Montgomery County Snake FAQ

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Who do I call to get rid of a snake in my home or business in Montgomery County?

Most of the residents and homeowners in Montgomery County go to the web to find local companies that provide a specific service for their needs. If you are looking for someone to remove a snake that is in your basement or in the backyard you would probably call a pest control company or exterminator. Unfortunately pest control companies and exterminators specialize in bugs, mice and rats not snake control. A more specific search like snake control or snake removal companies would lead you to a professional that is licensed and trained to handle non-venomous and venomous snakes that inhabit the Montgomery County area. It’s important to hire an expert that can provide you with information about the snake in your home. A snake removal professional should be able to identify the species of snake and safely catch the snake in your home or yard. They should also be able to pin point where the snake entered the home and be able to properly seal the entry point to prevent snakes from entering your home in the future.

Are there any venomous snakes in Montgomery County?

Most of the snakes that inhabit Montgomery County are harmless however some will bite if they feel threatened. Snakes have a lot of bacteria in their mouth and some people have an allergic reaction to their saliva. If you are bitten it’s important to wash the bite and keep an eye on it in case any redness or swelling occurs. You may need to seek medical attention if redness and swelling occurs.

The only species of venomous snake that is found in Montgomery County is the northern copperhead snake. Montgomery County snake control companies and experts have removed the northern copperhead snake from the backyards of residents in Silver Spring, Potomac, Germantown, Gaithersburg, and Olney. To prevent an encounter it is important for you and your family to view a photo of a northern copperhead snake.

Does Montgomery County animal control remove snakes from homes?

Montgomery County animal control does not remove snakes from homes. Montgomery County pest control companies and exterminators handle bug problems and sometimes mice or rats however most of them are not licensed or trained to catch and remove snakes or to locate and seal the entry point where the snake got in. If you have a snake inside of your home call a Montgomery County snake removal company (240-599-6815).

How can I stop snakes from entering my house?

Smaller snakes like northern ring-necked snakes often enter homes and buildings through gaps and cracks around the foundation. New Born baby snakes and juveniles will also enter through gaps and cracks around the foundation of a home or building. Larger snakes like the black ratsnake may enter under doors or through opened windows. Black ratsnakes are excellent climbers and may climb up the outside exterior of the home and enter the attic space.

Why are snakes attracted to my home?

Snake see humans as a predator so they want nothing to do with humans. Montgomery County has a large population of humans so over time snakes (like many other wildlife species) have learned to live around use however avoiding us at the same time. Unfortunately if your home has a gap or opening then snakes may enter for food and / or shelter. Often snakes enter homes in pursuit of food like mice, small rats, and inserts. Mice enter a home by digging and chew a hole around the foundation. If a snakes passes through your yard they will pick up the sent trail of the mouse and follow through the same hole.

Why are snakes attracted to my yard?

Keeping snakes from entering a yard is almost impossible because your yard is out in the open. Shelter and food will bring snakes in to a yard. The more trash, woodpiles, and debris you have in your yard the more enticing your yard is to insects, mice and snakes. Large rocks in flowerbeds and landscaping can provide shelter for some snakes. Koi ponds attract several different species of snakes especially the northern water snake.

If I have a mouse or rat problem does that mean I will get snakes in my house also?

If you have a mouse or rat problem in your home it does not mean you will definitely have snakes coming in. However if you live in communities like Potomac, Germantown, or Gaithersburg that have wooded lots, open fields, streams, creeks or other water ways then there is a possibility that you may have a snake enter your home at some point in time. However, many people that do not have a mouse or rat problem have had snakes enter their home. Montgomery County snake removal companies are very busy catching and removing snakes that have got in to homes from April to October. Most homeowners find snakes in their home August, September or early October after baby snakes are born (or hatched depending on the species). September and October is when snakes start to hibernate in the Montgomery County region so they sometimes enter homes looking for a safe hibernation den.

How are snakes getting into my home?

Snakes enter homes through unattended doors and windows that have been left open. They also come in through cracks and gaps in the foundation of a home. They come in under doors that are not tightly fitted or doors that don’t have a weather strip at the bottom. Usually the caulk around pipes and wires that are ran through the exterior wall of your home becomes loose over time and falls out making an easy entry point for snakes. Some species like black rat snakes will climb up the exterior of a home and get into the attic. Sometimes these snakes will stay in the attic for very long periods of time feeding on mice or birds that are landing on the roof.

How to keep snakes out of my yard?

Keeping snakes from entering a yard is almost impossible because your yard is out in the open. Shelter and food will bring snakes into a yard. The more trash, wood piles, and debris you have in your yard the more enticing your yard is to insects, mice and snakes. Large rocks in flowerbeds and landscaping can provide shelter for some snakes. Koi ponds attract several different species of snakes especially the northern water snake.

Does snake repellent work?

Snake repellents that are sold to the general public at Home Depot or Lowes are so diluted that they are ineffective after it’s rained on the first time. Snake repellents that are sold at the local hardware store can be costly because they have to be put down so frequently. A special pest control license is needed to obtain longer lasting and far more effective snake repellent. A licensed Montgomery County snake removal professional is able to treat your yard with effective and longer lasting snake repellant.

Why am I finding snake skins in my house?

Snakes shed their old skin as they grow and the more they eat the faster they grow. On average a juvenile black ratsnake will shed their skin. Most of the snake species in Montgomery County shed their skin as soon as they come out of hibernation. Younger snakes shed their skin every few weeks because they are growing at a faster rate.
If you have found a snake skin in your home, then you most likely have a snake in the house. Even if the skin is dry, brittle and old, the snake may still be in the house because some snakes can live up to a year without food. If you find a snake skin in your home, you may need to have a snake removal professional inspect your home and remove any snakes they may find.

What are the snakes in my house eating?

Different species of snakes feed on different things. For example, the northern ring-necked snake will eat small frogs, earthworms, and other snakes. Black ratsnakes feed on mice, small rats, birds, baby birds, and bird eggs. So if you have mice in your home or if you have an older home with moisture in the foundation or basement then snakes will have plenty of food to survive a long time. If a snake does get into your home, they may live up to a year without any food.

What should I do if I am bitten by a snake?

Most of the snake species found in Montgomery County are not venomous and are not harmful in anyway. The northern copperhead snake which is found in Germantown, Silver Spring, Rockville, and the rest of Montgomery County is venomous, and any human or pet that is bitten must seek medical attention immediately. Even though the other 15 species of snakes found in Montgomery County are not venomous, it’s important to avoid being bitten because snakes have a lot of bacteria in their saliva and the womb can become infected. When people are bitten by a snake, their first reaction is to pull away and when they do the snakes teeth get ripped out of the snake’s mouth and stay stuck in the skin like splinters. This can also cause infection. Some people have an allergic reaction to the saliva, and the bit becomes swollen and irritated causing people to seek medical attention. The best thing to do if you see a snake is to avoid it. If the snake is in your house, you should contact a Montgomery County Snake removal expert at 240-599-6815 or 443-417-3137.

Should I kill the snake in my house or yard?

All native snakes are protected by law in the state of Maryland, so it is illegal to kill them. Licensed snake control professionals in Potomac, Bethesda, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Silver Spring offer humane live capture trapping and live capture removal services.

How do I catch a snake in my home or yard?

If a snake in your home is close to a door then open the door and hopefully the snake will exit on its own. If you have a snake in the garage, then leave the garage door open so the snake can get back out. If the snake does not leave then call a Montgomery County snake removal company to have the snake safely removed.

What area of my house is vulnerable to a snake infestation?

The most vulnerable areas for a snake to enter a residential home is the foundation of the home, doors, and windows, around wiring and piping that is coming through the exterior of your home, under garage doors, around the rooftop and through vents. The foundation of your home may have cracks, gaps or openings large enough to let a snake in. Some snakes (like the northern ring-necked snake) are only about 4” inches long and about the width of a string of spaghetti when they are born so they can fit in the smallest of gaps in the foundation of a home. Homes that have sinter block foundations are susceptible to cracks along the mortar seams, so it’s important to keep up with sealing these cracks and gaps. Homes that have a damp foundation or a stone foundation may be enticing to different species of snakes. If the snake came in through a hole or crack in the foundation of your home, then they may not be able to find their way back out.

Black ratsnakes come into homes when the doors and windows are left open. A man in Bethesda opened his front door, and a gartersnake that was crawling along the bottom outside of the door fell into the home and slithered under a 10’ foot x 12’ foot rug. The man had no idea this happened until he later saw the snake going under his refrigerator. He decided to watch the security camera recording of the past day, and that is when he discovered that the snake did come through the front door. The man said he did not see it because he was looking forward and not down.

Snakes may also come in under doors that have a gap at the bottom or doors without a weather strip. Broken basement windows are another area snakes can enter a home. Black ratsnakes are also known to climb up the sides of homes and enter the attic. They will stay in the attic as long as there are birds landing on the roof or mice running around in the attic to feed on.

Montgomery County Snake removal companies are overwhelmed in the summertime with calls from hundreds on homeowners in Olney, Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Potomac that have a snake in their garage. Snakes will come in through garage doors that have been left open however they also come in through the gaps around the garage doors when they are closed. Unfortunately, most garage doors cannot be sealed 100% when they are closed. If you have garage doors that are in good condition with a tightly fitted weather strip at the bottom then larger snakes probably can’t get in but smaller or new born snake may still be able to.

Snakes (especially black rat snakes) enter homes through dryer vents, bathroom exhaust vents, gable vents and crawl space vents. Sometimes snakes will enter dryer vents and bathroom exhaust vents to feed on birds that are nesting in the vent pipe. The vent pipe in many homes is broke open in the wall cavity so a snake that enters the vent may find its way into a wall cavity or an attic or a basement. Gable vents or attic exhaust vents are usually triangular shaped or octagon shaped vents below the roof soffit or on the side of the home below the roof.

Snakes may also come in the attic through holes and gaps around the roof soffit, an attic fan that doesn’t have a cover or chimneys that do not have a cover. They may also come in through a gap above the fascia board (which is the board your gutter is attached to). When roofers install roofs, they don’t always install drip edge, and when they do they usually use a cheap pre-manufactured drip edge that they bought at Home Depot. Pre-manufactured drip edge does not always fit the gap between the fascia board and the edge of the roof. Sometimes there is still a ½” inch or larger gap which is plenty big enough for a black ratsnake or other wildlife to enter.

What is the difference between animal control, pest control, exterminators and wildlife control?

Most people think that all pest control companies are licensed and trained to perform the same services however that is not true. Exterminators and pest control are licensed and trained to use pesticides and other technics to eradicate bugs and sometimes mice and rats. Each county (including Montgomery County) has an animal control division that provides services for domestic animals like cats and dogs. Do to insurance issues county animal control officers will not usually come out to remove a snake from home. County animal control officers are not usually trained or equipped to handle snakes. Wildlife Control companies offer services for the control and removal of all native wildlife including snakes. A reputable and licensed wildlife control company can remove the snake from your home, identify the entry point and seal the entry point. If snakes are coming in to feed on mice, then the wildlife control company will be able to repair or seal any gaps or openings where snakes may enter in the future.

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Montgomery County Wildlife Removal: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

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Carroll County Wildlife Removal: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Frederick County Wildlife Removal: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), Damascus (20872), and more.

Anne Arundel County Wildlife Removal: Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Gambrills (21054), Glen Burnie (21060, 21061), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Pasadena (21122), Severn (21144), Severna Park (21146).

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Harford County Wildlife Removal: Bel Air (21014, 21015), Aberdeen (21001), Abingdon (21009), Havre De Grace (21078), Pylesville (21132), Jarrettsville (21084) and more.

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