Snakes! How do I get rid of them???

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Old 06-09-16, 09:45 PM
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Question Snakes! How do I get rid of them???

We recently bought a property in B.C. near the coast and we've been seeing way too many snakes in the yard. They are probably garter snakes, but no way can I stay here if we can't get rid of the snakes.

It seems they are coming and going from under the porch (which is somewhat enclosed underneath) and from the crawlspace area, which has the odd opening where the pavement has broken away (the openings are less than an inch high).

We were going to cement up the holes, but I don't want to trap them in down there! I want them to leave. and the crawl space is only about about 2 feet high so I am unable and unwilling to go down there.

How can we get them to leave the crawlspace AND the yard? I have read that garter snakes often have 80 babies, so if there's 10 snakes down there and they each have 80 babies, well, you get the picture.

We've seen probably 20 or so thus far: some very small (under a foot), and couple of them that were about 2 feet long, and one that was about 3 - 4 feet long.

I know garter snakes aren't terribly dangerous, but I am so squeamish about snakes that I seriously can't deal with having them around.

This might be politically incorrect, but is there an actual poison that I could place at the 2 or 3 smallish openings that go into the crawlspace? Surely there must be a strong enough poison that would kill them.

I've read that moth balls and snake repellants don't actually work. We also put down a trap (it's called a minnow trap) that was apparently supposed to work, and the snakes slither right by it.

Oh boy. I'm doomed unless I find a way to get rid of them. There must be some type of poison out there that will work.

Any ideas of anything that will really work?

Please?
 
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Old 06-10-16, 03:22 AM
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You don't want to poison them, nor do you want your (or your neighbor's) pets to get poisoned from second generation poison. I am not sure how they work, as I don't deter snake involvement in the environment, unless they are venomous, but you can purchase snake repellent in granular form, sprinkle it around the foundation, and it should help deter their occupation. Ortho 2 lb. Snake B Gon Repellent Granules-0489510 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 06-10-16, 03:40 AM
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I don't know if there is science to back it up but I've always heard that moth balls would deter snakes. I occasionally scatter them in my crawlspace ..... but I don't often see snakes around my house.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 04:23 AM
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I understand your fear of snakes (I have an unnatural fear of spiders) but they really are good compared to the alternative. Which is mice and rats! But I also understand that many is a problem. I wouldn't worry about trapping them in the crawl space (they will find a way out). Go ahead and begin to patch up any and all holes. Lots of activity on your part will also be a deterrent to them staying there. Do what the others say and use the snake repellent. You can also call your local farm extension and ask what they may recommend.

It's amazing but in all the years I've lived in this typical suburban neighborhood I have never seen a snake. But when I excavated may yard to install pavers, one morning I got up to see a garter snake sunning himself on the dry clay. As soon as i disturbed him, he slithered away under the foundation. Never saw him again. But they're out there, protecting me from vermin.

I mentioned my unnatural fear of spiders. But I allow a rather large spider to keep her web in the outside upper corner of my patio door. We have an understanding. She filters out all the small flying bugs from getting inside and I let her stay there. Just don't cross the line and try to come inside. Then I'll go ballistic!
 
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Old 06-10-16, 05:15 AM
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I don't like snakes either, in fact probably beyond squeamish. In fact my way of dealing with ones that get into places where I definitely don't want them is to wait for my wife to catch them. But my guess would be that to have what you have, sounds like more than just a few strays that close to the house, I would take a two pronged approach; remove the snakes and address the environment under the house, whether that means eliminating a food source, eliminating dampness, removing debris that they can slither into, or whatever. Just seems that there must be something attractive to them there. And of course sealing entry points. As mentioned, I would not want to poison them under there, because I think they would get pretty ripe.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 06:22 AM
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There arenít any simple or easy solutions to this. The environment in and around your house is conducive to snakes, which is a good thing as that tells me that you live in a healthy environment. If/when the snake problem in the crawl space is resolved, there will still be snakes around the house and environment. You canít do anything about that except learn to live with them. I know you donít like them but they come with the territory which is probably why you want to live there; pardon my assumptions if Iím wrong.

There are no poisons that they will eat as snakes only eat what they are supposed to. You may need to find nuisance wildlife contractor that is good with snakes. You donít want a guy that occasionally captures one or two snakes from a basement. Find someone that does large scale snake jobs. On the other hand, if you know someone who isnít afraid of snakes there are ways to trick them. One way is to lay sheets of wood such as plywood, etc on the ground near the house. Every day lift them up and grab the snakes and remove them far away. Iíve heard of people using tarps spread out on the ground, too.

Also, I would talk to the local county extension agents, fish and wildlife officials and any reptile clubs that you can find as they will have valuable, free advice and they will be well versed on the local snake issues. You need someone locally to help. Keep us posted.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 04:47 PM
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This rat snake lives in my shop. Probably 4 or 5' long. The only nuisance is when it knocks things off shelving

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Old 06-10-16, 05:03 PM
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Doers he have a name?
And does he fend for himself or do you feed him?
 
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Old 06-10-16, 05:28 PM
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No name. Let's just say, I don't have any mice or rats chewing on things.
 
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Old 06-11-16, 03:38 AM
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Does your wife go into your shop Larry?
My wife freaks out whenever she thinks she sees a snake. Years ago she swore up and down there was a 3' long snake in the closet under her pile of shoes. I was pulling the shoes out with her crouched behind me when she screamed [scared me ] Come to find out it was a lizard about 4"-5" long
 
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Old 06-11-16, 03:57 AM
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LOL.

As a kid I use to go camping with friends and would catch snakes and other items. One time I decided to bring home a small "red belly racer" snake about 8" long. We a had house with a built in milk box (a door on the outside and a door on the inside). Never used it for milk delivery. I decided the best place to hide my pet was in the milk box. Oh, I had it in a jar with holes in the top. Slightly too larger of holes. Next morning I excitedly get up to check my pet. Good thing it was me and not my Mother. I opened the door and my friend was curled up in neat ring on top of the jar. Even I jumped when I saw it.
 
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Old 06-11-16, 05:14 AM
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Marksr, she doesn't mind the rat snakes, but copperheads meet an untimely demise. Most venomous snakes will retreat as you approach. Not copperheads. They actually chase you.

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Old 06-11-16, 05:44 AM
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I think I'd rather deal with copperheads than cottonmouths - they don't run either
Probably because I'm on top of a hill I don't often see snakes but I know they are thick in the holler and down by the creek.
 
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Old 06-11-16, 11:48 AM
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I think the last time I saw a snake was at the zoo. I had a garter snake challenge my Weedeater at the old house and I thought about how to get rid of it but in the end I did nothing. I also saw a dead garter snake there one time and figured that either Miss Kitty got it or maybe Taboo, the neighbor cat. I have never seen a snake at my present house although the "landscape" is perfect for them.

Of snakes, mice, rats and lizards I detest snakes the most. Lizards I like and I can abide mice and rats as long as they stay away from me.

Speaking of cats and the old neighborhood, that place was rife with black cats. Miss Kitty was a tuxedo but Taboo, Rudy and Snowball were solid black. They were all friendly kitties.
 
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Old 06-14-16, 03:13 PM
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Wow. You guys are great! Thanks for all the replies.

There is a trap door that goes from the yard into the crawlspace and area under the porch. Someone opened the door and shone a light in there, and there is actually a hole about 3 inches wide in the dirt. Don't know how far it goes down, but maybe the snakes burrow down in that hole. ewwwww

I'm thinking that maybe I should buy some of the snake-b-gon granules and get someone to shake the granules down that hole. Maybe they'll decide to vacate the premises! Oh man........that'd sure be nice if they did! Perhaps I should get a cat too. I'm guessing the cat might eat the snakes, and hopefully not vice-versa!

Thanks again. Really appreciate the replies.
 
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Old 06-14-16, 03:31 PM
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To the best of my knowledge cats do not eat snakes, they just kill them.

But, I do endorse getting a cat as they can be very good friends with you. Douglas has lived with me for about fifteen years, he turned eighteen this year. Toby around ten years and Squirmy for maybe three years. Douglas is a Balanese mix, Toby a brown tabby and Squirmy a grey and white domestic shorthair. Toby and Squirmy are also murderers of other animals although I have never caught Douglas killing anyone.
 
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Old 06-14-16, 05:50 PM
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The plywood trick works well, you just need someone to collect and relocate them. Do all of the sealing when possible and then get aggressive at reducing the rodent population around your property. Also, a night light will attract bugs and bugs will attract frogs and frogs will attract snakes. Other examples, but you need to reduce the food source and place snakes will call shelter.

You might want to pick up one of those long handle snake grabbers in case YOU have to capture one. Although some snakes are good, mother nature has plenty of replacements so IMO, a shovel is not a bad tool to have handy.

Also, check local types of snakes to be sure there are no venomous varieties or be sure you can identify them.

Bud
 
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Old 06-14-16, 06:21 PM
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I once caught a typical garden snake that curled up and struck at me as I tried to pick him up just behind the neck. I did a double take.
 
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Old 06-22-16, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
I was pulling the shoes out with her crouched behind me when she screamed [scared me ] Come to find out it was a lizard about 4"-5" long
LMAO

Originally Posted by PABugman
One way is to lay sheets of wood such as plywood, etc on the ground near the house. Every day lift them up and grab the snakes and remove them far away.
If you don't have someone to help you, how about dig a hole deep enough to put one of those $3 bucket from HD or Lowes into the ground where the rim meets the ground? Then lay a sheet of plywood (as suggested by PABugman and Bud9051) by the bucket. Everyday, just lift the plywood with a long rake or a kite string. Maybe you can just rake those snakes into the bucket?

On a personal note, I would take snakes over rodents any day of the week. Rodents chew the crap out of everything and not to mention the diseases they carry and droppings. My wife is afraid of both but she freak out even looking at a rat on TV. When we were watching AntMan, she was not able to watch that scene with a rat.

We don't have to deal so much with snakes in California. One of my uncles lives close to a hotter area. A few years ago, he was sleeping out in his garage (man cave) one hot summer. He heard a strong rattle behind his green environmental trash bin. When he rolled the trash bin out, a long rattle snake was getting ready to strike him. It was rattling really fast and strong. He pushed the trash bin back in and called animal control. They came and picked it up.

I heard that Animal Control uses some stuff (similar to Chandler post) to keep rattle snakes under control.

Originally Posted by Marie12345
Perhaps I should get a cat too. I'm guessing the cat might eat the snakes, and hopefully not vice-versa!
You should get a mongoose.
 
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Old 08-05-16, 04:25 PM
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Hi. I found a hole about 4 inches in diameter under the porch (an area similar to a crawlspace) so I totally filled the hole (from a distance, of course!) with dirt and a bunch of gravel. I also cut back everything possible in the yard that they could be hiding under and made sure there were no rock piles etc. And yay! yippee! Haven't seen a snake in the yard for a month now! Needless to say, I am thrilled!

Thanks so much for everyone's help. It was much appreciated!
 
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Old 08-06-16, 03:49 AM
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We're working on a 97 year old house and I found a rat snake skin totally intact from the head to tail in the attic. It was over 6' long. Yesterday we saw the actual snake slithering among the floor joists and plumbing. It was quite a large one. Probably 2" in diameter.

Glad you are having a better day with your snakes and cleaning out things.
 
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Old 08-07-16, 02:50 PM
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When I lived in SC I did a lot of bass fishing. IMO there is no snake on the NA continent that is more aggressive than a cottonmouth. I have had them drop in my boat, chase me from the water while wading and actually back me down a slough. Here in CT I see an occasional copperhead. Everyone I have seen has been really shy compared to a cottonmouth.

Last summer while mowing my lawn on a rider mower I actually had a baby cottontail rabbit run across my feet. Right tight behind it was a 4-5 foot garter snake that slithered across the mower deck and my feet.
 
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Old 08-26-16, 06:15 AM
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crush fresh garlic, mix it with water and spread all around . You will get rid of snake. I grew up in Asia and we used Carbolic acid which was cheap. You get it in ebay but horribly expensive
 
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