foliage away from the ground.
Limit rodent activity. Mice and rats are the chief components of most snakes' diets, and removing the animals will force snakes to look elsewhere for food. Use traps or bait as directed by the specific product's label, since trap construction or poison toxicity varies by product.
Set up a fence if removing the snakes' habitats and food sources does not suitably get rid of the reptiles. The University of Florida recommends a 2- to 3-foot-tall fence. The fence can be solid or made of mesh netting with holes that are no larger than 1/4 inch. Keep snakes from burrowing under the fence by submerging the fence 6 inches into the ground.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning equipment
- Rodent baits or poison
- Killing snakes is generally not an accepted method of lowering the snake population in your yard. It is impossible to find and catch every single snake. It also throws off the natural equilibrium in your area's wildlife populations; killing snakes is often accompanied by an increase in rodent pests.
- Avoid touching or going near a snake unless you know for certain that it is not dangerous. The Florida Museum of Natural History has an online guide to identifying snakes. Many of the species found in Florida are found elsewhere in the United States. If you are bitten, call 911 or contact the poison control hotline by dialing 800-222-1222.
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