Snakes have varying physical characteristics. All over the world, there are more than 2,700 snake species, but only 375 of them are venomous. Most of them have a long a cylindrical body. The smallest of them is the blind snake, which can be as short as 5 inches. The largest species, on the other hand, are reticulated python and anaconda, which can grow to as much as 10 meters and weight can reach 250 kilograms. These reptiles and limbless and flexible, making it easy for them to hide, especially in the wild.
You can find snakes almost anywhere, although most of them prefer to be in places with a warmer climate. As cold-blooded reptiles, they are unable to regulate the temperature of their body. They live almost anywhere you can imagine, except in Antarctica. They can live in prairies, farms, water, forests, and swamp lands, among others. They can also be present in the garden and can lurk inside homes, in the most unexpected places.
What Pests Do Snakes Eat?
Before we get to the discussion on the elimination of snakes because of the fear that they are venomous, let us first discuss some of the pests that they eat. They will be an effective natural predator for the following:
Especially in the case of wild snakes, they are effective in killing rodents, which include mice, rats, voles, and gophers, among others. Snakes have hinged jaws, which are the ones responsible for making them able to consume prey that is thrice as large as their head. Among the species of snakes, the black snake can be one of the best, which works by constricting or suffocating its prey.
These garden pests are similar to a snail, except for the fact that they do not have a shell. The feeding activities of slugs can cause aesthetic damages to their plants. With this, snakes can be a big help to control their population through biological methods. The garter snake is one of the species that feed on slugs. This is a common snake that you can find in urban gardens.
Similar to slugs, snails can also damage the appearance of their host plants, make them unattractive, and worse, unmarketable. From the leaves to the fruits, they can lead to the appearance of holes and other cosmetic damages. Garter snake is also one of their natural enemies.
Although their physical appearance might make them look cute, cucumber beetles can give gardeners a headache. They can cause plant stunting and can also damage the leaves of their host. The good thing is that snakes can be helpful in controlling their population.
Whether in fruit crops or flowering plants, among other hosts, earwigs can be damaging in more ways than one. They will eat fruits, leaves, and petals. Garter snakes are also some of their most common predators.
How to Get Rid of Snakes
Natural and Organic Solutions
As you know by now, while snakes can be beneficial, they can also be a threat to humans and pets. Since they are carnivorous, their diet is heavily dependent on animals and insects. They do not feed on the plants in the garden. Because they can be venomous, be sure to control their population, which is possible through the following methods:
- Sanitation in the garden and inside the house is one of the simplest ways to get rid of snakes. Remove tall stands from the vegetation and take out rock piles and other debris that can provide a suitable hiding place for snakes. If there are burrows created by rodents, cover them as they can also be a shelter for snakes.
- It will also be good to target problems with other pests first, such as voles, mice, slugs, and rats, among others. These pests are some of the most common foods for snakes. Therefore, whenever they are present, there is a high likelihood that snakes will be there as well. On the other hand, if there is no supply of food, snakes tend to stay away.
- Mulching is another solution that will help. Use sharp materials as your mulch, such as rough decorative rocks. Eggs shells and rose bush clippings are also excellent choices for mulches. Because they are sharp, they can be uncomfortable for the snake, lessening the likelihood that they will be slithering on the surface.
- Trapping is also a good choice to catch snakes in a way that is humane. Use baits that will lure the snakes, but make sure that they will not poison them. Release the snakes in a place that is far from home. This is a good method for non-venomous snakes.
- Fencing is also a promising solution. This is an exclusion method that will work best if snakes have not yet entered your property. See to it that the fence is made from solid material. If there are holes, the fence will be useless because there is still a way for the snake to enter. The fence should be also tall.
- If you fear that snakes will get inside the house, one of the best solutions is to look for holes and cracks. Cover and seal any possible entry point for snakes. The tiny gaps in the windows and doors are some of the favorite entrances of snakes.
There are chemical repellents that can be effective in getting snakes out of your home, but you need to be cautious in their use. They contain toxic ingredients, which can be harmful for humans and animals. Be sure to follow the instructions from the manufacturer to enjoy the highest level of effectiveness.
Naphthalene is one of the most common chemicals that will be effective against snakes. The latter is the main component of mothballs. It contains a neurotoxin that is basically the one responsible for killing snakes. Snake-A-Way is also an effective choice. It is a dry granular mixture that makes use of a combination of ingredients that will kill snakes.