How to Scare Away Snakes?

Before any encounter with a snake, take your distance and move away slowly. Don't be overconfident because of their size, as snakes are very fast and can close distances quickly.
How to Scare Away Snakes?

Last update: 06 November, 2021

Snakes can be a problem in warm weather regions, as their reputation for being dangerous puts anyone on alert when encountering one of them. Although most of these reptiles aren’t a threat to humans, in some places it’s almost impossible to avoid encountering them. Therefore, it’s important to know if it’s possible to scare away snakes.

Despite the fear that these animals instill, we still need to understand that they play a role in nature, so their existence is essential to the ecosystem. With this in mind, here are the best tips to avoid and scare away snakes.

How dangerous can snakes be?

It’s estimated that in the world there are more than 3000 species of snakes, of which 500 are poisonous or toxic to humans. Although there are about 5 million snake bites per year, only a small fraction of them require special care and treatment.

Although it may seem alarming, the anti-venomous treatments that have been developed are very effective against snakebites. They greatly reduce their danger, as long as you get the medical help you need. For example, in the United States, 7,000 cases of snake poisoning are reported each year, but only 15 have caused death.

This indicates that the problem with venomous snakes isn’t in their bite, but in the availability of medical care. In this sense, because many species are distributed in remote rural areas, the best option for the population is to learn how to prevent any problems.

A snake on a tree.

How to avoid snakes

To avoid snakes or other venomous reptiles living near your home, you need to know a little about their lifestyle. First of all, these animals are looking for two main things: food and shelter, so you should avoid giving them the right conditions. Here are some tips on how to do this.

  1. Keep grass and bushes short: Although it sounds simple, these reptiles are looking for cool places to hide. That’s why tall grass is a perfect place for them. Mowing it will create an uncovered area that’s unappetizing to most snakes.
  2. Avoid keeping too much moisture in the yard: Snakes are heat-loving animals, but they’re also wary of overheating. This makes damp areas a perfect hiding place for their daily life.
  3. Don’t have objects piled up: It’s common to have debris, wood or any type of object accumulated in the yard, which is a very inadvisable practice if you want to keep these animals away.
  4. Don’t leave food or food scraps out in the open: This includes pet food and household garbage, which easily attract snakes and some small mammals (rodents), which are also prey.
  5. Cover any cracks or access to your home: To avoid unpleasant surprises, cover any cracks or openings through which a snake may enter your home. If you need to maintain some type of ventilation, cover it with metal mesh to prevent access by reptiles.

Can I scare off snakes on my own?

If you encounter a snake in your home or yard, the first thing you should do is remain calm and stay away from the snake. Remember that these reptiles only attack when they feel threatened, so at any sign of alarm, they’ll bite you without a thought. For this reason, never try to capture, scare away or kill the snakes, because you’ll give them reasons to defend themselves.

In the event that you see a snake in your yard, close any type of door or access that can provide entry to your home. In addition to this, call the emergency or animal control centers in your city so that experts can come and capture the snake. Keep a safe distance and keep an eye on it, as this will make it easier for it to be caught when help arrives.

If the reptile has entered your home, the best option is to close the entrances to the other rooms and leave a way out for the animal. In addition, it’s highly recommended to cover the spaces under your doors to prevent them from slipping through these small cracks. Keep in mind that you must keep your distance and ask for professional help: any attempt to scare away snakes can be fatal.

Are there any repellents for snakes?

These reptiles are sensitive organisms that become weak to some smells. For this reason, certain chemicals such as sulfur and ammonia are used as repellents to keep them away from homes. However, these substances aren’t very effective and are a health risk.

Even so, the need to stay out of danger is understandable and so if you want to make use of these substances, ask for professional assistance for guidance. Remember to follow the instructions to the letter, in order to avoid any kind of poisoning by ingestion or mishandling of these materials.

Attentive to the signs

As you’ll realize, the best option to deal with snakes is prevention, since bothering them or trying to scare them away can be counterproductive. It’s important to be aware of some warning signs, such as shedding skin, body tracks, or even the typical hissing sound of these species.

Certain visual or auditory cues may indicate the presence of a snake in your home. Be very careful if you detect any of them.

A snake.

In addition to this, try to learn about the types of snakes found in your area, as it’ll help you understand the level of risk you’re facing. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t kill them, as they have the same right to life as any other animal. At the end of the day, these organisms don’t attack out of malice, but just like you, they just want to defend themselves from the unknown.

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