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Snake looking out of hole
08/21/20

The thought of a snake slithering around may be strong enough to send a shiver down your spine, especially when it’s unknowingly wiggling about in your own yard. To avoid crossing paths with one of these creepy critters, it’s important to recognize the signs of their trespassing.

Snake holes are a common signal that something scaly might be lurking nearby. Rather than performing their own excavation, snakes often occupy burrows that were once home to smaller rodents (i.e. mice, chipmunks, and prairie dogs). Therefore, it’s crucial to determine whether something other than a furry friend is living in the space before taking action. Here are a few answers to help you identify any snake holes in your yard.

What do snake holes look like?

Snake holes are circular in shape and vary in size. Similar to the holes in the ground that are caused by moles, snake holes are commonly found embedded in the grass. However, they can also be located in trees or larger concrete cracks. The best way to determine if the given hole is inhabiting a snake is to physically see the snake lingering in your yard. Without viewing the creature, it is a bit more challenging to understand which pest is living in these holes.

What kind of snakes live in my yard?

Garter Snakes and Northern Water Snakes are among the most prevalent, non-venomous snakes found in North American backyards. Garter Snakes stretch from 18-21 inches long and come in various colors and patterns ranging from checkered turquoise to striped yellow, black, and brown. They are typically found in meadows, woodlands, hillsides, and marshes. Additionally, they may be perceived as a benefit to a homeowner’s garden as they perform as a “natural pest control”, eating those pesky insects. Garter Snakes are not harmful to humans, nonetheless, some may carry a mild neurotoxic venom.

Northern Water Snakes can be anywhere between 24-42 inches in size. Generally, they have a brown and black spotted body and may be near areas with water, though this isn’t always the case. Usually, they will travel away from water to search for hibernation spots, making your garden or backyard the perfect place to settle. Northern Water Snakes aren’t venomous, yet they are not afraid to bite if they feel threatened. Furthermore, it is important to not confuse this non-venomous individual to the poisonous Water Moccasin (the Cottonmouth). Both snakes look quite similar, but the Northern Water Snake is smaller and more slender than the much larger, Water Moccasin.

How do I know if a snake hole is vacant?

You can identify if a snake hole is vacant in a few ways:

●     Check to see if there are spiderwebs or debris surrounding the hole. If so, then the hole is most likely empty. If not, there may be an animal nearby. This will be the best way to identify if a snake hole is vacant.

●     Look out for freshly-shed snake skin. This is a prime sign that a snake was recently in the area.

●     Observe any snake feces. Snake feces are tubular with a dark coloring and white, chalky urine streaks covering some areas. There may be bones and fur within the feces as well. Again, this is another way to determine that a snake is living in the hole.

How do I cover a snake hole in my yard?

Snake holes found in the open can be filled back in with dirt, however covering the snake holes with wiring, netting, or burlap will prevent the snake(s) from returning to nests under a structure or porch. Remember to analyze the area for snakes first, and use caution when placing the coverings over the snake hole.

If you need help covering a snake hole or removing snakes from your yard, contact Varment Guard today. Our wildlife experts are pleased to humanely solve any snake issues while providing you with the proper knowledge for future prevention.


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snakes