While this is not a favorite topic for many people, snakes in your backyard are not uncommon as you think. This is especially true if you have standing water, say a small pond or water tub, or heavy shrubbery.
For this reason, it's important to know the top 5 snakes you'll find in your backyard and why they are attracted to your backyard. In addition, knowing how to protect yourself using clothing like snake chaps will come in handy.
However, before we dive deeper, it's important to note that some of the snakes you might find in your backyard, such as garden snakes and water snakes, are non-venomous. In fact, they are beneficial in that they feed on rodents and insects that destroy your lawn.
But first, what brings snakes to your yard?
Why Do Snakes Love Your Backyard?
Like pests, snakes will make your property home if they have access to water, food, and shelter. Snakes will love your backyard if they have their favorite food(prey), which includes:
Small farm animals
Where Are You Likely to Find in Your Backyard?
Snake shelters in your backyard may include:
Thick shrubbery or bush - A thick bush or shrub in your yard makes the perfect shelter for snakes. Here, they can hide and feed on insects, rodents, and other prey.
Water - Snakes and other pests love to nest around water. This could be a standing pool of water in your garden, say a fish pond, or near a water hose. In addition, birdbaths are also known to attract snakes.
Tallgrass - Snakes like to travel through tall grass. This may make them more attracted to your backyard.
Firewood storage areas - Snakes love warm and hidden areas such as firewood storage areas. Here, they can stay hidden and even lay eggs, increasing the snake population in your backyard.
Other favorable snake shelters include;
Compost or pits of leaves
Signs You Have Snakes In Your Backyard
More often than not, you may not know you have snakes in your backyard unless you have spotted one. However, knowing what to look out for may help keep you and your family safe.
Below are a few signs that the scaly reptiles have made a home in your backyard.
A sudden decrease in the number of rodents on your property
Strange noises in the floor area
A distinct smell in enclosed spaces
What Are The Top 5 Snakes You'll Find In Your Backyard?
It can be hard to determine a snake species when you spot it in your backyard. This is because snakes are often fast and good at hiding. That said, it's critical to know what kind of snake you're dealing with before getting rid of it from your backyard.
Below are the top 5 snakes you're likely to find in your yard.
1. Rat Snakes
Rat snakes come from the Colubridae snake family. They are medium to large-sized and kill their prey through constriction. In addition, these non-venomous snakes often have a dark body, underbelly, and lower chin. However, sometimes you can find rat snakes in other various colors.
You can find rat snakes in your backyard if you have a standing pool of water or live nearby a lake. Although they are good swimmers, these snakes are also climbers and can be found lounging atop a tree. In addition, rat snakes have a noticeably large head than the rest of their bodies, making it a great identifying feature.
2. Garter Snakes
Garter snakes are small to medium-sized and often found in North America. These snakes have three stripes that run down their bodies. In addition, their heads are proportional to the rest of their bodies.
Growing up to 54 inches long, a garter snake feeds on snails, insects, leeches, pests, and small rodents. While the idea of having snakes in your backyard can be scary, garter snakes are beneficial as they feed on pests feeding on perennials and bulbs.
This non-venomous snake is highly adaptive, living in different habitats like fields, grasslands, and, you guessed it, your lawn. In addition, they're great swimmers and sometimes include frogs in their diet.
3. King Snakes
Kingsnakes are non-venomous and often confused with venomous coral snakes due to their color. These backyard snakes have red, yellow, or black markings, round pupils, and a spoon-shaped head.
Kingsnakes are called "king" because they feed on other snakes, such as copperheads and rattlesnakes. They are also constrictors, making them non-venomous in case of a bite. In addition, they're quite aggressive compared to rat snakes and garter snakes.
4. Gopher Snakes
A gopher snake, also known as a farmer's best friend, feeds on small rodents that burrow and damage your crops. However, these snakes also feed on small birds, bats, rats and mice.
Gopher snakes have a beautiful appearance, similar to rattlesnakes. Even so, they lack the white stripes/bands around the rattle. In addition, gopher snakes are non-venomous and harmless to you and your pets.
Farmers consider these snakes a blessing. Gopher snakes are your "go-to" security if you're dealing with rodents going after an animal feed, garden crops or fertilizer in your shed, greenhouse or barn.
5. Banded Water Snake
This semi-aquatic snake is mid-sized and heavily bodied. With a dark stripe starting from the eye to the jaw, you can find this snake in various colors, from red or light brown to black. In addition, the banded water snake has dark crossbands, unlike those of a copperhead.
Banded water snakes can be found in aquatic habitats, like a fish pond or a lake. They also love to nest on branches or logs overhanging the water, where they can feed on fish, frogs and other amphibians.
How Do You Get Rid Of Snakes In Your Backyard
A snake in your house or backyard can be a serious problem. The first thing to note is that snakes are often more afraid of humans than we are of them. However, they can lash out and harm you when they feel trapped or cornered.
Another important factor to keep in mind when getting rid of a snake in your backyard is identifying its species. Why? You want to ensure that it's not venomous before trying to remove it by yourself.
However, if you're not sure how to identify the snake species, it's advisable to call a pest control specialist in your area for help.
Keeping your backyard snake-free can be difficult, especially if you live around a snake territory. Fortunately, there're a few ways to ensure live snakes don't infest your backyard. These include:
1. Remove Standing Water Pools
Removing standing water sources is key to getting rid of snakes in your yard. This is because frogs, snails, insects, and other pests love to nest by the water. In turn, they attract snakes who want to eat them.
It's also advisable to limit overwatering your lawn. This is because moisture attracts amphibians, rodents, birds, and insects, which are food for snakes.
2. Destroy or Remove Snake Shelters
Thorough and frequent cleaning of warm and hidden snake shelters can greatly help reduce a snake infestation in your backyard. These include furniture storage areas, piled hoses, and other open spaces under your house or shed.
Other snake shelters in most backyards are rock or debris piles. Piled-up rocks in landscaping make a great home for snakes. Therefore, ensure you clean up rock, debris, and leaves pits frequently.
3. Eradicate Rodents and Other Snake Prey
The major thing that attracts snakes to your backyard is often food. So, if you have a rodent infestation in your home, this will attract non-venomous and venomous snakes.
You can call a pest control specialist to help with a rodent infestation. Another tip is to avoid feeding your pets outside. The spilled or leftover food may attract more rodents to your home.
4. Keep the Grass Short
Snakes love the grass, especially tall grass. Therefore, bushes and shrubs are a perfect hiding area for snakes. Therefore, keeping your lawn short and neat will eliminate snake hiding areas in your backyard.
5. Use Snake Repellent
Snake repellents are also great for getting rid of snakes in your backyard. Some of these repellents throw off a snake's sense of smell, making your home and backyard an unfavorable nesting place for it. However, you want to be careful with over-the-counter repellents as they could make your pets and family sick.
While you can get snake repellents readily available on the market, there are certain plants you can grow in your backyard to repel the snakes. Some of these plants include marigolds, lemongrass and herbs like society garlic.
Homemade DIY snake repellents can also be great for removing snakes nesting in your backyard. You can make a DIY solution from vinegar and ammonia.
6. Spray the Snake With A Hose
Another easy tip to get rid of a snake in your backyard is to spray it with a hose. However, you want to be careful since not all snakes will like being sprayed with water, especially the venomous ones.
Conversely, gently spraying water on a non-venomous snake(at a distance) will prompt it to move along and away from a backyard.
7. Fill in Snake Holes
Burrows left by animals, and snake holes are a perfect hiding and nesting ground for snakes. If you see such holes and burrows in your yard, it is advisable to fill them with gravel to prevent snakes from nesting there.
8. Call A Professional
Finally, you want to consider calling a professional to help remove a snake from your home or backyard. This is important as it ensures your safety and full protection, especially if you don't know how to deal with snakes.
How To Protect Yourself Against Live Snakes Outdoors
Snake protection is important at home in your backyard and outdoors in the snake country. Snake chaps provide extra protection to ensure you are safe and comfortable, whether when taking a stroll in the woods or hiking.
What Makes Snake Chaps Excellent for Protection Against Snake Bites?
Snake chaps are a must-have for professional adventurers, hunters, and hikers. Unlike snake gaiters with adjustable straps, they are worn over your pants or jeans to provide excellent protection during a snake attack. In addition, wearing briar-proof chaps offers additional protection from thorns and water, as we will see below.
But what exactly makes snake chaps great for outdoor snake protection? Let's get into it.
Snake chaps are made from high-quality materials that ensure strength, durability, and effectiveness. These natural and synthetic materials include Cordura, Kevlar, spandex, nylon, polyester, and cotton.
The high-strength fabric used in snake chaps makes them particularly great for preventing fangs' penetration. In turn, this ensures your safety and protection when traversing the outdoors.
Stone Creek snake chaps are made from 4-ply waterproof nylon that is strong, durable, flexible, and comfortable to make your trip outdoors memorable. Paired with your hunting gear, you are guaranteed protection from piercing and injury in case of a snake bite.
The design of snake chaps is also key when determining your protection and comfort. Layers create barriers in the chaps, making it difficult for the fangs to penetrate and inject venom.
Ideally, the best snake chaps should have four layers for maximum protection. The first layer is responsible for withstanding a forceful snake bite. This is because it is tough and thick.
The second and third layers make it difficult for the fangs to penetrate, while the fourth and innermost layer ensures the chaps fit comfortably over your pants.
Field-testing is an important feature when determining snake-proof chaps. This involves using live snakes or an artificial force mimicking a snake bite to test how the chaps hold up in case of a snake encounter.
While snake-proof chaps do not offer you a 100% protection guarantee, you are more confident and comfortable when you wear a pair of chaps outdoors, especially in snake territory.
4. Comfort and Breathability
Comfort, warmth, and breathability are essential factors that shouldn't be overlooked when shopping for snake chaps and hunting gear. For example, if you're heading outdoors during the hot weather, you need lightweight and breathable chaps that keep you protected and comfortable.
Conversely, you want your chaps to keep your legs warm and fresh when hunting during the cold weather. Water-resistant chaps are also key to keeping you dry from rain or morning dew.
The best snake chaps and hunting gear are flexible. Think about it. You don't want a pair of chaps that will tire you out and make movement cumbersome, which is often the case with layered chaps.
Fortunately for you, Stone Creek water-resistant snake chaps' 420 denier nylon fabric ensures that you're safe, warm, comfortable, and flexible.
Stone Creek Snake Chaps
Like most people, the thought of snakes in your backyard or hiking trail can be terrifying. However, knowing what to look out for and how to protect yourself will help you stay calm and safe.
Stone Creek snake chaps are your go-to for outdoor snake protection. By protecting your ankle and knee to your thigh, you are guaranteed fun and comfort when hunting or hiking.
In addition, they're made in the USA so you can be assured of quality and value for your money.