What Not to Do When You Encounter Snakes in Your Yard


Snakes, while often feared, can benefit a yard’s ecosystem. However, encountering them can be startling. It’s important to remember that most snakes are not aggressive and will avoid humans if given the opportunity. Here’s a breakdown of what you absolutely should not do. 



Try not to panic. Frantic movements can provoke a bite. Stay calm, assess the situation, and back away slowly. Snakes have excellent vibration detection and can sense your fear through rapid movements.



Contrary to what you may think, the “sinister reptiles” are more likely to flee than attack. Please give them a wide berth (at least 6 feet) and wait for them to leave alone. Most species have poor eyesight and rely on vibrations and heat signatures to detect threats. 



Trapping a serpent increases its defensive behavior. Allow it an escape route to avoid a potential attack. Cornered snakes feel threatened and may strike as a last resort to defend themselves. Remember, approaching them can be misconstrued as aggression.


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Sudden movements, loud noises, or throwing objects can be perceived as a threat, resulting in a bite. The scaly slitherers lack external ears but can pick up silent ground waves caused by stomping or loud noises, perceiving them as dangerous.


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Never attempt to catch or handle a legless reptile, even if it appears dead. Use professional removal services if necessary. Even “dead,” these animals retain muscle reflexes and can bite. Additionally, some non-venomous species mimic the behavior of their venomous relatives as a defense mechanism.

Assume Safety


Even small snakes can be venomous. While identifying the species is helpful, prioritize caution and assume any snake could be dangerous. In many regions, the majority of snake species are non-venomous. However, it’s wiser to err on caution and avoid contact with any unknown snake.

Use Chemicals


Pesticides and repellents harm the environment and may not effectively deter snakes. They can also be harmful to pets and children. Chemical repellents often contain toxic ingredients to other wildlife and can pollute the environment. 

Block Entry Points


Sealing potential snake entryways like gaps under doors or windows is essential, but avoid harming trapped snakes. Create an escape route or call for professional assistance. The long and legless animal can squeeze through surprisingly small openings. 

Attract Prey


Leaving food scraps, uncontrolled rodent populations, or bird feeders with spilled seeds invites snakes to seek meals. Maintain a clean yard to minimize their attraction. These cold-blooded constrictors are natural predators drawn to areas with abundant food sources, particularly rodents and small animals.

Mow Recklessly

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Tall grass covers them; hence, mow carefully and slowly, especially near areas where they might be basking. Sudden mowing can startle them and increase the risk of accidental injury. Mowing slowly allows them time to slither away safely.

Let Children or Pets Near


Unpredictable behavior from children or pets can provoke bites. Supervise children closely and keep pets leashed in areas where they might be present. Curious children or playful pets may inadvertently corner or threaten a snake, leading to a defensive bite.

Attempt DIY Bite Treatment


In case of a snake bite, get immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to suck out venom, apply ice, or use a tourniquet. These actions can worsen the effects of a snake bite and delay proper medical treatment.

Kill Snakes


Snakes are important in controlling rodent populations and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Killing them disrupts the natural balance and may be illegal in your area. They are a critical part of the food chain, keeping rodent populations in check and preventing the spread of disease. 

Ignore Recurring Sightings

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Frequent snake presence might indicate an underlying issue like a rodent infestation. Address the root cause to prevent further encounters. Those residents of the undergrowth are opportunistic predators and will follow their food source. Addressing rodent infestations in your yard can significantly reduce snake activity.

Forget Local Regulations


Snake removal laws and regulations vary by region. Contact wildlife authorities or certified snake removal professionals for safe and legal assistance. Some areas have specific rules regarding their handling and removal. It’s essential to be aware of them for your compliance.


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