How to Get Rid of Garter Snakes in Your Garden: An Animal and Environmentally-Friendly Guide

If you are here we assume you’re experiencing a garter snake infestation and want to know how to get rid of garter snakes in your garden. You’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the best way to get rid of garter snakes – all without harming them or the environment.

Garter snakes are common in North America. While they play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling pests such as small rodents and insects, they can sometimes become a problem in gardens and yards.

Understanding Garter Snakes

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s important to understand what we’re dealing with. Garter snakes, also sometimes called garden snakes, form a large category of slender snakes in the United States.

They are one of the most well-known species of snake, with different variants such as the common garter snake and the eastern garter snake found across the country. Garter snakes are not poisonous snakes, but rather non-venomous snakes known for their slim bodies and excellent swimming capacity, often seen near bodies of water like garden ponds.

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Garter snakes come in different colors, but they often have a dark body with three lengthwise stripes. They have rows of small teeth and are harmless snakes. Despite these traits, their presence can be disconcerting, especially for small children or those with a fear of snakes.

Identify Their Presence

Recognizing a garter snake problem is the first place to start. Signs of their presence might include snake skin sheds or the snakes themselves sunning on rocks. A common sign is also large numbers of these snakes near a water feature in your garden or around food sources – usually small animals like small mammals and small fish.

Remove Attractants

To minimize the chances of a garter snake taking up residence, step one is to remove potential food sources and water sources. This can help make your garden less desirable not only for garter snakes but for any type of snake species.

Garter snakes thrive on small mammals like rodents and other small animals such as amphibians. Therefore, eliminating these animals, either through natural pest control methods or by contacting a professional pest control company, can help reduce the garter snake population in your garden. Be cautious around bird feeders and chicken coops, which can attract small rodents and subsequently, snakes.

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A common source of water for snakes in yards is a pond or any other water feature. Garter snakes, being good swimmers, are often attracted to shallow water bodies. Ensuring these are secure or removing them altogether can help in reducing the snake problem in your garden.

Making Your Garden Unfriendly For Garter Snakes

Removing food and water sources might not be enough, particularly when dealing with a stubborn garter snake infestation. The next step involves making your garden less conducive for them.

Garter snakes and other snake species, like the venomous species rattlesnakes or nonvenomous ones like rat snakes or king snakes, have a fondness for dense vegetation, long grass or grassy areas, and piles of debris where they can hide, rest or hunt. Keeping the grass short, clearing heaps of leaves, and cleaning out the storage area can remove the shelter for these cold-blooded creatures.

Eliminating other hiding spots like stone walls, large holes, or rock piles and preventing access to potential hiding places like dense brush or tall grass can also be beneficial. Similarly, ensuring that any large holes in the ground are filled and that there is no dense vegetation around the perimeter of your property can discourage garter snakes from slithering in.

Use of Snake Repellents

There are numerous commercial products available in the market that claim to offer a quick way to keep garter snakes away. Yet, some of them can be harmful to both snakes and the environment. Luckily, there are several snake repellents that you can prepare at home, which are safe and effective.

One of the easiest ways to keep common types of snakes like gartner snakes at bay is by using an essential oil mix. Oils like clove and cinnamon are often effective against snakes. Simply mix the oils with water in a spray bottle and spray this mix around the yard for the best results.

Another natural snake repellent comes in the form of plants. Certain plants like marigold and wormwood are known to deter snakes and can be a good addition to your garden.

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Seeking Professional Help

In the event that a garter snake infestation is extensive and the mentioned strategies are not helping, it may be a good time to bring in a local pest control specialist or an animal control agency. These experts can help you handle the situation responsibly, providing solutions that do not harm these snakes.

Remember, garter snakes are essential to our ecosystem and play an integral role in controlling pests. So it’s vital to deal with them in such a way that respects them as living creatures. Let’s also remember that snakes, whether they’re venomous species like the timber rattlesnake and coral snakes, or nonvenomous snakes like the gopher snakes and common gartersnake, all have a crucial role in our ecosystem.

It’s also nice to note that having a garden free of garter snakes may bring an overly populated number of pests that these snakes usually help control. They might not be our preferred guests, but snakes can actually be a good thing! However, if you’re uncomfortable with them around, follow the above steps to responsibly discourage these creatures from setting up home in your garden.

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Keep in mind that aside from getting rid of them, prevention is important as well. Regular yard work, openness and cleanliness will ensure that snakes don’t find your garden appealing in the first place.

Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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