You noticed some holes in your yard, and now you fear that there are snakes in them. You may even have seen a snake entering or exiting a hole. That will make you wonder what to do with snake holes in the yard.
Whether it’s venomous or non-venomous snakes, very few people want to have this problem on their hands.
However, like many problems in life, this one also probably won’t solve itself. Instead, you must do something about it. This article is the first thing to achieving that something. But before we jump onto solutions, we must confirm that the snake is occupying the hole.
Can Snakes Create Holes?
Snakes don’t have legs, hands, a beak, or a horn which means they don’t have any limb or auxiliary body part that would allow them to make holes for themselves.
So if snakes aren’t the culprits for the hole in your yard, who is? Well, rodents like rats, moles, mice, gophers, and other wildlife participants such as raccoons and skunks are most likely architects and constructors of those holes – these animals like digging burrows, holes, and tunnels and using them as a shelter.
How To Identify Snake Holes
Now that we know snakes can’t make holes, it’s time to find out the signs that the snake is living in a hole.
1. See Them Go In Or Out
Duh. It is the most apparent sign that snakes live in the hole in your yard, but catching one coming in or out isn’t easy. Although they have bad sight and an even worse sense of hearing, it’s tough to surprise or catch them since they use their tongue to “smell” danger and can easily feel vibrations thanks to their stapes.
The best way to find this out would be to place a camera that would look directly at the hole. That way, you will see if a snake or other animal is using it.
2. Check The Shape And Entrance Of The Hole
Although most animals that might be using these underground hiding places will create an entrance that’s roundish, it won’t be as circular or smooth as when a snake is using it actively.
3. Shedding Skin
All animals shed their skin, but snakes are a lot showier about it since they do it all at once and leave a very clear mark. They can do this up to 12 times a year, so if you find some shed skin, you’re right to become suspicious about snakes living in the hole.
However, insects and rodents will eat it in a matter of days, so even if you have this uninvited guest at your property, you might be unable to deduct its presence.
If there’s one good thing about snake droppings, it’s easier to identify them than the droppings of many other animals that might inhabit your garden. Log-shaped and solid most of the time, snake feces can be black or brown with several lumps on them.
These clues would probably be enough to identify their poop, but there’s more. The cherry on top is…Well, it’s not a cherry, but it’s something easily discernible from the rest of the excrement. We’re talking about the white chalky-like matter called urates.
See this combo of white and black or brown, and you can be sure snakes are there.
What To Do With Snake Holes In The Yard?
Let’s go over our options on what to do in this situation.
1. Do Nothing
I’ve got snakes in my backyard, and you’re telling me not doing anything about it is one of the possibilities? Well, yes.
Many of the snakes, like garter snakes, provide natural pest control since they feed on animals such as rats, leeches, spiders, insects, etc. Plus, the ones you can find in your yard aren’t big or venomous snakes, so there’s no need to fear them that much.
However, we know this is a hard pill to swallow. If you, your kids, or your pets like spending time in the garden, it will be almost impossible to relax fully knowing snakes are around. That’s why we have other solutions for you.
2. Fill The Hole
Before we explain this method, it’s essential to give you some pointers on how to prepare yourself when you’re near and around the hole.
You must be extremely cautious because if the snake feels threatened, it will attack you. And, yes, we said that the snake that might be staying in your yard is probably not venomous, but you still don’t want to experience the bite or attack trauma.
After that, it’s also important that you wear gloves at all times.
Finally, it would be handy if you had a stick with you in case you actually ran into a snake. You don’t want to handle it with your hands, gloved or not.
Now that we’re prepared, it’s time to fill the hole. You will be filling it with dirt or something more compact and hardened, but you need to fill the tunnel with as much material as possible.
You can use a small shovel or some kind of stick to push down the dirt, which has the added effect of hardening and solidifying dirt. But don’t rely solely on this because you should already be using something dense enough so the snake can’t enter the hole again.
3. Cover The Entrance
If you don’t feel like messing around with filling the tunnel, you can just cover the entrance. You can utilize wire fencing, burlap, or board to do this. Make sure you don’t use too much of these or similar materials, but only use as much as is necessary to cover the hole.
If, for example, you top the entrance with too much burlap, a snake can use it as its new nest, and you certainly don’t want that.
4. Make The Environment Less Inviting
If the snake has been staying with you for a long time, it’s not because it likes you as a person. It’s there because it likes you as a host. So, even if you plug the hole, kill the snake or have someone else take care of it, not changing the conditions in your garden means that sooner or later, some new serpent will come.
In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen, you need to create a different environment. First, you should exterminate or drive away the animals that make holes. We’ve listed many of these small mammals at the beginning of this article. If there are no such animals, the chances of a snake appearing are smaller.
The next thing to do is to thoroughly clean or eliminate all those places where rodents and insects, some of the snakes’ favorite prey, could habituate. Some of these places are sheds, crawl spaces, garages, etc.
The last thing is to keep the lawn tidy and trim the plants regularly. Doing this will make your yard less attractive to snakes (and other uninvited guests) but more appealing to the human eye.
5. Place Natural Snake Repellents In And Around The Hole
There are many commercial snake repellents on the market, but their effectiveness is not fully proven.
To avoid wasting your money unnecessarily, you can use some of the natural snake repellents in your house. Some of these repellents are sulfur, clove and cinnamon oil, ammonia, vinegar, lime, naphthalene, garlic, and onion.
You can spray or pour most of these materials inside and around the hole; only sulfur will have to be sprinkled.
This method works with snakes because they have an elevated sense of smell. Odors that are a little unpleasant but still tolerable for us are unbearable for snakes, so if they smell them, they will look for a new home.
6. Fumigate The Area Around The Hole
Another smell that snakes don’t like is smoke. All you need to do to drive them away is to light a fire and maintain it to produce just enough smoke so it doesn’t go out.
However, before starting a fire, you need to check if fumigating is even legal in your state. Also, keep your neighbors in your mind and ensure that the smoke is not so big that it will bother them too.
7. Call The Professionals
What if you’re not a person who wants to get even an inch closer to a hole where there could be a snake? Or if leaving the hole alone also isn’t on the table? Well, you can always call people who know what to do in these situations.
For example, a professional exterminator can use trapping or glue board to catch the snake and get rid of it for you. It is the most expensive, but it might also be the best solution.
Calling professionals has one advantage over other methods: they can show you what attracted the snakes to your yard in the first place.
No, snakes can’t make their own holes. But they will creep into someone else’s. So, if you see their skin, droppings, or highly circular hole entrances, you can assume they are hanging around in your yard.
In this case, you can do the following:
- Leave everything as is,
- Fill the hole with dirt or cover the entrance to the hole,
- Use natural snake repellents inside and around the hole,
- Fumigate the area around the hole,
- Call a professional pest control company.
Whatever you decide, don’t forget to take care of your yard, so the snakes won’t want to stay there in the future.
And to use the comment section for any question that might be bothering you.