Snakes are predators that hunt by making the most of ground cover, so while you may be delighted when your garden is in bloom your chosen plants could be hiding a nasty surprise. To repel garden snakes, take steps to reduce the kind of ground cover they love and cultivate the cover that they hate.
Shrubs and Trees
Low lying shrub or trees which hang low off the ground offer the perfect hiding place for snakes. Not only will they be hidden from prey but the canopy above protects them from the weather and from airborne predators. While it is not necessary to remove these plants entirely, they should be trimmed so that there is at least six inches of space between branches and the ground.
If your grass is too long, a snake will not think twice about crossing your garden. This is particularly dangerous if you have young children or animals, as a startled snake could bite as a means of defending itself. To combat this you should keep your grass short throughout the year. This will deter snakes crossing your lawn, keep them away from your children and make the more adventurous snakes easier to spot when they do try to cross. This is particularly important during the summer months when grass grows quicker.
Wood stacks and Debris
If you keep wood stacked outside or have similar piles of debris in your garden, consider removing them or placing them in a sealed container. Not only do these provide excellent places for snakes to hide, but they can also become a longer term home as the snake seeks somewhere to stay over winter. Alternatively, they could become a home to mice and other small animals which will draw snakes to your garden. By cutting off the food supply you give snakes no reason to move onto your property.
If your patio is in bad shape, consider filling in the gaps with concrete or laying new tiles. These cracks are just the sort of ground cover that a snake will use to hide and wait for their pray. The patio is also one area of your garden where you and your loved ones will regularly be walking, so it is important to maintain it.
Leaves, fruit and compost
In the fall be sure to remove fallen leaves from your garden. If you live in an area that is prone to snakes do not start an open compost heap. Small animals are attracted to fruit and scraps and this will, in turn, attract snakes. Alternatively a snake could make a home for itself in amongst the leaves. A clean garden will repel snakes far better.
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