The only effective way to help keep snakes away from your home

Now that the weather has cooled down there are some things that you can do over the next few weeks to reduce the likelihood of encounters with snakes in your yard. As the weather warms ups again snakes become more active as they look for a mate. If you do these following things now it will pay off later!
Tiger Snake - Notechis scutatus - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers
The Shoalhaven region is largely made up of farm lands, rural properties and developments that are surrounded by state forest or national parks. These areas are perfect snake habitat. As our endemic species are shy, secretive and well camouflaged animals, you are most likely to only see a small percentage of snakes that pass through your property.
Killing the snake that has entered your property is a poor solution to a much bigger problem. When a snake is killed, prime habitat is opened up to another snake to take advantage of. You are also running the risk of being bitten and your children or dogs are no safer in the long run. Instead, making your yard as uninviting to snakes as possible is the best bet. Doing this will urge snakes to move on much quicker.

Here are a few things you can do to make your property unsuitable habitat

Hiding spots

Remove all loose ground cover such as fallen leaves. Fallen timber, tin sheeting, rubbish and rock piles should be removed. While rock walls are an attractive piece of gardenscape, it is advisable to fill in all gaps and holes in and around the rocks. The less hiding spots animals can use, the better.

Rubbish in Yard - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Concrete slabs

Checking the borders of concrete slabs and other decking for holes and gaps made by other animals. Snakes will not dig holes or burrows themselves, instead using ones created by other animals such as rats and mice. Filling in and sealing these is recommended.

Gaps Under Concrete Slab - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Ground vegetation

Vegetation such as hedges and border plants that sit on or close to ground level provide snakes with a great spot for basking without having to expose themselves to predators. We recommend trimming hedges to create a gap between the ground and the first branches.

Gaps Under Garden Hedges - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Retaining walls

Rock retaining walls are a haven for snake habitat, especially when there is a pool or pond nearby. Remove or trim all overgrown vegetation and fill in any gaps in the rocks. Blockwork or brick retaining walls also direct snakes along the base. With this in mind, make sure ends of the wall are kept tidy and any vegetation is trimmed up off the ground.

Gaps in Rock Retaining Wall - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Grass and lawns

Where grass is more than 10cm in length, snakes can hide quite well. Keep your lawn mown short and pay attention to fence lines and edges. Snakes tend to follow walls and fences and if the grass or weeds aren’t kept in check, they can travel undetected.

Grass Length - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Around the house

Snakes cannot control their body temperatures like we can and will seek out cooler places to go during days of hot weather. By installing weather seals and making sure any gaps in windows or doors are fixed will reduce the likelihood of a snake entering your home. Keep in mind that a snake can squeeze through a gap that is only one third of it’s thickness.

Door Seal Weather Strip - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Prey species

With the urban sprawl comes rodents. Rodents are a major source of food for snakes in the Shoalhaven along with frogs and other reptiles. Reducing the attraction of rodents to your residence will in turn reduce the attraction of snakes. Bird seed, chook food, compost or any other rodent attractants should not be left out. Keeping these supplies in air tight containers or bins where possible.

Wild Mouse - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Being proactive gives results

To conclude this blog post, by keeping on top of yard maintenance and being proactive, you will drastically reduce the likelihood of encountering a snake on your property. If you do happen to see a snake in your yard the best advice we can give is to walk away and leave it alone. If you have any pets or small children, bring them inside and call a licensed snake catcher while keeping an eye on the snake.

Remember to ring as soon as possible, do not wait. Be sure to watch it from a safe distance and watch where it goes. This can considerably help the snake catcher and increase the chances of it being relocated.

Shoalhaven Snake Catchers provide a 24 hour 7 days a week service to the entire Shoalhaven region. We can be contacted on 0481 811 855.