😱😤🤓 This article was co-authored by Ryan Corrigan, LVT, VTS-EVN. Ryan Corrigan is a Licensed Veterinary Technician in California. She received her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology from Purdue University in 2010. She is also a Member of the Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians since 2011.
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😱😤🤓 Snakes are common in many parts of the world, and if you have a big yard that's home to a variety of plants and insects, chances are you encounter them from time to time. The presence of snakes indicates an ecosystem is healthy, but having them in your yard can be unsettling and even dangerous, in the case of venomous snakes. For non-venomous snakes inside of your house, you can generally leave the snake alone and it will find its own way out. If you'd like a more hands-on approach to snake removal, use a push broom to shoo the snake towards an open external door.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Removing Snakes from Indoors
- 1Call animal control if you fear the snake may be venomous. If you're uncomfortable handling a snake, even if you don't believe it to be venomous, there's no reason you should deal with it yourself. Call animal control to trap it and take it away. Snakes with venomous bites should always be handled by professionals, such as animal control employees or a wildlife trapper.
- Try to enclose the snake in one room. If you see it in the laundry room, for example, shut the door and wedge a towel underneath it to prevent the snake from escaping.
- Keep children and pets away from the area until animal control has captured the snake.
- 2Leave the snake alone and let it find a way outside. Most snakes will leave your house on their own if given time and opportunity. If you find a snake in your garage or in a room leading to the outside, shut the inside doors and open the door leading outside so the snake can slither out.XResearch source
- The snake should leave fairly quickly. This is a simpler and more reliable method than a more aggressive hands-on approach, which may frighten the snake and cause it to hide in a hard-to-reach location in your home.
- 3Brush a non-venomous snake into a large trash can. If you feel comfortable taking care of the snake on your own, try this common removal method: first, set a large trash can on its side in the same room as the snake. Then use a push-broom to shoo the snake into the trash can. Once the snake is in the trash can, tip the can upright and place a lid firmly on top.XResearch source
- Once the snake is securely inside of the trashcan, take the snake to the woods or another area away from your house. Set the can on its side, gently remove the lid, and give the snake time to slither out.
- Ask a friend, family member, or neighbour to help if you can. An extra pair of hands will make the process go faster and more smoothly.
- 4Catch the snake with an indoor trap. If you suspect there may be a snake in your attic, garage, basement or elsewhere in your house, lay out traps along the walls in these areas. Snakes will slither over or into the traps and get stuck. You—or animal control—can then safely remove the trapped snake and place it outside.XResearch source
- If you catch a non-venomous snake, place the trap in a bucket and take it outside or to an area where you'd like to release it. Pour vegetable oil over the snake to loosen it from the trap and allow it to crawl away.
- Check the traps every day to see if you've caught a snake. If you wait too long, the snake will die of starvation.
- 5Pick up the snake and remove it if you're certain it's non-venomous. Put on thick yard gloves for extra protection. Slide a stick under the snake's head and pick up the back half of its body with your other hand. You can also pick up the snake by grasping it firmly behind the head.XResearch source
- Make sure the snake isn't venomous before you pick it up. If you have any doubts, don't touch it.
- Remember that the closer you get to the snake, the more likely you are to get hurt.
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Removing Snakes Outdoors
- 1Let the snake leave on its own. If you're dealing with a non-venomous snake, the simplest removal method is to let the snake leave your property on its own. Outdoor snakes pose no serious problem and will wander off in their own time. However, if you have children or pets, keep them away from the snake. Even non-venomous snakes can have painful bites.XResearch source
- If you frequently notice snakes near your house, your concern should be preventative maintenance rather than individual snake removal.
- 2Spray the snake with water from a hose. If you see a non-venomous snake hanging out near your house and you'd like it to go somewhere else, sometimes all it needs is a little nudge to be on its way. Use a garden hose to lightly spray the snake until it moves away from your house and out of your yard.XResearch source
- Garter snakes and other snakes that you know not to be dangerous are fine candidates for this removal method.
- 3Remove a snake from the water with a pool skimmer. If you find a snake in your pool, you can safely lift it out using a pool skimmer or other kind of meshed net.XResearch source Small, non-venomous snakes can also be plucked from the patio or grass with a pool skimmer. Try not to grip them too tightly, so you don't damage their ribs.
- Take the snake to the back of your yard or to a nearby wooded area and set them free.
- 4Set outdoor snake traps. Outdoor snake traps are usually plastic boxes baited with a substance or aroma that lures snakes inside. Once snakes enter the trap, the shape of the box prevents them from getting out. Set them around your property in areas where you've seen snakes spending time.XResearch source
- When you trap a snake, drive it to a wooded area and set it free.
- Avoid using poisonous snake traps on snakes that have entered your yard. Snakes are an important part of the ecosystem and should be safely removed, rather than killed.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Preventing Re-Infestation
- 1Trim backyard vegetation. Snakes' typical habitats contain tall grass and bushes, so regularly cutting your grass and trimming bushes and shrubs will make your yard less enticing for snakes. Mow your lawn and remove any downed tree trunks, hollow stumps, or other places where snakes could live. Take these measures to make sure your yard isn't full of potential snake dens:
- Store lumber and woodpiles at least 2 feet (0.6 m) off the ground, and keep compost and mulch piles away from your house.
- Consider removing bushes and other tall vegetation that seems to be a regular habitat for snakes.
- 2Remove snakes' food sources. Snakes eat mice, crickets, and other insects. If you take measures to keep the populations of these creatures low, snakes will look elsewhere for food. Use soil and rocks to block up any rodent holes in your backyard. Keep your yard free of birdseed, berries, nuts that have fallen from trees, and stray bits of waste from the compost pile. These are all food sources for mice and insects.
- 3Seal your house. Prevent snakes from entering your home by checking its foundation for cracks and holes. Seal any that you find with caulk or expanding foam. Make sure that your doors and windows are sealed, too. Place screens on your chimney, vents, and other places where snakes might be able to get in.
- The grid of the screens should not have openings larger than ¼ inch (0.6 cm), in order to effectively block all snakes.
- 4Apply snake repellent around your house and yard. Snake repellents are typically sold as either a liquid, which you can spray on the external walls of your house or a powder, which you can sprinkle throughout your yard. These repellents are environmentally friendly and will not harm your pets or lawn.
- Various types of commercial snake repellents should be sold at your local hardware store or garden center. You can also find snake repellents online through major retailers.
- 5Make your own repellent for a quick, DIY solution. Mix equal amounts of rock salt and crushed garlic and sprinkle it around the entrances to your home, garden, or anywhere else you don't want snakes to be. If you have a major infestation, make a strong homemade solution out of equal parts sulfur and moth crystal.XResearch source
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- Do some research on the most common snakes found in your area. Make sure you're able to identify them and tell whether they're venomous or nonvenomous.
- The vast majority of snakes encountered by people in their homes and yards are nonvenomous. They rarely bite, and if they do, the bite won't inject poison into your body.
- If you find a nonvenomous snake in your yard, consider letting it be. Most snakes are harmless, and they contribute to your yard's environment by controlling other pest populations, such as crickets and rodents.
- Many gardeners are happy to have a snake or two patrolling the premises and protecting flowers and vegetables from other creatures.
- Do not leave any animal in a glue trap. Check them frequently to make sure the animal does not suffer. Animals may get their faces stuck in the glue & suffocate, or tear their skin off trying to escape.
- Non-venomous snake bites will bleed far more than venomous snake bites because their saliva contains a substance which stops their blood from clotting and they often bite multiple times.
- Never handle a snake unless you are sure it is not dangerous.
- If you are bitten by a venomous snake, make sure someone knows what snake it is. If you can't tell for sure, observe three identifying markers, such as size (length and width), color, and the shape of its head.This will greatly help your treatment, as doctors will be able to provide the correct anti-venom for the bite.
- Be aware: in many countries outside of the United States, animal control only handles domestic animals and will not assist you with snakes. You may have to hire a wildlife trapper or pest control and pay for snake removal in these cases.XResearch source
About This Article
If you find a snake indoors and want to get rid of it, try to leave open an external door as the snake may leave voluntarily. Alternatively, put a large trash can on its side and shoo the snake into the can with a brush, then carry the reptile outside with the trash can. When dealing with a non-venomous snake outside, try spraying it with water from your hose to make it leave. You might also try setting a snake trap, which is usually a plastic box with bait inside. If you think the snake is venomous, call animal control. To learn more from our Veterinary Technician co-author, like how to use snake repellent around your home, keep reading the article!