Q:

How can I keep snakes away from my house?

A:

Effective measures that discourage snakes from entering a house or yard include trimming tall grasses, plugging foundation cracks and sealing other exterior gaps. Cutting grasses and other tall plants deprives snakes of their favorite hiding spots. Snakes are also attracted to the small rodents that frequent areas with overgrown grass, wildflowers and reeds. San Francisco Gate recommends a combination of grass trimming and rodent-proof fencing

Snakes easily fit through gaps between floors and doors. Eliminate those spaces with inexpensive weather stripping. Torn window screens are another potential weakness in a snake prevention plan. If a screen is damaged beyond repair, replace it.

This should discourage the arrival of new snakes. If there are already snakes in and around the home, call an exterminator or animal control professional. Do not attempt to pick up the snake or allow curious children and pets to approach it.

Chemical snake repellents are another reptile control option, especially in areas with large snake populations. The National Pesticide Information Center warns that general-purpose insect and rodent repellents do not work on reptiles. Only apply repellents intended for snakes, and use them according to the accompanying instructions.

Cat litter is an effective, chemical-free snake deterrent when sprinkled liberally around a home's perimeter. Tiny pieces of litter wedge themselves beneath the snakes' scales, and the uncomfortable snakes soon flee.


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