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How to Kill Snakes

By Sara Melone
Large snakes have been known to ingest small house pets.

Killing one of nature's creatures is never advised except in cases where your safety or the safety of your family is in jeopardy, due to the presence of a poisonous or dangerous snake. Snakes are a vital part of the ecosystem and help control the wild population of rats and other rodents. You can generally keep snakes at bay by eliminating places snakes like to hide, like wood piles, rock piles and high grass. Call a professional snake removal service to relocate a persistent snake visitor, and only execute a kill when your safety is a risk.

Step 1

Certain types of snakes may be illegal to kill.

Determine the species of snake you are faced with before you try to take lethal action against the snake. Consult a book on snake species, take a photo and load it on an Internet snake forum or describe the snake to your local wildlife agency for identification assistance. Find out whether the snake is poisonous, or whether it may be an endangered or protected species in your particular area. Check to be sure it is legal for you to kill the snake. Call your local wildlife preservation or rescue association to request assistance with removal or extermination, if necessary.

Step 2

Heavy-duty thick rubber waders can protect against snake bites.

Wear protective clothing whenever you are attempting to exterminate a snake. Even non-venomous snakes can bite you and cause a puncture wound in the the skin that may become infected and cause illness. Put on heavy duty waders if you have them, or layer several pairs of long pants in heavy-weight denim along with leather boots and long-sleeved shirts or jackets to protect yourself from head to toe. Wear protective gloves and eye-wear whenever possible.

Step 3

Snakes often like to hibernate underneath wood piles.

Corral the snake into an accessible area if possible. Remove any large items or debris such as stones and logs where the snake may retreat and try to hide from you. Use a long stick or the handle of a shovel to coax a snake out of an existing hiding place into an open where you can gain better access. Exercise extreme caution and avoid handling the snake. About 80 percent of snake bites are reported to occur when individuals are attempting to handle or move a snake for extermination.

Step 4

A metal shovel is a snake killing tool most folks have around the house.

Employ your extermination method once you have gained access to the snake. Use the blunt edge of a metal shovel to cleanly sever the snake's head in the most humane manner possible. Drop a heavy rock on top of the snake to crush it, or shoot the snake with a rifle or revolver.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Lawn mower
  • Rifle
  • Heavy stick


  • Rather than trying to kill a snake, call a professional snake wrangler to remove unwanted snakes from your property.


  • Exercise extreme caution when trying to approach a venomous snake for extermination.

About the Author


Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.