Home Biological science Here’s how to spot snake holes in your garden

Here’s how to spot snake holes in your garden


Even though all yards start with a design plan, it doesn’t take long for nature to take its course and have its own effects on your green space. From unwanted pests to potentially dangerous invasive plants, keeping your outdoor sanctuary the way you love it can be an uphill battle. In some cases, it can also mean noticing that a reptile has taken up residence in the ground under your lawn. But what is the best way to handle the problem? Read on to see how experts say you can spot snake holes in your yard and the best course of action if you find them.

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Even the most avid gardener or gardener doesn’t like the idea of ​​being surprised by a snake in the line of duty. But those who truly understand the ecology of their lawns also know that reptiles are actually the best solution to common problems, helping to control the population of pests and insects by eating mice, rats, moles, crickets , cockroaches and other unwanted invaders.

“Snakes tend to be frowned upon by homeowners, but not all snakes are dangerous or even bad to have in your yard,” Burns Blackwellowner of Terminix Triad in North Carolina, previously said Better life. “That being said, you want to know when you have snakes around your property so you can protect your family and pets.”

A rabbit warren or a mole or vole hole in someone's yard grass

Finding small burrows or holes in your yard after seeing snakes nearby can make it easy for you to conclude that they are burrowing in your yard. But according to experts, it is more likely that they are profiting from the work of another animal.

“Snakes generally cannot make their own nests because they have no legs and lack the mental capacity to create nests. But they will take over old rodent nests and use burrows and underground holes,” Blackwell said. Told Better life.

Coincidentally, seeing a snake around when holes start to appear can sometimes mean that it is taking on its natural pest control role. However, there is a way to tell when a reptile has moved in for sure. According to Blackwell, “Snake holes are difficult to identify because they often use up leftover mole or vole holes, so you should look for snakeskin in and around these holes to identify that it is harboring a snake and not a mole.”

But it’s not just shedding that can be a gift: finding certain droppings is also a sign of reptile activity. As a general rule, you should look for dark brown smears with a white tip to prove the presence of a snake in your yard, according to the experts at BobVila.com.

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A snake sitting in the grass of a yard or lawn

Of course, burrows can be used and abandoned over time. But experts say seeing skins or droppings is a good indication that a snake was recently nearby, with Terminix professionals advising that they usually start biodegrading or being eaten by insects “within days” after. their departure. behind.

If you find evidence that a snake has taken up residence, experts say it can be helpful to determine what type it is by keeping a close eye on your yard or even setting up a camera. After all, perfectly harmless, non-venomous species of snakes will continue to prey on pests that might otherwise wreak havoc in your garden.

However, if reptiles pose a threat to pets or people, you may choose to get rid of the existing hole once you determine that it is empty. To do this, simply fill it with soil or cover the entrance with burlap, netting or wire mesh, according to BobVila.com. At the same time, it is essential not to use piles of loose material to cover the burrows, as this will only make it more attractive to snakes. Ultimately, sealing the holes can help the snake move to another location in your garden that may be in a less central location.

destroy your lawn

Or of course, the problem of snake holes can be avoided by being proactive with your lawn to eliminate conditions that make them more likely to settle there, or their rodent prey.

“Firewood, piles of rocks and stacked tiles, tin siding or plywood literally create snake mansions. Many properties also have slightly raised sheds, creating a few inches of perfectly serpentine crawl space below” , Emily TaylorPhD, professor of biological sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and owner of Central Coast Snake Services, wrote in a Medium post.

Sometimes staying on top of simple lawn chores can go a long way to solving the problem. “A garden that does not attract snakes – especially poisonous snakes – has the following characteristics: the grass is always mowed; the plants chosen for landscaping are ‘slender’ rather than bushy, so that they cast little shade and you can easily see the base of the bush; firewood is stored on a table or other elevated platform a few feet above the ground, with no piles of debris; and snakes can’t crawl under buildings because they’re low to the ground or because access under porches or into crawl spaces is blocked off,” Taylor suggests.