How to Deter Rattlesnakes

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The most common question we’re asked is, “how do I keep rattlesnakes away?”, and for good reason. Why not prevent a problem encounter with a rattlesnake from even happening in the first place? It isn’t the most simple thing in the world in some situations, but in most cases there are several things you can do to lower the chances of a rattlesnake wanting to to come into your yard or property.

1). Limit the amount of “stuff” lying around.

What is “stuff”? It’s just about anything, as you might be starting to imagine. Wood piles. Construction debris you meant to clean up last month. That pile of tree limbs you were going to incorporate into a winter bonfire in 2004. Old work equipment. Anything that creates shade with enough clearance for a small animal to get under is something to consider removing, especially if it’s junk or rarely used.

A rattlesnake removed from under a stack of bricks. A prime example of excess “stuff” that snakes will inevitably find.

2). Keep your yard/property maintained.

By mowing grasses and keeping your properties weeds cut down and maintained, you make your yard seem less snake-friendly. Snakes are secretive animals, so by removing places they could hide as mentioned in the first tip and making it difficult for a snake to enter your yard without the cover of tall weeds or grasses, snakes won’t feel as secure entering your yard or property. Additionally, remove any plant debris and leaves from your yard. Ensure you don’t have leaf clutter in your dense bushes, as this can create isolation and extra for snakes to shelter in.

A rattlesnake removed from under a log in overgrown weeds.

3). Reconsider landscaping ideas and options.

If you have a ton of low-lying bushes and plants (such as rosemary, thyme, juniper, etc.), perhaps consider removing them or at least cutting out the branches that touch the ground off. Snakes like to feel secure under bushes, and if the branches are in contact with the ground, it’ll make snakes feel more safe. Additionally, try to limit any rock retaining wall ideas. Instead, opt for brick or other materials that do not have direct access into the wall.

4). If you have a rodent problem, tackle it.

Rodents are adult snakes primary food source. If you have a problem with mice, rats, or other small furry critters – try to eliminate them. There are humane options in regard to safe traps, if you prefer not to harm them. Or, by removing access to food and water, they may very well leave on their own. If they live inside your home/garage, ensure you seal up any gaps around doors and vents. Don’t overlook your garage door, as small rattlesnakes can also slide through the corners of closed garages doors.

5). Don’t store things directly against your home.

If you’ve got things such as containers, plywood, potted plants, and wood piles set up directly against your home, try to keep them away from contact with the home. Snakes love to back up to something when they’re taking shelter, so for instance if you have some plywood against your home for a project coming up and a snake finds it, it’ll utilize the shade of the plywood and bump up against the side of the house to feel secure.

A rattlesnake cozied up between a pot and the side of a house in Loomis.

6). If you have an existing fence, consider having a snake fence installed.

‘Snake fencing’ is quarter inch mesh (also available in metal wire) installed along an existing fence. Fencing this small doesn’t allow even the smallest of rattlesnakes in, and if it’s installed properly can totally prevent snakes from gaining access into your yard.

Proper installation: bury the mesh at least a foot into the ground to prevent rodents from digging and creating access under the snake fence, and ensure it goes up vertically along your existing fence at least 3 feet. This will ensure even the largest of rattlesnakes don’t get in.

That said, gates can be tricky to 100% seal. Even if a gate is properly sealed, forgetting to close it for a night is all it takes for a snake to wander in to take a nap.

Deterring snakes isn’t fool-proof.

You can do all five or even six of those steps and still run into rattlesnakes. The thing is, if you live in a place with a normal healthy rattlesnake population, there is still a chance one or a couple over the duration of the year will spend a little time in your yard. It could be passing through, hunting, or got stuck under a bush in your yard because of the heat of the day. All of these steps will lower the overall potential of a snake wanting to enter your yard, but even people will run bare-foot across hot asphalt to get to the ice cream man and then run back to the safety of the cool grass.

A property inspection from Placer Snake Removal can also turn up things that are specific to your yard or property that could be a draw to snakes. If you deal with snakes often or just want some specific tips for your yard or property, feel free to give us a call: (916) 509-1087, or shoot us an email: tyler@placersnakeremoval.com.

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