When the warmer months of spring and summer arrive, so do our calls for snake removals. We are often asked how to keep snakes away from your property. In this article, we will look at some ways to lower your chances of encountering a snake on your property.
Snake prevention in Pennsylvania
I should also note that we are located in Chester County Pennsylvania and will be discussing this location specifically. If you are curious about snakes in other parts of the United States, check out this link here.
Most common snakes we deal with in Chester County
There are thousands of species of snakes in the world but only a handful that we commonly deal with in Pennsylvania.
Most common snake species we encounter in Pennsylvania include:
- Garter Snakes
- Black Rat Snake
- Timber Rattlesnake
- Northern Copperhead
Venomous Snakes of Pennsylvania
There are only 3 species of venomous snakes that are found in Pennsylvania.
- Timber Rattlesnake: found throughout Pennsylvania including Chester County
- Northern Copperhead: found throughout Pennsylvania including Chester County
- Eastern massasauga rattlesnake: found primarily in Western Pennsylvania
What are the snakes doing on your property?
Snakes, like most pests, require water, food, and habitat to survive. Whenever we are evaluating a property for snake prevention, we always try to eliminate some of these snake necessities.
Snakes in your yard or garden
Snakes are well versed in camouflage and can seemingly hide in plain sight. In fact, many a gardener has been surprised to find a snake hanging out in their garden.
Keeping the grass cut, and removing brush and debris from your yard can eliminate many snake hideouts. A cleaner yard will also help keep rodents and pests away which will also keep snakes away.
Sometimes there is a water source on the property that snakes and their food source are attracted to. If possible, eliminating a source of water can help reduce the chance that snakes will be on your property.
Making your yard less desirable to snakes is the best method for reducing the chances of having snakes in your yard!
Snake repellents can be used on the outside to try and repel snakes from coming onto your property. Most snake repellents are odor based granulars. Read the label on the package and follow it exactly.
I do not often use odor based repellents for a few reasons. The odor may be effective against snakes but it can also be smelled by you! Often the odor is very similar to moth balls. No one wants to enjoy their snake-free backyard and smell moth balls the whole time.
The other issue with odor based repellents is how long they last. Depending on the weather, the repellent may have to be re-applied pretty frequently. Rain will make the repellent last a very short amount of time.
Snakes under your porch
Snakes will utilize gaps, crevices, and holes around your property to make a home. What once was a vole hole under your porch can turn into a snake den!
Check around your porch or deck for holes, gaps, and crevices. Snakes will usually use what’s already there and not create holes. If you do find a hole under your porch (like seen above in the picture), you have some options.
What’s under my porch?
First, you need to determine what is living under your porch or if the den is active. I like to simply cover the opening with some leaves, soil, or mulch to determine whether something is in there or not. After a day or so, if the opening stays closed, then there is nothing there.
Using flour or other tracking substances can help determine what is living under the porch if the opening does re-open. If there are rodents living under the porch, treating for rodents and then closing the hole will help prevent snake infestations.
Trapping Snakes under your porch
If snakes are currently living under your structure, then capturing and removing the snakes are your best method. Trapping is usually performed by using special snake boards to capture the snake. Once captured, the snake can be transported to another location and released.
Once all wildlife has been evicted from under your property, close the openings and continue to monitor for activity. There are permanent exclusion techniques that can make sure no new animals move in.
Check out our section on wildlife exclusion here.
Snakes in the house!
Very few things in this world evoke fear like finding a snake in the house! In the picture above, we can see a snake skin found with some rodent droppings.
Snakes often follow their food source
Snakes will often follow their food source (rodents and mice) into the house. If you have a rodent infestation, you could also have a snake infestation!
A very common snake entrance into the home is where the air conditioner line comes into the house. If left unsealed, mice,rodents, and snakes can enter the home.
Check out our video on common rodent entrances to learn more.
Realtor Snake Story
I was once called to a home that was for sale that was having a snake issue. The realtor was showing the house to some perspective buyers when a snake came out from UNDER the kitchen cabinet and onto the kitchen floor.
Safe to say that those buyers left the house and never put an offer in. We captured the snake AND treated for a rodent infestation. Again, the snake was in the house because there were mice and rodents in the house.
How did the realtor end up selling the house? By stating that the home was “rodent free”
Snakes in the garage
Many homeowners, myself included, have a habit of leaving the garage door open for most of the day. Snakes, whether chasing prey or just being curious, can enter the garage.
During many residential pest control services, the use of glue boards to track and monitor pests is a common practice. Oftentimes, these glue boards are placed on each side of the garage door. Their purpose is to capture pests that come into the garage and allow the pest control professional to gain some insight into the pest pressures around the home.
I have seen and removed many snakes from these glue boards. Many times, the homeowner is thrilled that a snake was captured BEFORE it could make its home in their home!
Releasing a snake from a glue board
If you have a snake captured on a glue board and would like to release the snake somewhere else, simply apply some cooking oil and the glue should release.
Snake Removal Chester County
If you live or work in Chester County and have a snake issue, Prudential Pest Solutions can help.
Give us a call or send us a message to get snake free today!